All I Wanted For Christmas…

While I realize that not every reader celebrates Christmas, I do know that most partake in the commercial aspect of the season in one form or another. In the end though, no matter your religious proclivities, it is the season of giving. So, in that spirit, keeping Christmas going for just a little longer, I am writing this light-hearted blog with a few tidbits and fun-facts about giving, getting, and more.

First, I asked some colleagues what they considered the “best gifts” for marketers to be. Here are just a few of the most common answers.

  1. “An up tick in the economy.” It seems that this holiday wish remains tops with just about everyone but definitely the marketer. I have an abundance of friends from the Detroit area and they, more than most, responded with this wish.
  2. “For agencies: a big win without a pitch.” Not as crazy as it once was. This year and likely those to come, will see more and more agency shifts that occur outside of the normal process. The biggest this year was likely the GM agency shift to Goodby.
  3. “Happy, profitable clients!” This from a smart marketer and agency person who understands that without profitable clients, there can be no profitable agencies.
  4. “Momentum” This, related to the economy, is the lifeblood of us all. As a consultant, there is nothing worse than getting into a project, really understanding a clients needs and then finding that the funding has been cut, or the people have changed, or that they simply wanted to shortcut the project to get it done quicker for less money.
  5. “More Clients.” Enough said.
  6. “iPad” This came up more than once because while we are all marketing professionals, we are consumers first. Who DOESN’T want one of these?
  7. “An idea worth sharing!” And in this age of data overload, finding the gem within the field of weeds, is truly special.

8.   A working cyrstal ball.
9.   The best gift a marketer can give himself/herself is the willingness to look beyond the corner of the box!

There were many other suggestions but these reigned supreme not only because of the number of people who agreed with them but also because, with the exception of the iPad, they were really about “gifts” that were NOT commercial.

Still, as marketers, one of the best gifts we can receive is the gift of knowledge. Over the holiday season, most of us marketing geeks can’t wait to get our hands on the retail numbers and other holiday statistics as they prove to be a great forecasting tool for the new year. And, “other” data are just plain entertaining, and good conversation starters at the staff meetings and bars in the new year. Even though the season is over, we all deserve to laugh a little and to keep things light from time to time. So, let’s see what Santa brought us this year. (Data courtesy of a tweet from Digital Surgeons)

  • The average shopper spent $688 for gifts this year. Not a bad number but still down from the pre-recession number of $900.
  • $232 was expected to be spent on electronics, on average, per consumer
  • $662 on food, travel and decorations
  • Visa will have seen 5340 swipes per minute between Thanksgiving and Christmas
  • There will be 1.2 billion candy canes sold this year
  • $32 billion+ will have been spent on online shopping
  • Over 130 million gallons of eggnog will have been sold
  • 70% of retail sales annual revenue is made in December
  • $2.25 billion is generated from photos with Santa in shopping malls
  • 20% of Americans finished holiday shopping on Christmas Eve
  • 275 million Christmas cards were mailed on December 17th
  • 50 million Christmas trees are sold each year
  • 250 will catch on fire in someone’s home
  • Santa traveled at 3,604 miles per second
  • The top selling gifts of 2010 were the XBox 360 Kinect and Kindle
  • $64 Billion was made from Black Friday sales
  • 4 million tons of trash are generated from gift wrap/bags each year
  • Nearly 30% of smart phone users will have researched or purchased gifts via mobile devices

I hope that some of these facts were a surprise, put a smile on your face, or maybe even sparked an idea for yourself or a client for this new year. May your 2011 be full of life, love, joy and yes, profits this year. A time of hope for us all!

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