The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow’s Big Changes
Authored by Mark Penn, released 9/07 reviewed/enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz 7/13
Believe it or not, Internet marrieds, teenage knitters & tattooed professionals have at least one thing in common. They exist in large enough numbers to be considered “micro-trends,” or what Pollster Mark Penn calls “small, under-the-radar forces” that have the power to profoundly shape our society. Penn maintains that it only takes 1% of the U.S. population—or about 3 million people—to create a movement that can change the world.
In the book “Microtrends”: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow’s Big Changes, Penn identifies 75 growing sub-groups that fit into general categories such as politics, race & religion, family life, & technology. He is considered one of the most perceptive pollsters in American politics, and he is known for identifying “Soccer Moms” as a significant constituency in President Bill Clinton’s 1996 re-election campaign.
Itching for the Niching. Microtrends, as Penn says, is “all about the niching of America.” Hundreds of Americans are drawn together by common interests, and these groups—even at relatively small numbers—can generate enough interest in a product to put it on the bestseller list or in a movie to turn it into a box office hit. According to Penn’s analysis, Women are now taking more active roles in shaping-up & purchasing technology, including consumer electronics. More people are turning into Do-It-Yourself Doctors, using the Internet to research their own ailments and to administer their own cures. Video games are enjoyed by more American Adults than Kids (up to 21). Retired people are continuing to work past 65 due to economic & mental stimulation factors. Dads are older and are spending more time with their kids.
Micro-Targeting. Besides simply identifying numerous microtrends, Penn also looks at how the skill of microtargeting can be a highly important marketing tool. If companies, marketers, and policymakers understood the power of only a small group, they might be able to meet the needs of a niche population more effectively.
[ Micro-Trends of Single Mothers by Choice, Team Sports to Individual Sports, Political & Business Impacts, and more in Premium Content