IPA: Ray of hope for DM spend

There is a glimmer of hope for direct marketing spend, according to the latest IPA Bellwether Report, which shows budget trimming for DM techniques at its lowest level for nearly a year.
In line with recent Bellwether surveys, Internet spend has continued to grow significantly – up 5.6% – but DM budgets held up much better this time round, revised down by just 1.3%, compared with 6.2% in Q3.
The last time DM budgets were revised up was Q3 2011.
In total, marketing budgets rose by just over 1% during the final quarter of 2012, reflecting a small increase in optimism among clients.
But before everyone gets the bunting out, the planned rise in 2013 budgets is at the second lowest in the history of the survey. This is due to the ongoing difficult economic environment and matches a broad stagnation of GDP in 2012 amid weak trends in investment and consumer spending, says the study.
Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit and the report’s author, said: “The initial increase is one of the smallest seen over the past 12 years, with only 2012 seeing a more downbeat start to the year.”
Looking to the longer term, a new predictive model created for the Bellwether Report, using the key components of economic growth, business investment and consumer spending, shows marketers will have to wait four years to see any significant improvement in budgets. If the predictions are right, spend will rise by 4.6% in 2017.

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