Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Study Reveals Major Challenges for Marketing by 2020

Understandably, community marketing is fixated on the short-term right now. This too shall pass but even bigger challenges loom 10 years from now.

A study by The Nielsen Company foretells that average annual spending by households will bump up between now and 2020 but then will begin a steep decline, meaning competition will be intensified by a dramatically shrinking pie.

As Baby Boomers age, birth rates remain low and household size decreases overall, the economically disadvantages segments of society will grow resulting in a dramatic drop in per capita spending.

Obviously there could be fewer travelers and much more competition for those who do. Communities will really discover the hard way how important visitors have been.

Destination Marketing Organizations will need dramatic changes in focus, tactics and products. It has taken between 30 and 40 years to come to grips with the changes in business travel including meetings and we certainly won’t have that kind of time.

We’ll also see some changes that impact sense of place. I can see the churn of building reuse spreading quickly beyond fast food and convenience stories to bank branch buildings, etc. It may mean that so-called suburbs will begin to churn the way Downtown’s did a few decades ago, which will create some dynamics in terms of land use that will put pressure on sense of place…or an opportunity to restore it. Judging by how we deal with abandoned housing, we need to noodle this one and quickly.

But at the base of it, as we’re now appearing to do with healthcare, it means we need to intensify efforts to eliminate poverty.

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