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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Consumers grow more cautious on economy, jobs

Two stories related to consumer confidence caught my eye this morning.  The first cited research from Bankrate that appeared in today’s Marketing Daily; it suggests that consumers have cut-back over the past sixty days in response to news about the economy (click here to see that story).  The second story appeared in today’s New York Times, and focused on fears about the job market (click here to see that story).

Implications:  The debt ceiling debacle of August added new worry to a period of concerns about a second recession for many consumers.  Are you sensing that politicians on both sides of the aisle are more loyal to their political party than the nation’s economic priorities?  I don’t think I’m alone on that one.

Consumers can be expected to focus on their own, personal—and household—micro-economy for the foreseeable future.  Make sure the product or service you’re selling is presented in terms of how it will make the household more productive, cost-efficient, or enjoyable (part of hiding from the recession continues to mean spending more time at home).  Or, present your more indulgent products/services as a way of getting away from it all. 

Either way, it looks like we’re still in a period when it is critical to focus on the consumers you serve (the folks who live on Elm Street), rather than the news coming out of Pennsylvania Avenue or Wall Street.

Mike Anderson, for the Elm Street Economics consumer trends blog. A service of The Center for Sales Strategy, Inc.

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