Do You Do Demographics?

Christina Lewellen
February 2, 2010
THE TALK... | Sales & Marketing

Survey Results for 02/03/2010:

When it comes to demographics, my company:

Stays on top of trends, and makes plans to reflect shifts.




Does not track such trends because they have limited impact.




Is aware of trends, but does not change plans as result.




Does not track trends, but sees some having an impact.





It appears as though we're fairly split on this topic. Just a shade more than half of respondents say demographics matter to their businesses, and the other half issues a resounding "eehhh" with a shrug of the shoulders.

To those of you who aren't necessarily demo-fans, a couple of lines for you to consider, published just after the first of the year by USA Today:


• Population follows immigration, and immigration follows the money. The U.S. population could grow from 308 million to as much as 350 million if times are good and to as little as 334 million if they aren't, according to the Census Bureau.

•Immigration creates a generation gap. The split: between aging, mostly white Baby Boomers and younger, more racially diverse "Millennials," the oldest of whom now are in their 20s. Issues such as health care and Social Security will produce "a huge cleavage," says demographer William Frey of the Brookings Institution.

•We'll be older, more diverse, less sprawling. About 16% of Americans will be 65 and older, up from fewer than 13%. Non-Hispanic whites will shrink from 65% to 60% of the population. And far-flung suburban-style growth, now halted by the recession, may never fully return because of energy costs, environmental concerns and smaller households.

(Source: USA Today)

Perhaps demographics alone aren't enough to make it to the company's business strategy. But demographics coupled with the fundamental shifts in our economy from the past couple of years might be worth a second look. Do you think the bullet points above won't impact the building products sector? I'm not sure I'm willing to take that bet.

Contact Christina Lewellen, senior editor, at

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