Tag Archives: situation analysis

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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Why Can’t Ketchup, well… Catchup?

It’s happened again – one minute consumers are buying in a predictable way, at the usual times, and in the usual patterns. Then, boom! Everything changes.

But this time, instead of earlier toilet paper shortages, the product causing big problems is ketchup! Especially those small packets that are loved by fast-food customers everywhere.

The culprit, once again, causing this supply chain saga is Covid-19. Yes, the pandemic appears to have influenced every facet of consumer behavior. The main shift was caused by closed restaurants that drove consumers to the fast-food drive-in restaurants and home cooking, rather than dine-in restaurant options. It also turned many former dine-in restaurants into takeout places, making ketchup a commodity included in more food orders.

Ketchup packet prices have risen 13% since last January and the market share of packets (sachets) has eclipsed that of tabletop bottles. Ketchup is the most consumed sauce at U.S. restaurants, and even more is eaten at home. The pandemic has increased overall retail ketchup sales in the U.S. by 15% to more than $1 billion. Kraft Heinz leads the market with nearly 70% of the total U.S. market.

Kraft is responding to the shortage and plans to open two new manufacturing lines and increase production by about 25%. It has also innovated a no-touch ketchup dispenser to use at restaurants to help meet safety concerns caused by Covid.

Pass the ketchup please.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the elements in the supply chain and marketing channel.
  2. Diagram the supply chain and marketing channel for toilet paper.
  3. Show a news video about the shortage: https://youtu.be/4A7ObtFfYrE
  4. Where are the stress points in the supply chain and marketing channel?
  5.  What can be done to better produce and manage products?
  6. Poll students: What are their predictions for the next shortage?

Source: New York Times; Reuters News; Wall Street Journal; other news sources

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What does Gen Z Want from Brands Right Now?

“May you live in interesting times.” Is this a blessing or a curse? On the one hand, “interesting times” are full of action and movement (fun!), and of course some drama (not fun). On the other hand, “interesting times” means that we are not bored with a daily routine and our eyes are opened to different situations (fun and not fun).

This year is certainly a year of interesting times with the coronavirus pandemic wreaking havoc in the world. Businesses closed, schools closed, no graduations, proms, or commencement ceremonies, and the daily worry about contracting Covid-19. Now add the social upheaval about policing, riots, and confronting racism, and our stress levels ratchets up to a very high level!

What do consumers want to hear from companies and brands right now? And, specifically, what does Generation Z want to hear? A recent survey of younger consumers aged 13 – 25 revealed that these young people want to see brands make a difference and explain how they are protecting employees, as well as protecting consumers. Here are some of the findings about the type of communications and contents that Gen Z wants:

  • 88% – Brands should be communicating about Covid-19.
  • 59% – Want information about how brands are keeping employees safe and financially protected.
  • 47% – Want positive and uplifting stories.
  • 55% – Want information about how brands are helping local communities.
  • 48% – Want resources to help consumers like accessing mental and health support.
  • 59% – Brands should donate profits from consumer purchases to relief efforts.

Basically, Gen Z wants to see authentic and sincere statements. Gen Z wants to see that the brands they buy are working to give back to local communities.

What messages are important to you?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: What is their opinion about a brand’s responsibility to the consumers in today’s environment?
  2. Divide students into teams. Have each team identify three messages that they would like to see from a brand. Consider giving each team a different brand to focus on for the messages.
  3. Put the messages together and compare the results of each group.
  4. Show the research infographic: https://www.adweek.com/brand-marketing/infographic-what-gen-z-wants-to-see-from-brands-during-a-pandemic/?utm_content=adoftheday&utm_source=postup&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=FirstThingsFirst_Newsletter_200615054639&lyt_id=194931
  5. How closely does this match the students’ concerns?

Source: Ad Week

 

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