It cost him the election, but Mitt Romney was on to something with his 47% diatribe. If he had given less focus to the political ramifications and more to the economic effects, he might have swayed more voters.
With all the build-up to the 2012 holiday season, no one dares mention that big chunk of Americans who won’t have much to celebrate this year. What’s our tell?
How about McDonald’s, with its first monthly decline in sales since 2003? How about Walmart, a Lairig Marketing Index component, whose same-store-sales-recovery express train just had a wheel blown off ?
That’s where the 47% hang out, kids. They are the unemployed, the underemployed and the never employed. And while we’re at it, we might as well round up to 50%, to include those wiped out – temporarily or permanently – along the Jersey Shore, lower Manhattan, Staten Island, the Rockaways, and the south shore of both Long Island and Rhode Island.
No joy this season. Just mudville.
Except for Black Friday.
Black Friday (and now Black Thursday) “door busters” are the 47%’s only chance to get in on the fun. This is the crack that retailers push in their collective face, to gin up the excitement and the free media, amplified manifold by social media.
After that, the season will belong to the 53%. That is when the winners will separate from the losers. Keep your eye on Target, who plays the 47% and the 53% right down the middle. How Target does this holiday season will (or should) dictate its 2013 marketing strategies.
The 47% will be forgotten in our myopic marketing trades (Ad Age, MediaPost, et al.). We’ll see nothing but puff pieces on “Successful Twitter Promotions,” “Tablet Wars,” and “The Rising % Of People Who Did Their Holiday Buying Via Mobile.”
And they will all track sales. Not profits, which will be at bloodbath levels.