Houston Businesses Up Spending As 2012 Starts Strong According to Recent Study by On-Target!
Jobs, houses and what businesses spend on marketing their wares all represent critical indicators of a strong recovery in Houston, Texas. While most of the U.S. recovery continues to sputter along, Houston seems to be gaining speed rapidly toward a potential runaway 2012. Interestingly, despite tepid forecasts of moderate growth through 2013, Houston business owners are stepping on the gas in what they are spending to market their companies.
In a recent executive confidence survey conducted by On-Target!, 72% of the companies stated that they were increasing their marketing spending by double digits to capitalize on the apparent strength of the Houston economy. According to On-Target!, the respondents included emerging businesses with gross revenue in excess of $10 million to divisions of Fortune 500 companies operating in Houston. In fact, 39% of the respondents expected increase in marketing spending to exceed 20%.
“We are seeing substantial increases in activity, and it is happening across all industries,” commented Scott Steiner, President and CEO of On-Target! Marketing & Advertising, a Houston-based firm. “It started in mid-December, and the levels have continued to accelerate ever since. There is not a segment of our customer base that hasn’t significantly boosted their spending and objectives.” This trend has already begun showing up on their bottom-line according to Steiner, with year-to-year spending already increasing by 64% so far in 2012.
One of On-Target! Marketing & Advertising’s real estate client, Ryko Development, is already enjoying the recovery. Their development, Lakes of Bella Terra, a master-planned community in Richmond, Texas, is off to a blazing start with new home sales up 125% over a solid 2011 figure that was up 44% from the previous year. Another of their customers, Jhump and Associates, a Brookshire, Texas based oil and gas industry solutions provider, has seen record sales of surplus equipment and parts rise more than 127% in 2011. And, they’re not settling for moderate continued growth, as they have invested heavily in driving even greater increases for 2012.
In addition to job growth, particularly in the energy industry, real estate agent Ronnie Matthews of RE/MAX Legends cited “increased optimism all the way around” in reviving the market. He said the hottest areas right now are The Woodlands, Cinco Ranch-Katy and inside Loop 610. Houston-area home sales were up for the ninth straight month in February, as inventory fell to its lowest level in more than three years, the Houston Association of Realtors said in a monthly report.
It appears that this rapid recovery is rooted in solid economic ground. The latest job growth numbers continue to trend nicely, offering solid support for sustained economic recovery. Houston added 94,700 nonagricultural jobs between January 2011 and January 2012 based on the latest job figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an increase of 3.75 percent, a study from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University said. That ranks it No. 1 among metropolitan markets with a workforce of 1 million or more people. “As far as the cities, Houston fared especially well,” Research Professor Lee McPheters, director of the JP Morgan Chase Economic Outlook Center at the W. P. Carey School of Business, said in a statement.
In summary, Houston Advertising Agency On-Target! Marketing & Advertising sees these trends continuing. It appears Houston is the place to be in 2012 and beyond, and business owners are already aggressively moving to make the most of the opportunity.