The IPA is hailing the latest Bellwether Report as proof of a growing confidence within UK marketing departments, which are, it claims, “loosening their purse strings as worries about the wider economy subside”.
The Q4 2013 Report, published today, reveals the fifth quarter of consecutive growth and the second-highest rate of since the survey began in 2000.
In line with previous reports, Internet budgets are continuing to shore up the industry as a whole, up +9.2%, with search marketing spend rising 3.8%, although this is the lowest recorded rate of growth for both since Q1 2013.
The volatility in other disciplines continued, however, with direct marketing budgets up – a rather measily 1.5% – having been slashed in the previous quarter; sales promotion spend also returned – up just 1.9% – while advertising budgets remained static. PR and market research spend both dipped, by nearly 2%.
The Bellwether’s predictive model, which is based on the Office for Budget Responsibility’s prediction for economic growth of 2.4%, forecasts a resultant 3.3% increase in adspend in 2014. In the longer-term, however, the predictive model anticipates a slowing in GDP and consumer spending growth in 2015 which will be offset by an upturn in investment, leaving adspend growth unchanged at 3.3%. A stronger economic recovery going forwards will then deliver a more substantial increase in adspend to over 4.0% in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
IPA Direct Marketing Group chairman and Rapp chief creative officer Rik Haslam beleives the findings are good news for the direct marketing community. He said: “Customer experience agencies have reason to expect 2014 to be a high growth year with direct clients more confident of budget increases than they have been for years. With Internet channels growing, too, those direct agencies with strong digital abilities will likely prosper.”
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