Piggybacking on my recent post about Halloween sales, I got to thinking about the media and how sensational headlines designed to grab attention pollute our thinking asgrinch_med online marketers.  Tonight I spent some time Googling around the web just to take the temperature on what “the media” was writing about Halloween and holiday sales.

It didn’t take more than a page and a half of Google results to spot the trend.  Doom & gloom. Why?  Because the average customer is spending $10 less this year on Halloween.  Would I like to see the reverse?  Customers spending $10 more this year? Sure.  But the fact of the matter is that the average Halloween shopper is still spending $56 bucks per person on Halloween merchandise.

That may not seem like a lot, but all totaled – it adds up to a $5 billion dollar selling season.  Not a bad pie to have a piece of!

But what really got me about these articles (and some were worse than others) is that… 

Not only did they paint a sorry picture of Halloween sales, the same articles also lamented slow back to school expenditures, poor projected holiday sales, and then mixed in a dose of H1N1 flu panic, and slashed credit card limits.

Jeez, after reading these articles it makes you feel like saying- why not just cancel the whole holiday season?

But wait – the Grinch already tried that already…  And we all know how that worked out for him!  (And look at how many DVDs and branded products “he” sold in the process.)  😉

To be clear –  I’m not looking at this year’s holiday season through rose colored glasses – but I’m also not looking at it through bleak, hopeless glasses either.  And neither should you.

People ARE spending money.  Is it more?  Is it less?  It depends on what you’re selling.  It depends on who your market is. It depends on a lot of things.

Don’t let general articles color your vision for your business. Stay focused on your market and what they want.  Don’t worry about what “everybody else” is doing/not doing or buying/not buying.

Focus on what you are doing/not doing – selling/not selling.  It’s YOUR business that is important to your bottom line.

And this holiday season – put yourself on a media diet.  Don’t gorge on every economic indicator published hour by hour.  It will distract you,  most likely dishearten you and it will do nothing for your sales.

What will help your sales is focusing on your customer, selling the right products and daily marketing.