Bill Gates, Tony Blair and President Clinton are among those who have listened closely to Mark Penn.
In Microtrends, you’ll understand why so many influential leaders have sought his counsel.
Penn argues that the biggest trends in America are the microtrends -- the smaller trends that go unnoticed or even ignored. One percent of the nation, or 3 million people, can create new markets for a business, spark a social movement, or produce political change.
Microtrends takes the reader deep into the worlds of polling, targeting, and psychographic analysis, reaching tantalizing conclusions through lively analysis. Microtrends highlights everything from business and politics to leisure and relationships.
America's Newest Profession: Bloggers for Hire
The Wall Street Journal - April 20, 2009
In America today, there are almost as many people making their living as bloggers as there are lawyers. Already more Americans are making their primary income from posting their opinions than Americans working as computer programmers or firefighters.
Paid bloggers fit just about every definition of a microtrend: Their ranks have grown dramatically over the years, blogging is an important social and cultural movement that people care passionately about, and the number of people doing it for at least some income is approaching 1% of American adults.
Fearless Freddies: Bungee-Jumping in the New Economy
The Wall Street Journal - April 1, 2009
In these uncertain times, most people are seeking protection and safety from the prospect of even more economic turbulence. But another group is going bungee-jumping into the middle of the financial crisis -- bravely increasing their investments even as the markets and the financial system collapse and gloomy predictions abound.
These "Fearless Freddies" are the ones who had the stomach to invest in Citigroup when its share price dipped below a dollar. They are the ones buying oil (and oil stocks) as it hits new lows. They are down in Florida looking for condos and checking out the foreclosures. They are either the smartest people in this changed economy -- or the dumbest.
Value Is the New Green
The Wall Street Journal - March 13, 2009
Until recently, being green was the best way for companies to demonstrate a sense of social responsibility, and for consumers to feel good about their purchases. Healthy food, hybrid cars, energy efficiency -- these were the attributes that burnished brands.
But now green is taking a back seat to a new core value -- value. Green hasn't gone away, but companies are having to consider their "value" equation to try to serve the millions of consumers who either can't afford premium experiences, or just don't want them anymore.
Mark Penn's Microtrends Interview - Morning Joe
MSNBC - March 2, 2009
Laid-Off Lawyers and Other Professionals
The Wall Street Journal - March 2, 2009
With all the concern about America's manufacturing sector losing jobs, it is easy to miss that the newest phenomenon is the wholesale loss of professional jobs, the very jobs that fueled America's economic resurgence and political realignment over the last decade.
America has been losing manufacturing jobs for decades. The rest of the world has, too, including China, mostly because automation has made manufacturing more efficient. In the meantime, we have had huge growth in America's professional class: engineers, software writers, lawyers, doctors -- even licensed massage therapists.
The Wall Street Journal - February 19, 2009
Presidents and politicians no longer talk about simply creating jobs -- now they are creating "green jobs." Just in the stimulus bill alone, there are said to be four million new green jobs. It's a great term -- it conjures up neatly dressed employees working under compact fluorescent lights, and factory workers in white and green helmets huddled over solar cells and wind turbines. These aren't boring office jobs or repetitive manufacturing plant jobs -- no, they're socially useful and rewarding jobs. And they'll save the planet, too.
Not so long ago, the buzzword was "new economy" jobs. Then as manufacturing jobs shrank and professional jobs mushroomed, this term became politically incorrect: it implied that America was going to abandon the manufacturing sector in favor of software coders, engineers and other geeks.
The Wall Street Journal - February 3, 2009
With all the stimulus ready to go into more broadband, bigger tax cuts and infrastructure, some of America's most expensive societal investments are also on the decline and in need of a bailout -- getting married.
Marriage in America is on the rocks. People skirt the issue, talking about how career women delay marriage until it's too late, or about how men marry younger the second time around. But the truth is, except for the highest-income Americans among us, fewer and fewer of us are getting married at all.
Married couples with children now make up fewer than one in four U.S. households. That's half the rate of 1960. Married households of any type have been in the minority since 2005.
New Info Shoppers
The Wall Street Journal - January 8, 2009
With so much attention on psychological marketing these days -- finding new ways to tap into people's heads -- perhaps the single most neglected trend out there is the move towards more hard-nosed information-based shopping and purchasing.
While elites were busy shoveling money into Madoff's black box these past few years, strapped consumers have been poring over product spec sheets, third-party reviews and expert blog sites. This past holiday season they watched every dollar. A special kind of consumer has taken a major role in the marketplace -- the new info shopper.
The Wall Street Journal - December 24, 2008
Just as more people in China are working for firms that are privately owned, more workers in America are waking up to find themselves working for companies that are -- at least for now -- state-owned.
This new class of workers and executives in newly state-owned businesses is getting a crash course in what and what not to do as a quasi-government worker. Risk is out. Bonuses out. Off-site conferences out. Job security in. Paperwork in. Accountability in. Political limelight in.
The Impressionable Elites Get Snookered
The Wall Street Journal - December 16, 2008
For most of this century, con men and hucksters preyed on the uneducated and the elderly who couldn't read the fine print. Some still are.
