Sunday, December 06, 2009

Predicting the economic health of geographic areas

Marketers spend a lot of their time trying to be smarter than their competitors by being better at predicting the future. My experience has been that there are lots of small crumbs of information about and if you spend the time looking you can add them together to increase your odds of guessing right.

Here is an example of what I mean. The graphic shows the contribution to local economic growth between 1997-2006 (%) of public, rather than private sector expenditure. The one thing we know for absolute certainty is that in the next decade public sector spend will be slashed.

The geographic areas that owe their economic existence to the public purse are going to be really badly hit. If I was looking at the map of the UK for places to make my marketing bets it would be those with the least threat from spending cuts. Of course there are lots of other factors to take into account, like population density, but in the eye of the blind the one eyed man is king. Better one, hazy eye, than none at all. Dick Stroud

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