Network marketing companies need two things to thrive. First they need a growing distributor base. Second they need demand for their product. The timing could not be more perfect for an explosion in home based businesses over the next decade. Renowned economist, Paul Zane Pilzer is on record predicting in 2006 that he believes the United States economy will create 10 million new millionaires by 2016. He further states that the fastest growing segments will be Health and Wellness and Network Marketing. He has uncanny accuracy. The Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for 2009 was awarded to Dallin Larsen. Mr Larsen is the CEO of a Nutritional Beverage network marketing company, MonaVie.
The Baby Boomer Generation drives the economy. This cohort has shaped marketing strategy as well as the retail landscape. The leading edge of the baby boomer juggernaut is celebrating their 65th birthday every 8 seconds according to a recent article in USA Today. The trailing edge will turn 65 in 2029. Many of these 77 million members have been forced out of the workforce early, are finding it difficult to find employment, watched their retirement accounts evaporate and lost equity in their homes. They have social credibility, disposable income and a desire to work which is the perfect combination to drive up network marketing company enrollment rates. More importantly to network marketing companies, they still have bills to pay because they refuse to slow down and control expenses.
Amway certainly understands that it is a great opportunity to recruit more distributors and is actively promoting the benefits of becoming “An Amway Independent Business Owner.” Ironically, they are employing traditional marketing channels when they have built an empire touting the merits of word of mouth recommendations to friends and family.
There are direct and indirect product demands that will be driven by the baby boomers. This generation is all about dismissing old age. Boomers go to great lengths to look and feel younger. Cosmetic surgery, teeth whitening, joint relief and nutritional food stores continue to realize great growth trends. Couple that with a home based delivery system (indirect product demand) that pays distributors to be the spokesperson and baby boomers have the perfect marriage for driving network marketing growth.
The MLM Decade?
I predict a shift away from traditional part time employment to home based business. Baby boomers will seek more control over their lives as the lure of company benefits has been vaporized by shareholders demanding strong earnings. Company loyalty is a thing of the past. Many baby boomers will engage their entrepreneurial spirit and drive yet another trend in marketing. Network marketing will satisfy the insatiable appetite for the aging boomers to stay in the game. Getting paid to market a product without the constraints of a traditional job will be very appealing to these reluctant retirees. After all, they are learning social networking from their kids, why not monetize it?