Friday, May 2, 2008

Pew Social & Demographic Trends: Inside the Middle Class: Bad Times Hit the Good Life

Study this up. It tells you who you are marketing to and what they want. It also tells you what marketing has been successful - by how people have been borrowing themselves into a hole in order to pay for things to improve their quality of life.

Our needs for "instant gratification" are swamping the consumers among us.

This excerpt below tells how our marketers have helped us get into the current media-hyped "recession" - that housing bubble is built on a credit bubble.

As you read the report, you can see the bias in it. But they still have good data.

Pay particular attention to anytime the word "feel" is used. That is the emotional context people are putting into their lives. (And what defines the slant of this report.) And emotions are how you market anything - they are the short cut to action.

Pew Social & Demographic Trends: Inside the Middle Class: Bad Times Hit the Good Life:

"For the past two decades middle income Americans have been spending more and borrowing more. Housing has been the key driver of both trends.

* A new single family house is about 50% larger and existing houses are nearly 60% more expensive (in inflation adjusted dollars) now than in the mid 1980s. Goods and services that didn't exist a few decades ago -- such as high definition television, high speed internet, and cable or satellite subscriptions -- have become commonplace consumer items. And the costs of many of the anchors of a middle class lifestyle -- not just housing, but medical care and college education -- have risen more sharply than inflation.
* As expenses have risen, middle income Americans have taken on more debt, often borrowing against homes that, at least until recently, had been rising rapidly in value. The median debt-to-income ratio for middle income adults increased from 0.45 in 1983 to 1.19 in 2004. Ratios have also increased for upper and lower income adults, but not by as much."

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