It’s official – the IPA’s Bellwether Report has revealed things are definitely looking up for the UK marketing industry, with the first quarter of 2104 witnessing the largest upward revision to budgets for 14 years.
All categories registered upward revisions to their spend but traditional media – including TV, direct marketing, outdoor and print – overtook Internet marketing as the best performing category for the first time in almost three years.
This shift in spend to traditional channels is indicative of a growing confidence and willingness among marketing executives to commit to high profile campaigns in line with greater optimism, the study claims.
In terms of sectors, advertising saw the biggest gain, up 11.7%, with Internet second on 8.5%. Sales promotions and direct marketing budgets increased by 3.4% and 2.6% respectively.
Wunderman client services director Josette James, who recently took over as chair of the IPA’s DM division – now called the Customer Experience Group – said the findings reflect the mood and confidence of clients.
She added: “Modest it may be, however this increase in spend can only be good news for direct agencies. Of the companies reporting an increase in spend in 2014, those putting spend into direct marketing far exceeded other marketing areas, including media advertising. This is a promising scenario.
“Clients increasingly demand high performing solutions to business problems that are a mixture of creativity, connected data and smart technology. These skills sit at the heart of the direct industry and make us well placed to create moments of connection between brands and consumers. Connections that drive business performance for our clients.
“As CRM becomes enticingly about exploring customer experience, direct marketing collides and colludes with budgets across advertising, digital, PR and experiential. As inter-dependency has increased, I suspect the delineation of budgets becomes less clear than in the past.”
Budgets up, but online ads still rule
Online boom masks volatile adspend
DM and digital spend up, says IPA
DM spend cut as online rises
IPA: Ray of hope for DM spend
Even DM is hit as budgets shrivel up
Budgets slump as sales tumble
Digital and direct lead budget rise