Demographics in free fall – the credit crunch ends Gen X and Gen Y almost overnight

Just when you thought all the demographics were sweet and the marketing budget was plain sailing, along come a massive credit crunch – worldwide. But worse is that all your demographic profiles are defunct – extinct – a dead parrot.

Generation X is approximately those born between 1965 and 1979, who grew up with MTV in their teenage years and are now a key economic slice of 30-year-olds through 44-year-olds.

Their statistical significance is now suspect. Demographic profiling can cope with acceptable variations of a few percent. But when up to 20% of that profile are redundant, on reduced hours or reduced pay, or just plain hoarding money, budget forecasts are wrecked. Worldwide.

More important than this, perhaps, is the end of the Generation Y entry into the marketplace. The expected new flood of spenders from the 12-to-29 year-old range may not arrive for many years.

Further, 2008 could reliably be positioned as the end of Generation Z and so we may need to look for a new phrase. A couple spring to mind: post-bust or post-crunch or even big bang. Whatever is decided once the experts have time to address the problem, let’s hope they retain a little humour in their deliverations.

Maybe, in light of the decade and the fact that so many people have been a bit astray of best practice, the newcomers could be called the naughties.

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