Wednesday, June 26, 2013

PMI and younger people

Demographics. It's a difficult word - not in terms of its definition but in terms of what it means to study demographics.

For instance, if you  were to consult focus groups, take surveys, do consumer research and so on, then make an advert targeted at someone who seems to be the 'average' UK resident, then it would appeal to few - since nobody really actually is the average - or, indeed, has 2.4 children.

But there is a broader use of demographics that can really show starkly how society is changing. Take for instance the numbers of young people in tertiary education and compare it to 50 years ago. Have we got smarter as a society? Some would say definitely not. But then, if you look at the prevalence of computer use and the far higher amount of data we all come into contact with on a daily basis, there's no doubt that the human brain has changed over the last century. Just look at the Flynn Effect - whatever's happening, in terms of IQ test results we're becoming less dumb all the time!

All of which leads me to an interesting story in HI magazine recently which highlights the fact that there could be a big demographic challenge within the PMI industry. According to the professor of health policy at a top London university, wile the NHS will survive, 'the welfare state in its current form' is likely to change and with it provide opportunities for PMI. One of the objectives PMI as a whole should aim for, said the professor, is to increase the number of customers under age 40.

Of course, this is partly a question of economics, and with youth unemployment still far too high (although falling) there are fewer people in work and therefore fewer who can make the choice of purchasing PMI. But come boom time, it could provide a demographic health transformation.

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