I’ve been spending alot of time in the UK with my new job, and in reading research this week from the Financial Times, I learned a new term: singleton. Apparently singletons are being coveted by marketers because they new represent a significant demographic in the UK.
Now, who is the most famous fictional ‘singleton’ of all-time… Bridget Jones, of course. It seems that in reality she is far from being a ‘social pariah’ and has moved to the forefront of both the British household and the mind of the marketer.
“The latest census data show there are now almost twice as many one-person households as traditional family homes containing two parents and children.”
This is a huge demographic shift from 1M to 7.1M during a 10 year period making singletons representative of 30 per cent of all households in England and Wales – more than any other category.
But not all singletons are the same. As Experian noted “Demographics tell only part of the story and there are important nuances.”
For example this group spans ‘struggling singleton’ (those typically aged 18-25 with incomes of £10K p/annum or less) as well as the ‘suddenly singletons’ (the wealthiest group) and ‘starting out singletons’ (the upwardly mobile urban-dwelling young folk deemed most attractive to advertisers).
The study highlights a couple of critical challenges for marketers. Firstly, that we can no longer rely on social “norms” to target our marketing. It’s not just singletons changing the face of our social make-up. As society becomes more diverse so does the consumer make-up of the households we’re targeting.
Secondly, knowing that advanced data usage can provide detailed insights in to where people live and shop, how they use technologies like mobile and web, and even their likely political and social views, raises the bar for marketers across every sector.
Those who can navigate and use this data, will rapidly gain competitive advantage, while those who don’t, risk losing relevance and market share.
This article was originally posted on the iJento blog as “Marketing Challenge: The New Singleton.” I will republish some of the blogs I’m writing for iJento on this site from time to time.
[Image: “Bridget Jones’s Diary: Music From The Motion Picture“]