Thursday, April 28, 2011
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Monday, April 25, 2011
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Friday, April 22, 2011
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Monday, April 18, 2011
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Today, Marketing Daily published findings from Deloitte that seem to provide additional insight on the matter. Click here to read that story.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
While consumers have been driving less, the price of fuel has risen faster and farther than their ability to cut-back, according to an article from the Atlanta Journal Constitution, offered here at AJC.com.
Monday, April 11, 2011
Thursday, April 7, 2011
There is a lot of positive economic news lately, but I was particularly pleased to see this story from today’s USA Today. Stronger returns on mutual funds and other investments could bolster the confidence of everyday consumers. Click here to see the full story.
Implications: Few consumers were able wrap their head around the financial meltdown of 2007-2009. Many long-held assumptions about saving for retirement were shattered. Any indication that the financial markets have found their footing is a very good thing.
The Beverage Information Group suggests that alcohol purchasing is on the rise, according to this story from today’s Marketing Daily (click to link).
Implications: Good news for the beverage industry. But also good for grocers, restaurants and other purveyors… as this might be a sign that not only are customers coming back, but also that the average ticket could be on the rise.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Monday, April 4, 2011
One of the local papers I check-in with is the Pioneer Press of St. Paul. Yesterday, they ran an interesting piece on the Twin Cities regional housing market, and pointed to the decline in x-urban migration. Click here to see the story.
Implications: In this region, consumers seem to be staying closer to the city, due in part to the rising (or at least volatile) price of gasoline.
What’s happening in your town? Do you think this is a short-term blip... or a long-term consumer trend?
Implications: During the recession, coupon use (and the other shopping behaviors mentioned in the article) were the consumer’s way of defending against lower household incomes. During the recovery, those same behaviors are helping defend against inflation.
What behaviors are you noticing about your customers now that the recovery is gaining momentum? Are they shopping/deciding the same way they did a couple of years ago? Are they motivated by the same reasons?
Implications: Even though it was winding-down at that time, companies did well to focus on the priorities shaped by the recession. How long will those learned behaviors last, as we move more confidently through the recovery?
Friday, April 1, 2011
A few moments ago, news alerts from both the New York Times and the Washington Post flashed on my screen: The unemployment rate continues to fall, even if modestly. The U.S. economy added more than 200,000 jobs last month. Click here to see the Post story, or here to review the Times version.)
One of things that I’m watching, though—along with a lot of other people—is the type of employment that folks are finding. Yesterday, a story from the NY Times explained how some folks have had to move down a few rungs on their corporate ladder… or they might be on an entirely different career path than before. Still others might be working two or more jobs, in an effort to replace the primary job they used to have. Click here to see that story.
Implications: I must tell you that I’m delighted to end any week with news that jobs are being added to the economy at a rate faster than analysts expected. But if you’re in business, that’s a broad-brush issue that doesn’t tell the whole story.
If someone has had to step down in income or position, it will impact their behavior as a consumer. Chances are, the new job (or jobs) will lead to some career intensity, as people struggle to get back to the income and lifestyle they once knew. And even in households where no job loss was suffered, job cuts at their company were likely to create more demand on each employee, so those workers are working harder, too.
Is your company, product or service designed to save the consumer time? (Many people are under more time pressure than ever!) Are you talking about that in your marketing efforts? Time sensitivity was a huge issue even before the recession. And while some people began placing more importance on saving money than paying a premium for convenience… time sensitivity did not just evaporate. It’s still putting a lot of pressure on many consumers.