Appropriate for this season of remembrance and (eventual) celebration, we present another in our occasional series of look backs at prior prognostications and machinations.
No Easter Bunny For You !
Our long-running hocking (latest one here) of the National Retail Federation’s rosy forecasts for holiday shopping can now be declared a success. For the first time since the dinosaurs roamed the earth, the NRF has predicted that sales will decline year over year.
Its Easter season forecast calls for an eensy-weensy drop of 0.10 %. “Look for cost-conscious parents to scope the sale racks, head to discounters, and clip coupons…”
Indeed. We’ve been “looking” at that since 2008. The NRF finally got our memo. You can thank us later.
No E-Toy For You !
Remember our takedown of this year’s ridiculous showing at CES 2013? Illustrating the trouble the consumer electronics industry is in, we quoted a sales stat from The NPD Group: “…holiday sales of core electronics (leaving out tablets and smartphones) fell 7% in 2012, the third year in a row that sales slowed as the season progressed.”
NPD has now wrapped up its totals for 2012. With tablets and smartphones INCLUDED, it says U.S. consumer electronics sales fell 2% last year, compared to 2011. Which was hard to do, since 2011 was already a lousy year, dropping 1% compared to 2010’s sales.
With nothing up its collective sleeve other than tablets to keep revenues from falling even further in 2013, the consumer electronics industry might as well cancel CES 2014 now.
No Year Of Mobile For You !
As we’ve said every year since 2008, this is the “Xth” year of mobile. “X” now equals 7. Advertising forecasts once again show the mobile platform expected to grow by high double-digit percentages. Yet we find studies like the following interesting:
>>> Forrester Research and Aquent surveyed 155 executives responsible for hiring marketing staff. One of several questions asked was whether or not mobile ad budgets would increase this year. Only 15% projected a significant increase in mobile spending. In fact, 45% said their mobile ad spend would “increase slightly” and 35% said it would remain the same.
How do you get high double-digit-percentage growth from that?
>>> Accounting consultancy BDO just released a study of U.S. retail executives, finding that 60% of them expect to hold their mobile marketing budgets steady.
If mobile is the next sliced bread, shouldn’t that number be 6, not 60 ?
>>> A study by the Software & Information Association surveyed 100 marketing executives at the end of 2012. It found that just 25% say they are including mobile in their marketing programs, which IS DOWN FROM 29% a year earlier.
If mobile advertising is growing to the sky, isn’t that going in the wrong direction?
Maybe this will be “the year of mobile” in which someone, somewhere, tells us just who it is that is spending all these billions on mobile advertising.
No Flight For You !
We mocked an airline industry forecast way back in the day that said U.S. air traffic would increase 60% by 2025.
It’s long past time for an update.
Data from the Bureau of Transportation reveal that the busiest month ever for air travel was July of 2007, just a few months before the Great Recession. For 2007 overall, the U.S. hit a peak of 769 million passengers. The stock market might be back from the depths, but air travel is not: we are still about 30 million passengers short of 2007’s total.
Which means that original prediction of 60% growth by 2025 now has to be adjusted up to 67%.