THE GREAT DIVIDE - THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Market big, sell small. Or is that, macro-marketing and micro-selling?
Globalism and digital marketing have dictated the need, and the advisability, to consider, if not pursue, broad-horizon opportunities.
Physical constraints and focus now limit thinking more than they impinge on operations, marketing and distributions.
Many small and medium sized entities now have the capacity to service interstate, inter-regional and international marketplaces. Capabilities and desires are quite distinct factors, for some.
A recent fleeting, but in-depth study of six city-based marketplaces in North America provided invaluable learning and understanding of the complexity of the contemporary, often contiguous economies. It also enables one to understand why the nation is titled the United States and not, the United Markets of America.
San Francisco, Seattle, Philadelphia, New York, Memphis and New Orleans are geographically dispersed. The nature, composition, character and status of the respective localised marketplaces are equally different and individualistic.
That explains in part the market variability in the performance of national and global marketing campaigns between a spectrum of marketplaces.
Today, target audiences are today complex and challenging. Reliance on established, recognised and trusted brands, complemented with substantial multi-channel marketing budgets are inadequate to achieve optimal impact, penetration, sales and profits.
A local, active and interactive presence is imperative. Passive, stand-off philosophies do not resonate with specific consumers.
Hence, the increasing profiling of local flagship outlets for brands like Nespresso, Rolex, Apple and Ralph Lauren.
It is recognition that effective marketing creates latent potential that can be best and most proficiently converted into revenue by the presence of sales by enthusiastic, proud, committed and product-knowledge – savvy sales and service people.
It is often stated that the business of America, is business. Today, it needs to be stimulated, promoted and for deals to be closed.
Marketing, advertising, promotions and merchandising simply open the doors. Throughout the USA there is at present an all-pervasive reluctance to spend. Understandable when one realises that the average income of an American (not the minimum wage), when inflation and consumer price index increments are neutralised, have over the past 40 years increased by a miserable .2%. That is .2% over 40 years, not .2% per annum over a period of 40 years.
Thus, wages-induced wealth creation for the nation has stagnated.
Little wonder the electorate is disenchanted with politicians, political leaders and the public service. Unintended consequences, including the election of Donald Trump as President, are conspicuous.
Those in the evolving economically important millenniums generation will experience living standards marginally below those of the preceding generation. Greatest concern is held for the economic well-being of children who will enter the jobs market and economy in 10 to 20 years’ time.
The rate of economic decline will accelerate.
Infrastructure in the long-established cities, like San Francisco and New York, is aged, and in urgent need of repair, upgrading, renewal and replacement.
Sadly, the state and capital cities of those localities are deep in debt, burdened by the need to repay loans and lacking the prospect for increased revenue, generated by growing incomes.
Growth in local manufacturing is being achieved without the need to invest in new plants and capacity. Recent contractions in output and workforces are being reversed. However, capacity has not been increased and concrete plans for capital investments are scant.
Making America Great Again is a relative, not an absolute statement or goal.
HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL
Notwithstanding the barriers, filters and impediments, the USA will continue to produce entrepreneurs, digitally-disruptive entities and rapidly accumulated wealth … - for some. There will be those whose focus will be on thinking big and complementing it with an integrated and committed supply-chain populated with those who act small, and locally.
Opportunities were readily identified in retail, pharmacy, construction, finance, wholesale and accounting services. In addressing and facilitating business development workshops for those in respective disciplines, it was apparent many enthusiastically comprehended and embraced available philosophies, strategies and tactics.
Opportunities seem to be global. Fulfilment is typically local.
Amazon in Australia is a case-in-point.
BEYOND PHYSICAL PRESENCE
Seattle, on the West Coast of the USA, in the state of Washington, is the home city for the head-offices of Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, Nordstrom, Boeing and Starbucks, among others.
It has a population of some 3 million in the greater metropolitan area.
The presence of Amazon is ubitiquous, but not conspicuous. Its workforce in the city is reported to be 55,000.
An entire city block is occupied by the Amazon campus for training, development and further education. Adjacent are three high-rise buildings which accommodate most of the local Amazon team members.
Noticeably, there are no Amazon signs, logos or uniformed employees.
Macys, the largest department store chain in the world, has occupied an eight-storey building for over 108 years. It has been hit by the marketplace presence of Amazon. In recent times it has sold the top four floors for a total $110 million (US). The purchaser – Amazon. Alas, the perpetrator has become the saviour.
Commercial and residential rents, along with house prices, have spiralled in recent years, to the extent that many aspirant Amazon employees can’t afford to live in the area.
Amazon is currently searching world-wide for an affordable co-head office location. It has received a reported 238 submissions.
The company has traded in, but not from Australia, for more than a decade. Opening its first Fulfilment Centre in Victoria on Thursday, 22 November (Thanksgiving Day in the USA) heralded a new era for consumers and businesses.
A local physical presence will accelerate conversion of the potential, which has been created by its global marketing.
Point made. Lesson learnt.
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