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Marketing Moments | Broadway Does Marketing

Marketing Moments
October 3, 2023 9:00 AM

Sales and Marketing

Marketing content shared with Michigan Business Network by:

Bonnie J. Knutson, PhD

The School of Hospitality Business

Broad College of Business

Michigan State University


How many weddings have you been to where you hear...Sunrise, sunset, swiftly flow the days…Sunrise, sunset, swiftly fly the years. I imagine it is a lot. It seems that the words Tevye and Golde sing in the musical Fideler on the Roof are now the anthem for parents celebrating their child’s wedding.

For anyone in business, those lines also seem to echo how quickly time flies by and, before you know it, you are planning for your next year. Or as Peter Seeger sings, Where have all the flowers gone? Long time passing. So as you think about the direction of your next marketing plan, here are the three major forces that will drive your business’s upcoming strategy.

The first is having an ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) focus. Sustainability and Green initiatives now go far beyond changing to LED light bulbs, having paper recycling bins throughout your buildings, and adding electric vehicles to your delivery fleet. ESG is having taking a broader view in wholistic planning for [1] how its standards safeguard the whole environment, [2] how it manages relationships with staff, customers, suppliers, and community, and [3] leadership’s role in maintaining the financial success of the enterprise. Perhaps, most of all, every business needs to highlight its commitment to ESG through all its marketing channels. In this world of 24/7 social media and informational clutter, PR can be an important friend of your brand. All businesses - from butcher, to baker, to candlestick maker - need to rethink the role that public relations can have on their brand image, employee longevity, customer growth and engagement, along with the resulting impact on revenues and fiscal stability. For as my dad used to tell me, if you do something nice for the customers, be sure to “tell” them. In other words, you must control the club’s narrative. Do not let others do it for you.

The other force is a combination of three transformative demographics. Foremost among them is the fact that the US population is not replacing itself. The U.S. fertility rate in 2023 is 1.79 births per woman or less than half the peak rate of 3.7 births per woman in the late 1950s. Said another way, in the not-too-distant future, there will be a significant smaller pool of

customers and employees for your business. It is the old supply and demand principle. Second, while there may be more of us, we will be a much older and diverse nation. In 2030 – that is a mere six years down the road from your 2024 business plan – the US Census Bureau projects that there will be almost as many older folks as there are younger ones. Said another way, as the Baby Boomer cohort ages, this “new elderly” cluster will be about the same size as the younger cohort. As one demographer puts it, “The numbers of young people will have grown just a little to 76.3 million, but the numbers of old people will have increased a lot – to 74.1 million…By 2030, there will most likely be over 130,000 centenarians in the U.S…That’s a lot of really old people.”

The year 2030 will see another hallmark in the US population. For the first time immigration numbers are expected to overtake the natural birth rate as the driving force of population growth. This leads to the third transformative demographic for your business strategy; that of the changing racial make-up of the US population. The White share of the U.S. population has been decreasing since 1950 and it will continue to go down. Projections for 2030 show that the Whites will drop to about 55.8% of the US population and Hispanics will grow to 21.1%. The Black and Asian will likewise show significant increases. The Census Bureau also expects, “whites will become a minority, dropping below 50% of the U.S. population in around the year of 2045. Hispanics and the other racial minorities will be the country’s main demographic engine of population change in future years; this is the most significant demographic change Americans will see.”

Building a varied employee and customer base can lead to a broader range of perspectives and ideas, resulting in new products, services, and community engagement opportunities. Plus, businesses that actively promote their diversity and inclusivity are more likely to have a positive image in their communities. This can attract an even wider and more diverse pool of potential customers and employees because people are increasingly attracted to organizations that demonstrate inclusivity. And because a diverse profile can make your business more appealing to a broader range of people, leading you towards greater financial stability.

Your Bottomline Will Thank You!

Marketing Moments, hosted by Dr. Bonnie Knutson. With her wit and entertaining style, Bonnie, a frequent speaker at business and association meetings takes her perspective and brings it to our broadcast platform. She shares decades of knowledge and brand awareness, and gives us all a new lens on marketing for business.

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