Tag Archives: environmental scan

The Changing Face of America

Demographic information is very important to marketers. Demographics are descriptors; data that can be somewhat easily described such as age, gender, education, occupation, ethnicity, household size, and more. With this information, marketers can best target campaigns to the correct target market.

The recent census results highlight the changing American demographics from 2010 to 2020. Population has significantly changed in many ways since the 2010 Census results.

  • U.S. metro areas grew 9%, resulting in 86% of the population in metro areas compared to 85% in 2020.
  • The largest cities in the country are New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, and Phoenix.
  • The fastest growing U.S. metro area was The Villages, Fla., which grew 39% to about 130,000 people.
  • People who reported being more than one race spiked.
  • Multiracial population is now 33.8 million people, a 276% increase since 2010 (Note that the census tool has been revised since 2010 to give a more accurate racial report.)
  • White population declined by 8.6%.
  • African-American population grew 5.6%
  • Asian population grew by 35%.
  • Hispanic population grew by 23%.
  • The overall U.S. population growth has slowed to 7.4%, the slowest rate in a century.
  • More than 77.9% of the population were age 18 and over.
  • Housing units increased 6.7% to more than 140 million units.

No one expects the country to stay the same. What surprised you about the results?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance of demographics as part of environmental scanning and marketing plans.
  2. Show the recent Census results: https://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2021/population-changes-nations-diversity.html
  3. The 2020 Census map viewer can be found at: https://www.census.gov/library/visualizations/2021/geo/demographicmapviewer.html
  4. Divide students into teams. Have each team review the results. What surprised them? How can the data be used?
  5. Class discussion: What are some of the broad implications of the changing U.S. demographics?

Source:  U.S. Census Bureau; New York Time; other news sources

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Meal Kits Rebound

Meal kits have been around for a number of years. When they first launched, the novelty and ease of use quickly drove the subscriptions up. But sales plateaued as competitors proliferated and differentiation between companies was missing. After all, how many meal subscriptions does a household need? The cost of the first sale was high, and competitors all seemed to be trying to reach the same target market. Growth stalled.

But, the coronavirus pandemic is changing the dynamics of the market once again. With more people staying at home, restaurants closed, and fear of the virus in crowded places such as supermarkets, meal kits are primed for a resurgence. According to Nielsen Research, consumer spending on meal kits in April of this year is nearly double the level from the same period a year ago.

Restaurants also are getting in on the action with Panera Break readying a launch of its own make-your-own salad and sandwich kits. It is being joined by other dining chains such as Denny’s, Chick-fil-A, Shake Shack, and others. Doing an Internet search for “meal subscription boxes” brings up dozens of options for meal and snack subscriptions!

Environmental conditions have a big impact.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance of environmental scanning in marketing.
  2. What are the environmental factors that are impacting the meal kit industry?
  3. How can meal kit companies use this information to retain and grow their customer base?
  4. Divide students into team. Have each team research one of the following meal kit companies, or another of their choosing:

Hello Fresh: https://www.hellofresh.com/

Home Chef: https://www.homechef.com/

Sun Basket: https://sunbasket.com/

Blue Apron: https://www.blueapron.com/

Freshly: https://www.freshly.com/

  1. How are these companies different? How are they similar? What is the value offered by each company?
  2. Have students build a SWOT analysis chart for the company.

Source: Wall Street Journal; other news sources

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Airbnb: Agility in Services

Companies and marketers are facing unusual times. Since the coronavirus has impacted global businesses, nearly all companies have had to make pivots in strategy to accommodate the rapidly changing environmental conditions.

One of the industries hardest hit by the coronavirus is travel and tourism. Airplanes are nearly empty as states implement stay-at-home policies. Hotels have empty rooms. Restaurants are restricted to curb-side delivery only. Honestly, it’s a mess and every marketer has to be up for the challenge and demonstrate agility.

Case in point: Airbnb has had to halt its ‘Experiences’ business where local residents provide unique experiences to travelers. It hosts 40,000 events in more than 1,000 cities around the globe. But, due to coronavirus, the in-person experiences are closed until stay-at-home restrictions lift.

Pivoting with the changing environment, Experiences offers online events in more than 30 countries. Experiences include tango lessons with a Latin Grammy nominee, guided meditation with sleepy sheep in United Kingdom, meditation with a Japanese Buddhist monk in Japan, and my favorite – a day in the life of an Olympic bobsledder!

Airbnb provides free experiences for isolated senior, giving them an opportunity to meet new people, but also travel anywhere in the world to learn something new.

Search out new experiences.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the differences between marketing products and marketing services.
  2. What has been the impact of the coronavirus on the travel and tourism industry?
  3. What are ways that this industry can stay relevant and responsive to a changing marketplace?
  4. View the Airbnb Web site: https://www.airbnb.com/s/experiences/online
  5. A video about the service can also be found at: https://youtu.be/XhaTCzKrEtE
  6. Discuss the Airbnb experiences. Which ones would student try?

Source: Ad Week; Associated Press; other news sources

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