Sticking Closer to Home
According to our research, the most active commuter group in PA during 2020 (post-Covid-19 lockdowns) are travelers from less than one mile away. August 2020 saw 9 million daily commutes less than one mile away, compared to August 2021 where the trips less than a mile rose to 14 million (which is close, if not topping pre-pandemic levels) (“Daily Travel…”). Folks in Pennsylvania are getting their activities done as close to home as possible, and all indications show this number has increased during COVID and has stayed high as some people fear traveling (in general though, this year has seen much higher levels of transportation than the year previous). For that reason, as a tourist location, we thought the most obvious target group would be the “Medians” themselves. The Media Business Authority backs these inferences with this fact: “The Borough of Media (less than a square mile) is located just outside of Philadelphia and has a relatively stable population of just over 5,668 with an average age of 40…” (“Media Business…”).
However, Media’s population of fewer than 5,000 people cannot sustain local businesses’ normal revenue levels. Per the MBA’s website, Media traditionally draws large crowds: “As the largest and most active town within a 5-mile radius, Media draws more than one-quarter million people from its surrounding townships. With weekday activity at the Delaware County Courthouse, Media brings in over 300,000 visitors and employees during normal business hours” (“Media Business Authority…”). Knowing that most people in Pennsylvania are not traveling as far when they leave home, we needed to look at ways to add additional numbers to the segment we are appealing to locally.
Travel is Back for Millennials
Luckily, while the number of people traveling less than one mile from their homes has increased the most since the pandemic began, the number of folks traveling within 25-50 miles of home post-vaccination is rising in Pennsylvania. In August of 2021, this number had risen to about 80% the level it was in 2019 and has increased as the months have gone on (https://www.bts.gov/daily-travel). In addition, not every age demographic is traveling at the same frequency. Young people, specifically millennials, are traveling more often and have been shown to feel more comfortable journeying further away from home than the older generations (Donnelly).
Media’s Demographic is Trending Younger
Across the country, more and more young people appear to be flocking to the suburbs and smaller cities from major metropolitan areas, and Philadelphia has been no exception (Hartman). Our interview with Brian Messick, an authority at Media Business Authority, noted a transformation in the changing demographics of Media since COVID though: “We’ve seen a trend recently in Media– gone from a majority 55 and older communities to a much younger family. Young [people are] moving in from the city” (Nunan). The Borough has adjusted and is beginning to tailor its dining and shopping offerings as well as the events they hold to this younger demographic.
Our Target Market
Because Media is already attracting professionals aged 22-35 and because this younger demographic is more likely to travel despite the ongoing pandemic, we will be targeting young professionals within 25-50 miles of Media. This market is extremely large – there are 528,000 millennials in Philadelphia and another approximately 110,000 in Delaware County alone. We hope to appeal to the young professional day trippers that come in from the surrounding areas every day to work as well as those who stop by on a weekend visit. While the main goal of the Media Business Authority is to capture some of this passthrough traffic in order to make Media a destination town and bring in “as many people to shop and dine as possible,” we believe that targeting young professionals from this short distance away will drive the most foot traffic to Media’s shops and restaurants (Messick).
Our ideal visitor to Media would be thus: young professionals that live near or around the Philadelphia area and suburbs. They ideally live or travel through or close to Media on their daily commute and would consider going to Media on a day trip during the weekend, or for a planned evening during the week (there are around 1.6 million people in Philadelphia, and on average, people spend 51 minutes driving there every day, according to BizJournals). We hope to entice them to come dine and stay to shop, or vice versa.
What Drives Our Target? How Do We Get Young Professionals to Visit Media?
One thing young professionals value when traveling is experiences. According to CNBC, “millennials are prioritizing their cars and homes less and less and assigning greater importance to personal experiences — and showing off pictures of them” (Saiidi). This demographic doesn’t just want to go to a new restaurant, they want a whole day-long adventure in a new place.
While Media has been known to host events that would draw in large crowds, it has been challenging to capture young professionals in the same way during the pandemic because of government restrictions and safety issues. Brian Messik of the MBA commented, “Right now we’ve canceled any events requiring us to be outside, which, unfortunately, is our music series which brings crowds to local bars and restaurants in the past. We’re not doing our food festival which is in October which usually draws 10,000 people. Even though it’s an outdoor event, you can’t social distance which is not a good time” (Nunan).
We need to leverage people’s love of social events without the large draw that Media is used to relying on. We see an opportunity in creating an experience out of the local restaurants and shops in Media, thinking that a focus on food, drink, and small businesses may bring in our targeted group and help make up lost funds for local businesses.
This is Yuki
- Late 20’s
- College Graduate
- Works in IT from home
- Lives 10 minutes from Media
- Love to shop
- Care about fair trade goods
- Goes to New York City on the weekends
- Active on Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, Reddit, Facebook
This is Alexi
- Mid 20’s
- College Graduate
- Works in Marketing
- Commutes to her office in Media
- Lives in Phoenixville and dines there on the weekend
- Looking for the best place to go on girls night with her friends
- Active on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, TikTok
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Cukier, Eileen. “See How Philadelphian Commutes Compare.” Bizjournals.com, Philadelphia Business Journal, 16 Jan. 2020.
“Daily Travel during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.” Bureau of Transportation Statistics, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, 2 Sept. 2020.
Donnelly, Peter. “Post-Pandemic Travel Boom Predicted among Young Professionals: Travel Experts.” Al Arabiya English, Al Arabiya English, 16 May 2021, https://english.alarabiya.net/News/gulf/2021/05/16/Post-pandemic-travel-boom-predicted-among-young-professionals-Travel-experts.
Hartmans, Avery. “Millennials and Gen Z Are Fleeing Cities and Buying up Homes in the Suburbs amid the Coronavirus Pandemic.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 20 Nov. 2020, https://www.businessinsider.com/millennials-gen-z-leaving-cities-for-suburbs-amid-pandemic-2020-11.
“Media Business Authority: Doing Business in Media.” “Everybody’s Hometown” Media Business Authority, Media Business Authority.
Nunan, Amanda K. “Interview of Brian Messick about Media Business Authority.” 8 Sept. 2021.
Saiidi, Uptin. “Millennials Are Prioritizing ‘Experiences’ over Stuff.” CNBC, CNBC, 6 May 2016, https://www.cnbc.com/2016/05/05/millennials-are-prioritizing-experiences-over-stuff.html.
Shields, Mike, and Andrew Strohmetz. “Economy League – Philadelphia’s Millennial Population.” Economy League of Greater Philadelphia, 21 Oct. 2021, https://economyleague.org/providing-insight/leadingindicators/2020/10/21/phillymillennials2020.