In assessing the impact on the marketing environment made by technology change, Kotler describes a somewhat unexpected chain of trends, products and markets created by the invention of the condom and contraceptive pill. In fact some claim contraception was one of the most influential inventions on mankind in the whole of the 20th century.
– contraception led to less children. Result: each child (especially in single child families) gets more, at higher prices – they’re more likely to be spoilt. Many toys and kids products were created by this need.
– less children meant mothers can (and do) work more (or return to work sooner). Result: more convenience products. Mums have less time to cook.
– more working mothers meant more independence. Result: more divorce. Women requested divorce more because “they could”. Post-divorce they can stand on their own two feet. (It’s a proven fact that women request more divorces than men.) Resulting marketing trend: more role-swapping, and products to match.
– more divorce meant more one-parent families and post-divorce singles. Result: a demand for less (and smaller) family packs. More single purchases.
And so it went on. In fact, I read some interesting statistics from the UK about changes in pet preferences resulting from smaller families and more working mothers (dogs have to be taken for walks and supervised more during the day. Cats can be thrown out).
The number of dogs in the UK dropped from 7.4 million in 1994 to 6.5 million now. Cat numbers have risen from 4 to 8 million.
I wonder if Spillers and other petfood manufacturers really think closely about these sort of marketing environment influences, or even realise their impact on markets. Cat population stimulated by contraception…