Survey: Customer Profiles Set to Change as U.K. Company Directors Migrate North


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The KDB Annual Survey of UK Company Directors 2008 has found that the demographic profile of the nation is changing as more and more company directors are choosing to live outside of London and the South East, with ‘a gradual migration of company directors from the South of England, to more northerly regions, as well as Scotland and Wales’.

The research will be a valuable tool for CRM professionals looking to understand local demographics within the UK and will give a fuller picture of changing customer profiles.

Matthew Boot, Chief Analyst at KDB, noted that ‘the density of company directors in each locality provides us with an effective proxy and map of entrepreneurial and wealth-creating Britain’. As this map changes, so will the customers coming into local shops.

The 2.83 million company directors in the UK make a disproportionate contribution to both local and national economies. Despite making up just 6% of the adult population, they contribute 1/3 of income tax revenue and more than £5.7bn in Council Tax. As a result, they serve as a strong indication of the vitality of local economies.

While London still has the highest density of company directors in the country (10.4% of the adult population), the South East (8.1%) saw the biggest fall in the proportion of the population who are company directors with the figures for the South Coast (6.4%), East Anglia (5.5%) and South West (5.7%) dropping as well. In contrast, the North East (4.2%), North West (5.1%), Midlands (5.2%), Wales (3.9%) and Scotland (4%) all saw their proportions grow.

This trend was reflected in the UK’s large cities, with Birmingham (5.2%), Edinburgh (4.8%), Glasgow (3.9%), Liverpool (3.9%) and Manchester (4.5%) all recording growth, but 46 out of the top 50 London districts showing a decrease.

The report suggests that the reason for the shift may be advancements in ‘modern web and communications technology which allows people to run their businesses in virtually any location’ but ‘may also represent a trend amongst affluent people towards putting more value on quality of life and “off-time”‘. As regeneration projects provide quality infrastructure and culture across the UK, the lure of the capital is diminished.

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