Unemployment figures are currently rising, but at a slowing rate. Unfortunately, next year, as the public sector cuts hit, the rate is going to dramatically increase. Currently, the unemployment figure is approximately 7.9% of the population, and whilst we know that this is disproportionately represented amongst the youngest people in our society, it comes at a time when young people are trying to get on with ‘the work ethic thing’. For them, it’s a question of filling their time! This figure is terrible and has a long tail effect.
The question is, what is going to happen when the public sector begins to contract under the next Government? What kind of brands and new forms of marketing are going to appeal to a country with very high unemployment amongst a target group, which has traditionally been made up of individuals with high levels of disposable income? Some companies are already developing sophisticated social networking marketing strategies, gorilla and positional campaign and micro social campaigns. Some agencies employ very young people to ‘hang around’ with social groups and drip feed in new products and brands that are not advertised or available to the general market.
This approach was pioneered in the US by training shoe manufacturers and proved to be highly successful. As they were limited and were not available to the general public, there was no danger of seeing your dad wearing the same brand for example. This limited edition feel also allowed for a price premium to be added to the product. The radical change in our social employment profile will see some of these channels expanding and adapting to target different groups. Watch this space for the developments!