Welcome to Phoenix. Plan your marketing strategy accordingly.
There are certain things every Phoenician will tell you:
- There’s a big difference between 105 and 115 degrees.
- We drive like NASCAR rookies. If you don’t like it, get out of the way.
- Fry bread is God’s snack.
- Only marketers care how much money Snowbirds spend. Everyone else is just happy when they leave. (More on that later.)
Quirks and all, we’re pretty fond of our hometown. And as an added bonus, it just happens to be a great place to do business. From manufacturing and tourism to healthcare and technology, the Phoenix area provides a stellar quality of life and a culture that embraces and supports entrepreneurs and businesses. This is wonderful news for the people who live here—and even better for marketers, IF you know how to use the ins-and-outs of our unique area to your advantage.
That’s what ANDERSON has been doing for over 15 years. We know and love this market. We’ve seen clients in all sectors thrive—through economic booms and busts. And we’ve helped them succeed by knowing precisely how to market to the great people of Phoenix. Here are just a few of the things we take into account when considering our one-of-a-kind city.
Another fun fact: A lot of people in Phoenix aren’t actually from here. We are, to a large degree, a city of transplants. According to the Phoenix Business Journal, 200 people arrive in greater Phoenix on a daily basis, making Phoenix the fastest-growing city in the United States. Right now, we are the fifth largest city overall and are predicted to jump to at least #4 by 2020. Not surprisingly, for the past 20 years, Phoenix has consistently been ranked as one of the fastest-growing economies of all metro areas in the United States. And that bodes very, very well for business.
With growth usually comes density. But in our case, the vastness of the surrounding desert allowed for the opposite: sprawl. Phoenix’s surrounding suburbs stretch on forever, radiating out from the city with seemingly no end. This has created a commuter market dominated by freeways…and many hours spent in cars. From a life perspective, it can be miserable. But from a marketing perspective it’s a gift: Media such as outdoor, radio and streaming services are a goldmine for delivering your message to a captive commuter audience.
But just because people are accustomed to driving doesn’t mean they want to do so in their free time. The city of Phoenix is 30 miles wide, but statistics have shown that our tolerance for driving to a desired destination is just nine miles. This isn’t surprising considering that each one of Phoenix’s suburbs (from Peoria and Glendale to Mesa and Chandler) has its own unique personality. Entertainment options abound—and Scottsdale/Paradise Valley are no longer the only upscale areas. So take note, marketers: You need to target people close to where they live because after a week of fighting traffic to work, they are NOT going to drive across town to get to you. (Tip: Geo-fencing and geo-targeting are great ways to reach people on their mobile devices when they are in your area.)
Not many places in the country see population numbers that balloon during a particular season quite like Phoenix does. In the wintertime, our area sees a massive influx of visitors, hailing mostly from states with frigid climates. The arrival of these “Snowbirds” each fall is inevitable, which is great for marketers (and exasperating for year-round residents). It’s an entirely different population and must be treated as such. If you’re marketing to this group, plan your media choices accordingly. Run campaigns in places like Chicago, Minneapolis and Canada to target this group even before they arrive. And keep in mind that the media they consume is likely very different than that of a younger segment. Favoring more traditional media like TV, radio, outdoor, print and newspaper, may be more effective than digital or mobile if your audience is older.
That said, there is a misconception that Phoenix has an enormous senior community. And sure, we have a lot of seniors (especially in the winter), but our senior population is comparable to any other city. In fact, according to Data USA, in 2017 the median age of all people in Phoenix was 33.8. So factor that into your marketing and media mix!
Phoenix is hot AF in the summertime. Yah, we get it. BUT, the notion that the city empties out at this time of year is an incorrect one. Sure, the Snowbirds fly back to wherever they came from (thank goodness), but that doesn’t mean the city is a ghost town. There are a lot of people here, period. Summer is a perfect time for companies to offer great deals for locals, and even out-of-towners looking for unbeatable hotel and resort rates.
Phoenix is more diverse than people might think. All of those aforementioned transplants have greatly impacted our overall ethnicity. According to the latest census count, Hispanics make up 17% of the U.S. population, but represent a whopping 41% of the Phoenix population. That’s much larger than most cities. Marketers would be wise to consider this.
Additionally, unlike other large cities where you may find particular ethnic groups concentrated in specific parts of town, that’s not the case here. Our diversity spans the entire city. So, reaching this important segment of the community requires well-thought-out communication and media choices.
Luckily, there’s an abundance of dedicated media outlets—both digital and traditional—with incredible reach to this group. This will allow you to target Spanish-only speakers as well as the 2nd & 3rd generations, who consume as much general market media as Spanish language.
Can an out-of-market agency be a good strategic partner? Perhaps. But one that knows Phoenix inside and out can offer insights a non-local simply can’t. Choose wisely and you’ll get the equivalent of a marketing magic bullet.
That calls for some fry bread.