Sociologist Robert M. Groves spoke earlier this week “at an Advertising Research Foundation event.” In his comments, Groves noted one of the major demographic trends in America: more minorities are now in the suburbs.
Of course, if Groves — with a Ph.D. in sociology and a long-time Michigan professor — were to put out a “for hire” sign for TV networks, a bidding war could heat up between Univision and Telemundo. The story of the 2010 Census, which could have been written in 2005 (or 1995, for that matter), is the boom in Hispanic America…
Last year left Groves well-armed with figures about the Hispanic population, such as the prevalence of those speaking Spanish at home and English elsewhere. And he has much to say about a dispersal trend in the Hispanic community, the departure from cities. In the Atlanta area, for example, the number of Hispanic residents spreading to the collar counties is soaring.
“The suburbanization of the minority population is a phenomenon over the past decade,” Groves said.
While the American suburbs have typically been seen as places where whites attempted to escape the city and minority populations (“white flight”), the number of minorities in the suburbs has been on the rise (read about this on a national scale here and in the Chicago region here and here).
The article goes on to consider how Groves might also be in demand as businesses look to utilize this kind of demographic knowledge:
Broadly, Groves has some cred if he were to become a network ambassador to Madison Avenue. At some level, he’s overseen a massive campaign — stretching from a Super Bowl spot to targeted marketing in 28 languages — as with the Census spent $300 million to $400 million in advertising last year.
As the Bureau sought to get more Americans to return their questionnaires, it figured that for every 1% increase it produced, that would save $85 million in the costs associated with knocking on doors later.
“The message got through and it changed behavior,” Groves said.
The director can also say he can manage a budget. The Bureau returned $1.6 billion to the government last year as it completed its work.
Before becoming director of the 2010 Census, Groves was well known in sociology for his work with surveys. This article suggests that he could parlay this Census experience plus his prior research into a lucrative corporate position.