I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Even though it's been a challenging year, there's certainly much to be thankful for.
And, as I sat with my family, watched movies and digested my excellent (and I humbly submit I cook a mean Turkey) meal, I started feeling that everything was really going to be great next year. There's alot of change in the air (that's for sure) but it feels like we marketers are really going to have a wonderful 2010.
So, in the spirit of Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Return Tuesday, Holiday Gift Thursday and so on - I thought I'd just share some of the good news that I've been collecting. I know there's a counter point for every one of these - but these signs seem to me to point to positive returns and a wonderful 2010.
And, as we all get revved back up to finish the next 23 days of the year, (yes right up till XMas Eve) and try to figure out what the heck Tiger Woods is doing by *not* talking, we can use every piece of good news we get.
So, I'm definitely no economist, but I'm a big believer in not looking at the macro-pundit-view for signs of the economy. Rather I look for signs at the street level. I ask the FedEx guy if he's busier. I ask my local mailbox guy - if he's seeing more or less traffic. I ask the local restaurant owners if they're seeing more or less people. I look at the railroads or shipping companies. For example, check out this press release from the Port of Los Angeles, showing that October had the strongest monthly cargo volumes this year. They saw a 12% increase from the same month in 2008. Now, inbound containers were 8% less than last year - but the big increase in exports is a sign that we're producing more stuff.
Then, let's take a quick look at hospitality. I was taken with this article in hotelsmag.com - which had a quick interview with David Marr SVP of Brand Management for Starwood hotels and Resorts. His quotes: "This is feeling like a normal recovery, but again, a bit slower. The return of the leisure traveler, we believe, reflects growing consumer confidence, and we for one are ready to declare the 'staycation' a passing fad versus a lasting trend. We believe the marketing we'll do in 2010 will continue to be focused on creating demand and getting consumers back on the road again, for both leisure or business travel."
And, I was also struck by this article in the New York Times - which was a run-down of the ANA Conference earlier in November. Most of the quotes in this article are the usual - "it's been tough, but we're getting through it" kind of stuff. But I was mostly struck by this line which was almost a throw away - "Registration for the conference is nearing 1,200, organizers said; the record for attendance, set in 2007 and matched in 2008, was 1,200." Meaning that they didn't really see any appreciable drop off in attendance for the conference. Businesses really are realizing that we have to market our way out of this situation.
And, speaking of marketing our way out of it - there was this from InternetNews that showed an IDC report that said Global Internet Ad Spending was Stabilizing. In that article, online ad spending in the third quarter of '09 was $14.6 billion, only down 1 percent from the $14.7 billion in the third quarter of 2008. The study also went on to forecast positive growth in the first or second quarter of 2010.
And, apparently we're all starting to feel at least a bit better. According to a Google/OTX study, at least 60% of us BtoB marketers believe their businesses will start to recover next year. And, 64% of us believe that we need to start tracking more next year.
And, one of my favorite stats in this group came from from eMarketer - which conducted a study that showed that small business spending on search advertising was up 91% from the same time last year. And, VerticalResponse reported that 25% of SMB's increased their spending on some form of search marketing this year. And, more than 45% planned to increase that next year.
I really hope you had a great holiday weekend - that you're coming back ready to finish the year off with a flourish, and that you've got great things planned for next year. I think it's going to be a great year.