While we at bloomfield knoble, inc., (bk) do not claim to be a financial predictor or an oracle, it doesn’t take a swami to know which way the wind blows. No, bk is not a financial institution. We don’t have inside knowledge of what the Bilderberg Group is up to, nor are we members of the Skull and Crossbones society. That said, there is little doubt that we have more hands-on understanding than those folks, anyway. You see, we deal in the real world. Not the behind-the-scenes world where strings are pulled to manipulate the economy to the benefit of those already with too many benefits. No, at bk, our ability to see into the future is based on greasy hands and aching backs from the actual work we provided in 2014.
Our ability to predict the coming financial year is based on tangible evidence – namely the contracts we receive going into a new year. As an agency, we are dependent on our reputation, skill, experience and past success to earn new business and maintain our retained relationships. Thankfully, for nearly 17 years, we have proved ourselves worthy and are rewarded with new clients and opportunities, along with our valued and long-time loyal clients, each year. However, that trust is first measured against the ability of a company/client to invest in its future. If a company sees its shadow at the end of a fiscal year, it crawls back into its proverbial hole, gathers its warm assets around it, and awaits a more sunny financial outlook before investing in marketing or advertising. Thus, companies like ours have a keen insight that many financial investors only dream of when they look into their crystal balls.
So, it is with clear vision that we state the year 2015 will be a year of growth and optimism. This prediction is based on the fact that bk is already forecasting a 50% growth for the agency in 2015 based on current and new contracts signed for 2015.
In previous years, when the U.S. economy experienced a slow down or setback, bk was able to predict it based on the marketing/advertising budget pull back we witnessed. While we were able to excel during those down years because our niche is not tied to specific advertising dollars, our agency partners were not so lucky and suffered the consequence. If you are familiar with my column, you know that we often work side-by-side with other client-directed agencies. Those agencies are the first to feel the bite of a pull back. Looking into 2015, bk is happy to share the fact that our partner agencies are being asked to do more, not less. In fact, in many instances, it is our strategic planning that is being put to use to plan the media buys, even if it is not our specific duty to make the purchase. We are also happy to share that we have several media buys already “in action” for 2015, further supporting our statement for growth in 2015.
As a warning, we note that numerous threats can take even the best financial prediction down in flames. Usually it is based on an existing or pending war, a coming “bubble” of some sort (usually one has been threatened for at least 36 months) or elections/political fight. All of those threats currently exist, but the difference is they are well-known, thus reducing the threat impact. Of course, there is always the threat of natural disaster and internal strife such as the Ferguson and Garner case, for instance. As of this moment, none of those potential threats to stability have moved anyone off of their initiatives or sales goals set for 2015.
Lastly, we have directed our clients to take notice of some very lucrative trends building within the U.S. economy around the concept of the “shared economy.” The dot-com madness we once feared now shows strength, as demonstrated by companies such as Prosper Funding and Tsu.co.
Perhaps you are familiar with the Chinese proverb (or curse), “May you live in interesting times.” Since our inception, bk has indeed lived during interesting times. Heading into our 17th year, we have witnessed two major financial collapses during our existence – the dot-com bubble of 2000 and the housing collapse of 2008. So we know what “portent” and “omens” look and feel like. Normally, the facts are hard to ignore – if something bad is coming, the signs are there and we all feel it. As of the writing of this column, the future is bright, at least for 12 months. So enjoy and spend well!
Eric J. Hirschhorn is a principal at bloomfield knoble. For 17 years he has helped lead the Dallas-based advertising agency from start up to becoming a premier, full-service agency whose clients include some of the most influential companies in America. Eric lives to spend time with his family, to work and to travel the world in search of unique fishing adventures.