I read today that Harlem in New York, one of the best known urban districts in the world, is changing. Apparently the white population is rising in this most famous of black neighbourhoods. Like many city areas it is apparently undergoing a large change, old buildings are being bought and developed, new people are being attracted and long time residents are moving elsewhere. In fact it is predicted that by the middle of this century the black population in Harlem will be in the minority.
This of course only underlines the simple fact that change is inevitable. No matter how much we might resist it, how unlikely it might have once seemed to us and how much it might affect us we can do little to prevent it. Indeed, unless you do the opposite, and embrace it, you will simply be left behind. It’s happening in marketing just now. For example Facebook announced ‘Sponsored Stories’ last week. This is another example of consumers being able to promote brands rather than professional marketers doing it. It’s also an example of how the media landscape is changing. I spent a day last week travelling by train with my Twitter feed giving me up-to-the-second news on the social unrest in Egypt whilst simultaneously being told of the signing targets for SPL clubs. During that journey I also discovered a copywriter with some potential, a number of very good blogs and that Scotrail monitor any mentions of them on Twitter and respond to you. Unfortunately they don’t seem able to sort your problem out, however it’s a start, they are at least listening.

So where does that leave the ‘professionals’ then? Well, moving out of the area whilst new people move in mainly, I’d guess. It doesn’t matter how well known your neighbourhood is, how strong your identity and impressive your past, if you don’t keep moving forward you’ll soon be moving out.