We’re halfway home in 2012.
1. Auto Pacing Higher, Still a Long Road Ahead
With June’s results due out any day (check Ward’s for the numbers) we’ve seen the auto industry settle in at a 14M+ pace for the year. This is a nice improvement, but still a good 12-15% below peak levels. We’ll get there eventually, but for now, be sure you talk to a Cadillac dealer, and soon. The brand had a bumpy first half in 2012 and has a lot of new product hitting the lot soon. Big upside. Marketing dollars should be there — so do your homework, and move fast.
2. High on HVAC
As the heatwave continues to grip the Midwest, does anyone think that we’ll see a repeat of the warm winter from last year? Although we’ll gladly take it, an encore performance is highly unlikely. Probably a lot of homeowners out there who skipped the annual furnace tune-up. Housing numbers are looking a bit better (see below), and that’s a plus for home services futures too. In other words, get some time with local HVAC operators … today! They’ll be praying for a cold Winter … and wouldn’t mind snow in Autumn.
3. Positive Housing Numbers?
Okay, there has been a glimmer of hope in the housing industry lately, what with home prices up, new home sales up, and foreclosures down year-over-year. Still, this industry is a long, long way from full recovery. The 390,000 new homes moved in May was a positive step, but miles away from pre-recession levels of 600,000-plus. That said, down-sizers, up-sizers, and renters are starting to dip their toe in the water more often. Seek out low- to mid-range builder activity close to home. They need leads; you can serve them up in numbers.
Those are just three plays for local media teams in the second half of 2012 — there will be plenty of opportunity. Be sure to follow ESA for more trends, or contact your ESA consultant.
Dave Eckstein is a Partner in the firm ESA & Company. He specializes in highly profitable market share growth for local businesses and gets a kick out of demonstrating a declining cost of customer acquisition. He plays baseball, but isn't that Dave Eckstein.