NEWS16 July 2015

Market research spend slightly up although confidence falls

News UK

UK — For the 11th successive quarter marketing budgets increased with more than 25% of marketers saying their budgets increased in Q2 2015 compared with just 13% saying that they fell, according to the latest IPA Bellwether report.


The positive start to the 2015/16 financial year reflected on the market research industry with market research budgets revised upwards slightly — 0.6% compared with -1.3% in the previous quarter.

The report showed a net balance (calculated by subtracting the percentage reporting a downward revision from the percentage reporting an upward revision) of 12.2% of companies registering an increase in budgets in Q2 2015, up from 11.8% in Q1 and 6.1% in Q4 2014.

In terms of overall UK adspend growth in 2015, Bellwether forecasts a real-term increase of 4.2%.

However there was a marked drop in marketers’ confidence in the financial prospects both at the company and industry level. The report points to an increased proportion of marketing executives indicating no-change in their outlook compared with three months ago. The respective net balance subsequently declined to a nine-quarter low of 25.3% (from 37.8% in the previous survey).

A similar trend was seen for wider industry financial prospects, with the respective net balance dropping in Q2 2015 to a two-year low of 13.1%, down from 26.0% in the previous survey.

Paul Bainsfair, IPA director general, said: “With eleven quarters of successive growth in marketing budgets and a strong start to the financial year, this latest Bellwether is generally positive. With confidence on the wane, however, it is worth reminding marketers —as our effectiveness databank evidence attests — you won’t produce profits over time without maintaining brand building adspend.”

The Bellwether Report is researched and published by Markit Economics on behalf of the IPA. It features original data drawn from a panel of around 300 UK marketing professionals.