Digital and direct lead budget rise

Digital and direct marketing spend have been the big winners in the latest IPA Bellwether Report, despite the fact that marketers’ confidence has hit a two-and-a-half year low.
For the first time since Q2 2007, budgets for all sectors were revised up. The Internet saw the steepest increase by a wide margin and the largest quarter-on-quarter jump in the history of the report, with a net balance of 16.6% (up from 1.9% in Q2).
Direct marketing spend has once again been revised up – by 3.3%, the greatest degree for a year – while search also rose, by 9.3%.
The findings seem to support two separate reports released in the past week. One from TNT claimed that direct mail was witnessing a resurgence, while a DMA study revealed that email marketing was also bouncing back.
The IPA report claims the latest increase has been fuelled by companies upping spend to promote new products and maintain market share, amid strong competitive pressure.
Main media spend, a category which includes the Internet, recorded the slowest pace of budget growth and only a marginal rise, suggesting a continued shift to online marketing, according to the report.
Yet business optimism is falling further, with marketing executives’ confidence for the industries in which they operate hitting a two-and-a half year low.
The newly appointed head of the IPA Digital Media Group Pete Robbins, who is also chairman and managing partner of Agenda 21, said the results prove the value of accountable marketing.
He said: “With the need to show investment driven sales, it’s maybe not that surprising that Internet-related spend has shown an upward jump. It could suggest that given the uncertain times, clients are more comfortable and confident with allocating their budgets to those areas that are more trackable and can be optimised accordingly.”
IPA Search Group chairman Chris Whitelaw, who is president of I Spy, added: “Digital and search investment continues to grow as brands take cautious shelter in channels that provide measurable ROI.”

Related stories:
Direct mail ‘alive and kicking’
Email marketing ‘back from grave’
Direct, digital up as gloom spreads

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