As marketers, we are always looking into our crystal ball, reading the tealeaves and flipping the tarots.


As marketers, we are always looking into our crystal ball, reading the tealeaves and flipping the tarots. 

Whatever it takes to be the industry’s Carnac the Magnificent.

“Who needs our product?  Who will buy?  What will they buy?  When?”  

As we discussed on August 12, a great deal of focus in the magical, mystical world behind the marketing curtain is spent in segmentation. The scientific and not-quite-so-scientific methods of running human being’s through a filter to better manage our time and monitory resources.

Recent blogs have yakked about segmentation from topics like: 8 life stages that you should market to and Mirror Modeling and Birds of a Feather methodologies. These are all great ways to plan for today and the near future. (And they’re absolutely brilliant prose!)

But how can you look a bit further out? Elementary, my dear Marketer … watch the schools.

The 2004 NEA research paper, K–12 Education inThe U.S. Economy: Its Impact on Economic Development,Earnings, and Housing Values, discussed these findings:

“With regard to effects on economic development, one statistical study found that cutting statewide public K–12 expenditures by $1 per $1,000 of state personal income would reduce the state’s personal income by about 0.3 percent in the short run and by 3.2 percent in the long run. They also note that another study found that such a cut would reduce the state’s manufacturing investment in the long run by 0.9 percent and manufacturing employment by 0.4 percent. Similarly, another researcher found that a decline in educational quality, as measured by a 10 percent drop in standardized test scores, would lead to a 2 to 10 percent reduction in home values.They also cite a study that found a 10 percent reduction in school expenditures could yield, in the long run, to a 1 to 2 percent drop in post school annual earnings.”

My simplistic, “If-Then” interpretation: When schools are managed poorly and/or necessary levies are routinely voted down – the level of education suffers. When the education suffers – people choose to move other places. When people move other places – so do business. When businesses move – so do jobs … then the community truly can’t afford the levies to fix the schools and the snowball gets bigger.

So, when you’re trying to decide where to build a branch, or what region of your footprint should demand your attention, or where the future opportunity is … of course, look at the current demographics, employment and economy … but also look at the schools. They hold the key to every city’s future.


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