Sales and marketing require knowing the end consumer / customer / client.
Knowing the demographics goes a long way in helping a business plan / marketing plan and meeting sales targets.
Business people make a very big mistake not to study their market or competition. You surely do not want to produce something that is already readily available and likely cheaply from your competition when you are entering that market. Always find a niche.
Generally, you have kids (0yrs – 11yrs), pre-adolescents (11yrs – 13yrs), teenagers (13yrs – 19yrs), youth (18yrs – 25yrs), upper youth (25yrs – 35yrs), family types of people (25yrs – 50yrs), middle age (35yrs – 55yrs), near retirement (55yrs – 65yrs) and retired people (65yrs+). You have to choose which group to work with and cater to their needs and desires.
The national census in each country tends to be the best source for identifying the percentage of the population in each age group. This is based on the assumption that the information is freely available and does not involve a lot of number fudging.
It is strange to have to say this but usually our kids, peers, parents, nieces and nephews can give a clue as to what their age group needs, desires, wants and would likely buy or pay for.
In North America we have 3 types of classifications of demography.
Boom Bust and Echo (David Foot, a Canadian Author. This book used to be in most business courses). They are now mostly retired or close to it and were born after WWWII. They have lived a life of afluence and have a lot of money to spend. However, as they get older, more services are needed to care for them. Likely Uganda has them too and in a country with barely any social services or income security, the burden falls on their children.
Generation X (Gen. X, They are born in 1966 – 1976). Most are now parents with grown children and many are professionals in their fields or business owners. People claim that this generation is the most educated of all of them. They tend to be focused on career success and business success. They tend to want nothing but the best for their children and they are most likely to stay in marriages or conjugal relationships for stability for them and their children.
Generation Y is sometimes referred to as Echo boomers or more recently, the Millenniums. This generation is born in 1997 – 2006. The millenniums are an interesting bunch of kids. They come from parents who were well educated, likely with good careers and tend to work hard at school to be like mom and dad or better than dad. This is the group that is very tech savvy. You want to sell everything to do with technology to this generation because they soak it up like you have no idea. By the way, if you are nice, they might call you an Honorary Millennium! Which literally means you understand them. Give a high five.
Generation Z is 2013 – 2020. This is the boom from Gen Y. These kids are growing up with technology all around them. Most have smart phones and laptops and their education instruction uses a lot of technology. They will also be the ones who will consume a lot of online education given how many gadgets they have at hand. They will likely be pushed into becoming vegetarians, animal rights advocates, human rights fighters (like their older siblings in Gen Y and remember that their parents in Gen X are also likely human rights activists). This is the generation that Uganda is going to have to deal with apart from the previous ones since right now, there is no mechanism in place to plan for these little angels.
Why demographics matters is because of the following:
- Market and sell for the oldest generation leisure and comfort living.
- Market and sell for the middle age insurance, retirement, investments, etc.. because they will be facing retirement soon. Mind you, you should have sold the same to their parents.
- For the younger generation, individuality is the key. These kids do not want to comply. Sell to them what allows them to walk to their own drum beat and you will see. In the past, many of us were influenced by peer pressure but millenniums are not. Neither will be Gen. Z. Customisation will be the key thing here.
- A country which cares about its population plans for all the different age groups. Uganda is not planning for any at all. In fact, the order of the day is to let them go fend for themselves. I do not fault President Museveni for this one but I fault all of us. Everyone of us. We have lost compassion and do not seem to care about those around us or our neighbours.
Who will be thy brother’s keeper?
Information you could use.
Martha Leah Nangalama
I have an IT and business background. All my opinions are mine and mine alone.