Yet Another Segmentation Model

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by: Dick Stroud 

Focalyst, a joint venture between AARP Services and Kantar, the research arm of WPP, has published its findings about the 125 million Americans, aged 42-plus segment.

The survey researched 30,000 people. This is a pen sketch of the segments they derived.

Overwhelmed and Unfortunate (25%):
Unhealthy and confused. Concerned about health and financial issues. (Average age: 62; 45/55 male/female; average income: $45,000)

Active and Successful (24%):
Fashionable spenders. Good health and financial positions; undergoing employment changes. (Average age: 53; 45/55 male/female; average income: $72,000)

Positive and Responsible (20%):
Good health and financial states. Believe that time is more important than money but are still price-conscious. (Average age: 62; 27/73 male/female; average income: $51,000)

Regular Folk (16%):
Outdoorsy do-it-yourselfers. Generally stable but concerned about job demotion. (Average age: 58; 72/28 male/female; average income: $72,000)

Fortunate and Ready for the Future (14%):
Altruistic and respectful. Looking forward to aging actively and gracefully. (Average age: 63; 37/63 male/female; average income: $85,000)

Alone and Ill (2%):
Poor health and financial situations. Fearful of loss of independence and becoming a burden. (Average age: 71; 62/38 male/female; average income: $47,000)

Some quick observations:

The relatively small difference between the highest and lowest incomes. ($85 v $47 thousand dollars). Unfortunately comparing ‘average’ income is of limited use but that is the only data that Focalyst has published.

Women do well. The lowest income group is predominantly men, unlike the highest income group where women are the large majority.

The weighted average age is 60 years. Maybe my arithmetic is not working but I don’t understand how it can be that high. The answer is that the survey covers people aged 42+ and is not limited to the baby boomer age group. Strange that they call it a boomer survey!

So Mr & Mrs Marketer, who do you think is going to be the prized segment for US companies? I will put my money on the “Active and Successful” and the “Fortunate and Ready for the future”.

A final observation about the high average age of the sample. I wonder if this resulted from the fact that AARP is very vocal in declaring its interest in all older people whilst Kantar would probably prefer to cater for the classical boomer age group. The compromise is to research all ages but give the impression the survey is about boomers. Just a thought.

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