Marketers and Six Hundred Cities

English: The skyline of Shanghai, China.

English: The skyline of Shanghai, China. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Urban world: Cities and the rise of the consuming class
by Richard Dobbs, Jaana Remes, et al;
McKinsey Global Institute, 77 pages

Richard Dobbs and Jaana Remes at the McKinsey Global Institute have just released a survey of the world’s cities that provokes some interest. The core of the report is the authors’ list of 600 municipalities that will drive some 65% of the world’s growth in the coming years. Given the global trend toward urbanization, the conclusion that cities will drive most of the world’s growth doesn’t come as much of a surprise.

What makes the report worthwhile is two features. First, the authors avoid the temptation to be simple boosters, pointing out that the economic importance of cities does not mean that their success as municipalities is foregone. The authors place a deep emphasis on making the growth gradual and sustainable rather than explosive.

Second is the list itself. Anyone selling to consumers around the world and planning on where to focus efforts in distribution and retail needs to have this report close at hand. While 600 cities sounds like a lot, China alone has 550 identified cities, so any list that will narrow down a marketer’s job to as few as 600 cities is a gift.

The report is available on McKinsey’s website.

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