On The Up and Up
Last month the Dow Jones did something it hasn't done in a very long time—it closed over the 13,000 mark. This benchmark has not been reached since the market crash in May 2008. This is great news. Not only does it signal (at least by the Wall Street numbers game) that at long last we are in economic recovery, it also creates a perception that our fiscal house is getting itself in order and America can start spending again.
Our industry has been suffering from a sort of Stockholm Syndrome, having gotten used to budget constraints and how-low-can-you-go price points for what some end-buyers deem as discretionary purchases. It's exciting news that this pricing prison might be coming to an end.
While hitting the 13,000 mark may not be a complete signal of economic relief, I'm not alone in extrapolating a positive spin from the Dow's recent achievement. A New York Times article titled "Marketing Budgets Rise for Some Giants" supported my notion as well. The article noted a bullish attitude is emerging on Madison Avenue and "that outlook is starting to brighten further as some of the biggest spenders reveal plans to open their wallets even wider than had been expected." If companies like Coca-Cola are beginning to increase their marketing spend then that is a sure signal to those smaller brands that the time is right to get creative with their campaigns once again.
So I say kudos to the Dow for reaching a long-awaited benchmark. We have come quite a distance since the crash of 2008, and the market's unbelievable low of 6,547 just three years ago in March of 2009. With those lows now in the past, and many still suffering from a sort of recessionary post-traumatic stress disorder, there is still time to take advantage of those hidden opportunities. The brave will strike while the iron is still hot. If you haven't set any lofty goals for 2012/2013, ask yourself: what are you waiting for?