Marketing cuts ‘should come to an end in 2013’

The convincing signs around their profits that firms were on the look-out for to judge whether to raise their marketing budgets appear to have emerged between April and June, a new report suggests.

In fact, the latest snapshot of firms in the Bellwether report is grounds to indicate that the “sustained period of marketing cuts” that have been evident since the financial crisis began should come to an end this year.

Authored by the IPA, the report for the second quarter found that 22% of firms have scaled their marketing budgets upwards, compared to 15% that have trimmed them. That represents the highest uptick in almost six years.

In addition, when asked about their own financial prospects, the firms emerged at their most upbeat since 2009, in line with the less pessimistic trend that began in this year’s first three months.

“Companies are beginning to shake off the cloak of recession and are becoming more confident in the economy,” reflected IPA director-general Paul Bainsfair.

“This bodes extremely well for continued growth in marketing spend for the rest of 2013. These figures should send a very upbeat message to the wider economy”.

In terms of sectors, the internet once again emerged as the main driver of overall budget growth, but has improved its position since the first quarter and is now at its strongest level since 2010.

More traditional marketing is also up on four main channels – PR, Sales Promotion, Main Media Advertising and Direct Marketing – but Events went into the red (by 0.9%), as did ‘Other’ mediums.

“Companies [are] taking an increasingly aggressive stance with regard to boosting their marketing expenditure, which in turn reflects their views on financial prospects having improved dramatically over the course of the year to date,” said the report’s author Chris Williamson.

“Marketing spend looks set to rise in 2013 for the first time in six years as companies finally perceive a brightening business outlook at home and abroad.”


26th August 2013

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