Half of all U.S. householders will be age 50 or older within five years. And, over 80% of all household growth will be in the 50-plus age range, noted Franchese. Among people 55 to 64, there will be a 22% growth in the purchase of second homes between 2003 and 2008.
"The real estate industry is thrilled," Francese said. But direct marketers will have to work harder to find these people because they will be at their country place or beach retreat instead of at home where you want to contact them, he said. "I estimate that 1 in 3 households are empty every weekend."
He said "Women received 58% of bachelor's and master's degrees this year. In most colleges, women are two-thirds of the students." These more highly educated women will earn more and demand more goods and services. Like other college-educated consumers, they read more and want product details, Francese said. They like print and are also avid Web buyers.
Another big trend is that office workers are now a majority of workers, and independent workers blur the line between work and leisure. "More consumers are both browsing and buying from their place of work. Send them relevant offers, Francese said, because they feel that time is money. "Place and timing of delivery of DM messages will become even more critical to the success of a direct campaign," he said.