IPA Bellwether report revises marketing spend up by largest margin in six years as marketers find confidence

The latest IPA Bellwether report has revised marketing spend up by the largest increase for almost six years, as confidence amongst marketers grows.

As the UK economy seemingly strengthens, marketing budgets across UK companies were revised sharply higher during the second quarter of this year, in order to support sales and product launches.

According to the survey, 43 per cent of the panel had grown in confidence during the second quarter of the year, in comparison with the previous period of 16 per cent of marketers feeling a growing pessimism.

While over a fifth of companies (22 per cent) indicate an increase in marketing spend, 15 per cent said they would likely spend less, leaving a net balance of 7.3 per cent, the highest since the third quarter of 2007.

For the year as a whole, 13.5 per cent of companies planned to increase their marketing budgets, while digital marketing budgets will be increased by 17.4 per cent of companies, mainly through SEO spend (+13.7 per cent).

Also recording and revised increase in budgets were PR (+3.4 per cent), sales promotion (+2.0 per cent), media advertising (+1.9 per cent) and direct marketing (+0.6 per cent). Market research budgets were unchanged, while ‘other’ is set to fall (-3.2 per cent) and events (-0.9 per cent).

Paul Bainsfair, director general of IPA, described the results as “very encouraging”.

He added: “Companies are beginning to shake off the cloak of recession and are becoming more confident in the economy. 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.”

With business confidence growing, and the economy predicted to expand at a quarterly rate of 0.5 per cent, the forecast cut in advertising spend of -0.3 per cent is expected to be revised up later this year to a prediction of modest growth and advertising spend forecast to grow at a rate of over 4 per cent by 2017.

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