NEWS19 April 2012

Marketing spend up as business confidence rises


GLOBAL/UK— Measures of marketing expenditure around the world and in the UK show spend rising in line with levels of optimism.

Warc’s Global Marketing Index (GMI) for April found marketing spend increasing in all regions, albeit modestly in Europe which is showing growth for the first time in the five months since the GMI began.

Warc Global Marketing Index April 2012

Warc Global Marketing Index April 2012

The headline GMI results, which combine data from trading conditions and staffing levels, as well as budgets, also posted an increase – up to 58.1 from 57.4 in March. “This indicates that optimism in the marketing industry is still on the increase, despite the volatile market conditions of recent weeks,” said Warc.

Data editor Suzy Young added: “It remains to be seen whether or not this optimism will continue over the months to come.”

In the UK, the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising published the results of its Q1 2012 Bellwether survey of marketing budgets, showing a net rise for the third consecutive quarter. The upward revision was marginal, the IPA said – with 22% of companies reporting growth in budgets, versus 21% cutting back – yet IPA president Nicola Mendelsohn said the results were “encouraging” all the same.

Bellwether Q1 UK marketing budgets

Bellwether Q1 UK marketing budgets

“There is no doubt that key events such as the London 2012 Games and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee will do much to ensure that marketing spend continues to rise.”

But even with confidence levels up, Bellwether author Chris Williamson said companies continue to take a cautious approach to setting budgets. “This perhaps reflects a more pragmatic approach,” he said, “given that initial increases in budgets in the past two years were steadily revised away as weaker than expected sales caused firms to cut marketing costs.”