It is fair to say that some cities find it harder to diversify economically than others, thanks to factors such as their location and the strength of their heritage.

Take the port city of Portsmouth in Hampshire, for example, which sits on the South-west of the UK and remains Britain’s only island city. Historically, it has also served as one of the world’s best-known ports, and shipbuilding remains the key driver of the local economy in 2017.

Despite this, the city has also diversified its economic interests successfully in recent times, and this has made advertising in Portsmouth and extremely lucrative pastime.


Why Advertise on Billboards in Portsmouth?

As a port city, Portsmouth’s heritage shares an intrinsic link with the sea and the shipbuilding industry. In fact, HMNB Portsmouth is considered to be the home of the Royal Navy, while it is also home to two-thirds of the UK’s total surface fleet (including the famous HMS Warrior and the Mary Rose).

Overall, one-tenth of the local workforce is employed at the Portsmouth Naval Dockyard, with the headquarters of BAE Systems Surface Ships located here. While this guarantees relatively high levels of employment in the city, recent diversification has created far greater economic balance and generated various opportunities for local advertisers to exploit.

The 2001 redevelopment of the HMS Vernon naval shore establishment offers a relevant case in point, as this incorporated the construction of retail outlets, bars and eateries alongside a huge shopping centre known as Gunwharf Quay. This type of regeneration has revitalised the city while creating additional jobs, helping to increase disposable income levels and consumer spending in the process.

The impressive regeneration of the city has also attracted a number of large corporations to Portsmouth. These included technology giants IBM, which have based their UK headquarters in Portsmouth and serve as prominent employers on the south coast. Then headquarters of Zurich Financial Services are also based in the city, so there is a keen emphasis being placed on expanding into new and profitable sectors.

Many local brands and advertisers have also been quick to secure an affiliation with Portsmouth FC, which boasts a vast and passionate fan base in the region. The local rivalry with neighbouring Southampton is intense, and something that businesses have also been able to leverage over time.


Portsmouth’s Population and Demographics

The estimated population of Portsmouth is 205,056, while the city also has an even demographic split between males (50%) and females (50%).

The average age of people in Portsmouth is 36, while the median age is even lower than 34. This is far below the UK average of 39, and it hints at a strong Millennial base that is known for its relatively high levels of spending and resilient consumer confidence.

Interestingly, Portsmouth’s past heritage and future are well-represented by the list of popular occupations in the region. Around 15.8% of locals are employed in a professional capacity, for example, and this accounts for the majority of younger citizens. In contrast, 13% of the local population work in elementary roles, with most active in the shipbuilding industry. A further 12.7% also operate as skilled tradespeople, further highlighting the impact of economic diversification over time.

Portsmouth also boasts a diverse mix of lifestyle choices and living arrangements, with just 36.3% of the local population currently married. This leaves 32.7% of locals who are single and have never been married, and this may not come as a surprise given the median age of citizens. Such diversity does create opportunities for a wider range of advertisers, however, with more products and services likely to be in demand.


Why Outdoor Advertising in Portsmouth is Beneficial

With football fans of Portsmouth will not thank me for saying it, there are strong similarities between the city and neighbours Southampton. After all, both have relatively young societies and a growing professional community, while they have also diversified successfully while managing to build on their proud shipbuilding heritage.

As a result of this, outdoor advertising remains one of the most effective ways to target consumers in Portsmouth. Not only are channels such as billboards cost-effective and capable of delivering a superior ROI, but they also boast higher levels of engagement (particularly among younger professionals and in cities with a low unemployment rate).