National Geographic magazine is producing a year-long series exploring questions on global population. This year, the population will reach a milestone of seven billion people on the planet. That number will continue to rise, especially in poor countries, with global population predicted to reach 9 billion by 2045.
While this is fascinating from a human interest standpoint, it’s especially important from a marketing perspective since following demographic trends and understanding human behavior can drive the direction of every marketing move. Changes in the population affect the demand for certain products and services. Marketers must respond to these opportunities and challenges to meet these changing demands.
They say that demography is destiny, so the more that marketers know about the population, the better. According to the series, the typical person is a 28-year-old Han Chinese man. This demographic represents 9 million people. Typical people make topical choices, which is where understanding human characteristics and motivations come into play. Understanding the demographics of your market allows for better targeting, which leads to more concise strategy and messaging, and hopefully results in greater impact and action.
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While marketers rely on demographic information for a number of reasons, perhaps the strongest reason comes down to cost savings. Most marketing budgets heavily depend on their return on investment, and demographic data helps businesses get the most for their money by spending only on the specific groups of people that are likely to buy their products or services.
Overall, understanding global population trends can help marketers plan and position their marketing efforts, as well as discover new directions for growth. The National Geographic series will certainly show marketers the changing face of the world, but what they do with that data will determine if they face the future successfully.
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