Thursday, March 28, 2013

Demographic Trends and Software Sales

Book review of The Age Curve - How to Profit from the Coming Demographic Storm by Kenneth W. Gronbach (published 2008 by AMACOM).

I first learned of Ken Gronbach's demography book when I read an article he'd written for a local print publication, Hartford Magazine. His ideas are intriguing, and I immediately ordered "The Age Curve."

Gronbach believes that the major changes which we have experienced in the United States - and which we will experience in the future - in the marketplace and in the world at large, are due to the size of successive generations.

The author is the first to acknowledge that his theory simplifies a very complex topic. But Gronbach makes a convincing argument for the relationship between population and a lot of the rising and falling of specific companies and market trends.

microISVs are correct to focus their efforts on their immediate marketing problem. Trends, however, are also important.

Gronbach's book focuses on demographics in the United States, but his principles apply worldwide. And if you're marketing software applications, the US represents the biggest market on the planet. So the conditions that Gronbach describes could affect the success of your business, regardless of where your company is located.

The author believes that demographic trends dictate the demand side of the sales and marketing equation. To be successful, it's important to have a high-quality software product, a solid business plan, and a strong marketing budget. But the ebbs and flows of population are going to strongly influence your success.

We live in a marketplace where large and small generations take turns, and shape the economy. Small generations buy fewer products and services than large generations. And Gronbach tells us that different generations have their own personalities. Gronbach would undoubtedly tell us that if we understand these demographics, we'll sell more software products and services.

To me, Gronbach's book was a real eye-opener. And it was a lot of fun to read. "The Age Curve" can strengthen your software marketing.

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