The Social EnvironmentThe way in whichchanges in societyaffect a business’ activities
Societal changes link with marketing• Changes in society are a key driver of change in markets• Segments often defined based on social groups (e.g. income, age, gender)• Size, structure and growth of segments closely related to changing social trends• Marketing has to understand the nature and significance of social trends
Social changes can seem contradictory More people Growth in adult & joining health clubs child obesity BUT
Some areas to considerPopulation Family Labour Market Lifestyles Housing
Example – Population Size The estimated resident population of the UK was 61.4million in 2008, up by 408,000 on 2007. Children aged under 16 represented around one in five of the total population, around the same proportion as those of retirement age. In mid-2008 the average age of the population was 39 years, up from 37 in 1998.Adapted from Social Trends 2009
Example – Population Structure The population of the UK is ageing. Over the last 25 years the percentage of the population aged 65 and over increased from 15 per cent in 1983 to 16 per cent in 2008, an increase of 1.5 million people in this age group. This trend is projected to continue. By 2033, 23 per cent of the population will be aged 65 and over compared to 18 per cent aged 16 or younger.Adapted from Social Trends 2009
Example – Mortality Rates Mortality rates are declining at all ages. More recently, further decreases have occurred at older ages. During the 1960s and 1970s, the largest declines in mortality rates occurred in the age-group 35-59 years. Since the 1980s, the age- group 60-79 has experienced the largest declines in mortality rates.Adapted from Social Trends 2009
Which businesses might benefit? Population Growing in size Population is ageing Mortality rates are falling
Lifestyle – Changing Media Consumption• Decline in newspaper readership• Growth of digital Winners television channels and• Uptake of broadband Losers? Internet• Online social networking
Example – Growth of Single Households Traditional household structures are changing with family sizes generally decreasing. The biggest change is the increase in single person households. By 2021 35% of households are expected to consist of just one person. This is due to a rise in divorce rates, lone parents, elderly women outliving men and the growth of young professionals living alone.
Example – Decline in Marriage There were 270,000 weddings in the UK in 2007, a fall of 2.7 per cent since 2006. Marriages registered in England and Wales fell by 3.3 per cent in 2007 to 231,450, which is the lowest number of marriages since 1895 (228,204). The long-term picture for UK weddings is one of decline from a peak of 480,285 marriages in 1972.
Some business implications of more single-person households• Greater demand for smaller housing (e.g. flats)• Greater demand for electrical appliances, water & fast-food• Less demand for family holidays• A more flexible workforce?
Societal change over the long-term Most changes in the social environment occur over the medium-to-long term – and are well researched and reported