Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Can Someone Please Define Plummet?

I read recently that December retail sales plummeted. Now when I saw the word "plummet," I thought we must really be in an economic free fall. I'm thinking sales must be down 30-50%. Upon further reading you find that December retail sales were down just 2.7%.

Now can someone please define the word plummet for me? Does 2.7% sound like a plummet? I don't think so. Sure, sales were off but they did not PLUMMET.

Do you think this is inflammatory reporting?

This is the kind of sensationalized reporting that instills more fear in consumers.

Here are some quick bullets that should instill some confidence:

  • a dog training company advertises in December on the radio and generates $25,000 in new dog training business directly attributable to their radio campaign
  • a women's research study advertises a menopause study and generates 40 calls, enrolls 20 in their study
  • a company advertising facelifts gets 6 firm appointments last week
  • a roofing company has generated 50+ leads from his radio campaign since September

No Henny Penny ... the sky is not falling. Now is the time to be smart about your advertising. Don't go into a cave because business is still being done. The question is are you getting your unfair share?

If you need some new business and you're interested in talking about ideas that work, give me a call (404) 995-7343.

1 comment:

Jody Chambley said...

You are correct Mike. Too often the mainstream press over sensationalizes things to the point where it is too hard to take them seriously.

I guess it is akin to Washington math. You know, where they decide to spend $20 Million more instead of $30 Million more and that somehow becomes a $10 Million cut! Hello, $20 Million more is NOT a cut.

Same here. If retail sales are typically up 10-12% (not sure, just picking numbers at random) and they are actually down 2.7%, then you have a net decline of nearly 15%. That may be a plummet.

I read different news accounts that use the word plummet. "Yahoo shares plummet nearly 21%," read one. "Best Buy earnings plummit 77%" read another.

So if I read things correctly, the media is redefining the word plummet (which used to mean "to drop sharply and abruptly") to mean the same as decrease (which is "to grow progressively less").

At any rate, it is a reminder that the headline has nothing to do with the story. I bet you didn't see the 2.7% number until at least the third paragraph.