But now we learn that the real mother lode for con artists is not composed of uninformed dowagers who were left an estate they don't know how to manage, but rather the Impressionable Elites* of country clubs, and the rarefied hedge fund managers of Wall Street and Greenwich.
The Mattress Stuffers
The Wall Street Journal - December 10, 2008
As the financial crisis swept across the nation these past few months, one of the first microtrend groups to emerge is the New Mattress Stuffers -- people who have lost their trust in the financial world, and are preparing for the next meltdown.
Ideas: Penn on who won at conventions
Politico - September 9, 2008
Here's my post-convention take on the most important questions likely to decide the general election. Who won the conventions? No one - or everyone - won. The post-convention polls suggest that the party gatherings did not fundamentally change the race - this is going to go right down to the wire, and debates will be key. Nearly 55 million people voted in the primaries, and nearly 40 million watched the key speeches at both conventions. Voters are interested, listening and undecided. ........read more>>
DNC sets high bar for RNC to reach
Politico - September 1, 2008
As the Republicans get their turn this week at the GOP convention in St. Paul, Minn., they start out with a difficult - though not impossible - mountain to climb. Democratic nominee Barack Obama is getting his convention bump for his party confab in Denver last week. If the Republican convention this week fails, the rest of the campaign probably won't matter much. ........read more>>
Politico - August 25, 2008
For eight years, President Bill Clinton prepared America for the 21st century, restoring optimism and activism to the presidency, redefining America's role in the world, funneling more money to the poor and underserved while balancing the budget and creating the foundation for the one of the greatest economic expansions since the Industrial Age. ........read more>>
Mapping a path to the White House
Politico - August 19, 2008
During the Super Bowl, the seventh game of the World Series and the "American Idol" finale, Americans can be counted on to sit in front of their television sets. The same is true of the quadrennial political conventions. America is a country that tunes in for a good contest. ........read more>>
Negative ads: They really do work
Politico - August 11, 2008
Clever negative advertising works. That is reality. The tactic meets with media and pundit disapproval and spawns accusations of negativity, but the reality is that a clever negative ad can be devastatingly effective. The 2008 presidential race is shaping up to be a close battle, and the tighter it is, the more the advertising will be ratcheted up, by both of the campaigns and the myriad independent groups sure to emerge. ........read more>>
In WH race, strong is often wrong
Politico - August 4, 2008
In many recent presidential elections, Americans have had a choice: pick the candidate they think is a stronger leader or pick the candidate they believe is right on the issues. Almost always, they have chosen the stronger leader - even though they have often come to regret that decision. ........read more>>
'Active grannies' the new soccer moms
Politico - July 29, 2008
"Despite all the talk about this election being driven by the youth vote, America as a nation has never been older and the power of the senior vote has never been greater. In the relentless quest to find the soccer moms of this election, perhaps the answer will be found in the "active granny" vote - empty-nesters who have found a new freedom in their lives after the kids have left and who look at the world very differently than do their kids graduating college. The seniors of today may not be the so-called Greatest Generation, but they sure are the biggest generation - and their voting power has been compounded by the dramatic expansion in average life expectancy that's occurred since they were born." ........read more>>
Mark Penn's Microtrends Interview - ABC Nightline
ABC News - September 5, 2007
Authors@Google: Mark Penn
YouTube.com - October 05, 2007
Watch Mark Penn discuss the theories and motivations behind Microtrends.
Kinney Zalesne on The Tucker Carlson Show
AOL.com - January 17, 2008
Watch Kinney Zalesne discuss Microtrends on The Tucker Carlson Show.
Microtrendies are taking over world
The Sunday Times - August 26, 2007
"Are you a geek, obsessed with the latest gadgets, yet consider yourself cool and have hundreds of friends? An extreme commuter, whose long journey is turbocharging the caffeine industry? A single woman, who is surprised to be on the shelf but has lots of gay friends? Or a Lat, part of a couple who "live apart together" in separate households? If so you are part of a microtrend with the power to shape society, according to the polling guru Mark Penn... he has managed to carve out time on the side to co-author Microtrends, a book about to come out in America and which will be published by Allen Lane in Britain this October. It has enthusiastic endorsements from both Bill Clinton and Bill Gates. Talking in his office near the White House, Penn has the slightly tousled air of a "thirty-winker", the growing microtrend of sleep-averse night owls and early risers." ........read more>>
Why There's Strength in Small Numbers
New York Times - September 16, 2007
Harry Hurt III
"Mark Penn professes a similarly deep-seated faith in the power of numbers in the new book, 'Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow's Big Changes'....So how does Mr. Penn identify the 75 most important microtrends of the current age? By numbers, largely those obtained through polls and surveys....Except perhaps for the fictional math genius in 'Numb3rs,' few people are better at gathering or reading numbers than Mr. Penn. 'Microtrends' is a diligently researched tome chock-full of counterintuitive facts and findings that may radically alter the way you see the present, the future, and your places in both....'Microtrends' is the perfect bible for a game of not-so-trivial pursuits concerning the hidden sociological truths of modern times." ........read more>>