“…Interestingly, some folk are finally beginning to weigh in on the more rational approach to selling. Mark Penn, in a new book called Microtrends, makes the point that “the rational side of people is far more powerful in many areas of life than the purely emotional side.” He should know, as he is widely regarded as the most perceptive pollster in American politics. He is also the worldwide CEO of Burson-Marsteller, a very large PR firm…”
Mark Penn talks about how he got into polling, the high and low points in his career, undiscovered trends, and the power of the internet to bring people together to create change.
“…Mark Penn’s book Microtrends, a survey of emerging demographic and psychographic groups, includes a chapter on “Neglected Dads.” Penn charts the course of McDonald’s, which figured out early on that marketing directly to kids could increase the bottom line (not to mention those kids’ bottoms). But sometime in the mid 1990s, “moms started paying more attention to what their children ate.” That led to initiatives like 2004’s “McMom,” which includes an online newsletter with tips on parenting.
Yet at a recent company retreat, Penn pointed out to McDonald’s execs that since the 1970s, fathers have been spending more time with their kids. In fact, in 1997, dads living at home spent 65% as much time in the company of their progeny during the week as their mothers did, and 87% as much time on the weekends, per a University of Michigan study.
Penn continues: “This is serious father-child interaction time, say the researchers—which means meals. But where is the McDad initiative? Who’s targeting the volunteer coaches who need a place to take the kids after Saturday’s practice?”…
Like other businesses, politics these days is conducted less in person than on speaker phone and laptops. Campaign consultants, policy analysts, fund-raisers and bloggers do most of their work in the comfort of their own homes, or in their cars, or maybe at Starbucks. Political professionals have as a result become part of a much larger American movement. In his new book, “Microtrends,” the Democratic pollster Mark Penn notes that 4.2 million Americans now work exclusively from home (a nearly 100 percent increase from 1990), while some 20 million do it part time. Some of these workers are employees who telecommute to traditional offices, but most represent a kind of modern, untethered American work force.