Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column: On the Web, Amateurs Rivaling Professionals by Mark Penn

Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column
By MARK PENN with E. KINNEY ZALESNE
From The Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column
Published October 29, 2009

This is the age of the amafessional, when amateurs are rivaling professionals in opportunity, talent and the ability to produce quality work. It’s happening in virtually every field. In areas ranging from communications to medicine to simply making things with your hands, amafessionals are gaining in numbers and the ability to market their services.

Struggling amateurs used to want to become stars, and of course some still do, but this new phenomenon is different. Millions are participating just for the fun and challenge of it–-almost like running in a marathon. “Amafessionals” include both the amateur/professional hybrid and pajama professionals, who often work at home rather than the studio or the office.

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Politico: The Strategy Corner with Mark Penn: White House is right to push back

Politico

By MARK PENN
Published October 27, 2009

Republicans suggest that the aggressive move by the Obama White House to take on people and organizations that disagree with it and oppose its policies is an unprecedented abuse of government resources.

This is, of course, nonsense.

The Obama team is engaged in a series of tough legislative and press battles and is stepping up its game, not stepping over the line. And the actions taken by the White House are mild and pale compared with those of the Gingrich and Bush years.

Let’s look at the Republican record on this.

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FoxNews: Mark Penn on Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State

Burson-Marsteller CEO and former Hillary Clinton presidential campaign chief strategist Mark Penn appeared on Fox News’ ‘Fox and Friends’ this morning to discuss Hillary Clinton’s performance over her first nine months as Secretary of State.

Watch the video at FoxNews.com

Business Week: Pinning Down the New American Shopper by Mark Penn

Business Week

Pinning Down the New American Shopper
It’s about information, value, and being green: Today’s discriminating consumers are careful about how they spend, and they’re concerned about the planet

By Mark Penn and E. Kinney Zalesne

The consumer that marketers have had a lot of fun selling to over the last few decades is disappearing. Those were the days—when a snappy jingle did the trick, a celebrity carried the day, and a higher price signaled higher quality.

The old obsession with personality, emotion, and overarching experience is giving way to the green eyeshades of facts, research, and greater rationality. Not all consumers are changing, but enough are to start altering the way we market to and treat consumers. Originality and zaniness will still have their place, but marketers will have to deliver some cold, hard messages at the same time.

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Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column: The Declining Soccer Mom by Mark Penn

Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column
By MARK PENN with E. KINNEY ZALESNE
From The Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column
Published October 7, 2009

The soccer mom is in decline.

Married, middle-class but working suburban moms whose primary concern is how to enrich their children while they are away at work are declining in numbers, in influence and even as a key swing vote.

New preliminary 2008 census figures show that the percentage of households with their own kids under 18 has hit a record low of 30.7%. This is in sharp contrast to the situation in 1960, when nearly a majority (48.9%) of households had such children.

This is indicative not just of a decline in soccer moms, but in kids and population growth in general. Women are marrying later, developing their careers more, and having fewer children.

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Politico: The Strategy Corner with Mark Penn: Crossroads to action

Politico

By MARK PENN
Published October 6, 2009

We are in the midst of the Obama administration’s most important week to date, as it faces three decisions that, taken together, could very well shape its legacy.

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