Pending Business: Yellow Lights Ahead - TALKERS magazine

Pending Business: Yellow Lights Ahead

| November 21, 2022

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp


PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — It appears retail projections for the 2022 holiday season are leaning towards a less-than-stellar performance. From Target to Macy’s, the C-Suite is flashing yellow lights. Layoffs, combined with an unpredictable economic environment, may be slowing down the spending, especially when food, fuel and utilities cost more.

One year from now, the picture will surely be different, but short-term forecasts play an important role in every economic model impacting advertising. Yet so does the one intangible that can help limit the downside: creativity.

For some unidentifiable reason, the greatest retailers in our country have seemingly extinguished the creative flame. The focus is now on price, period, the end. There’s no more excitement built around retail events that can move the needle when the dial is stuck. Carefully designed, elaborate displays, with trend-setting themes are a thing of the past as we price shop, checking star ratings and reviews.

Like it or not, holiday shopping may be reduced to sipping your favorite beverage while navigating your laptop, a credit card, and confirming free shipping is part of the deal. What happened? COVID? Amazon? Couch potato syndrome?

For sure, we Americans will pay for convenience, but we still go out to eat when Door Dash, GrubHub and UberEats will deliver. Did convenience replace creativity? The short answer is, in most cases: yes.

What does this yellow-light economy mean for today’s sellers and managers?

  • Adjust your packaging to your advertiser. Think through whether you are wasting critical advertiser focus when you push hard on a sponsorship package that is geared for branding when the ad goal is a message focused on price.
  • Lean in on your digital/social media offerings when your advertiser is looking for that trendy component.
  • Categorical confusion. What works for auto accounts may not work for your financial accounts. Year-end financial checkups and second opinions need a different creative and package concept focus from your year-end auto creative.
  • Somehow, some way, we celebrate the season and the New Year. New advertisers should be part of your current prospecting. Get busy!

By now you are knee-deep in your year-end business flow. Holiday vacation schedules always impact decision maker access. Use your time and access wisely.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Steve Lapa is the president of Lapcom Communications Corp. based in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Lapcom is a media sales, marketing, and development consultancy. Contact Steve Lapa via email at:

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Category: Sales