NEWS21 October 2021

Market research expenditure rises

Media News Trends UK

UK – Spending on market research has grown for the first time in six years, exceeding marketing executives’ initial predictions for the year, according to the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising’s (IPA’s) latest Bellwether report.

Business data

The report, which covers the third quarter of 2021, said that the marginal positive increase of 0.7% more firms seeing observing higher market research budgets was a significantly improved result compared to earlier this year.

It was the first time in six years where there had not been a downward revision of market research spending, with marketing executives having estimated in previous Bellwether reports that there would be cuts in market research spending in the 2021/22 financial year.

David Fletcher, chief data officer at media agency Wavemaker, said: “The first upward revision in six years will be welcome news to all researchers. It tangibly indicates advertisers’ needs for mapping out post-pandemic opportunities for growth, which is welcome news across the marketing spectrum.”

The Bellwether report also showed that total UK marketing budgets rose at their strongest rate since the second quarter of 2017, with a positive net balance of 12.8% of firms increasing budgets.

More than one in four companies in the Bellwether report cited higher marketing spending, while just over an eighth of companies saw budget cuts.

The report anticipates advertising spending growth of 6.6% and 6.2% in 2021 and 2022 respectively to accompany better economic conditions in 2021.

However, the report highlighted risks to future budgets, including the trajectory of Covid-19 cases over the winter months and ongoing supply chain disruptions affecting planned marketing campaigns.

Paul Bainsfair, director general of the IPA, said: “While we welcome the re-opening of global economies, it has brought with it various new challenges, particularly on the supply side.

“Having said this, we welcome the figures that reveal, in spite of this, advertisers are making the most of the overall economic uptick and are seizing the opportunity to invest in their brands.”