2 Insights Into the ‘Working From Home’ Market
Swim boxers. During a recent conference call, a senior-level marketer who shall remain nameless tells a group of marketers and me that he's working next to the pool during his vacation. Therefore, he says, he's dressed for the role he'll be using during the majority of the day.
This marketer isn't much different from his audience, which is filled with businesspeople and consumers who are no longer chained to offices and cubicles with desktop computers.
In fact, marketers who may still be putting prospects in roles that no longer fit them may be missing out. Even TV executives know it's time to view people as they really are and, as actor Maggie Gyllenhaal tells Time before her Golden Globe win on Sunday, people themselves have to stop pretending to be what they're not and "come alive and ... be a human being and do the best you can."
1. Learn More About the Work-at-Home Crowd. Even office workers may be spending part of the week working from home. When targeting this group, here are a few statistics to keep in mind from the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, published in June 2014:
- 36 percent age 25 and older hold a bachelor's degree or higher, compared with 7 percent who've earned less than a high school diploma.
- 31 percent of multiple jobholders are more likely to work at home than single jobholders, of whom 22 percent do so.
- 23 percent of employed people did some or all of their work at home.
- The self-employed are nearly three times more likely than other workers to work from home and are more likely to work during the weekend
While it may no longer be obvious who is working from home, there are opportunities for marketers who are interested in this group. One popped up during a Yahoo search on Monday for "people who work from home." Yahoo suggested a popular search of "gifts for people who work from home." Hint: Much of it is what a worker would have in a larger office—a desk, chair, coffeemaker, cleaning service, mail, IT, etc.
2. Don't Make Assumptions. In addition to the statistics in No. 1, the reasons for working from home may vary greatly. David Bancroft Avrick alludes to one in information the president and CEO of Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Avrick Consulting provides to marketers in May 2014.
"A subset of cohabitants is the millions of caregiver households," he says. "Often, elderly parents are being taken care of by their adult children who live in the same household. It's usually the adult child who makes the majority of the purchase decisions."
While on the subject of households, Avrick says 25 years ago, "45 percent of all households consisted of a married couple with children. That percentage has fallen to 26 percent."
How will marketers use this insight?
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