July 29, 2016 | Melanie Wills
Respondents from the latest edition of Bellwether Report confirm continued increase in marketing spend (+ 11%) extending the growth trend for the 15th successive quarter.
Great news for the events industry as the largest increase in budgets was recorded (+13%) sealing the important role that events and exhibitions play in overall marketing strategies as they remain one of the best performing marketing channels.
Anecdotal evidence from the survey panel suggested that growth in marketing budgets was a reaction by marketing executives to a number of factors over the quarter, citing higher sales and competitive pressures.
Panellists also commented on a need to protect market share and bolster brand awareness in the current economic environment.
To achieve the aforementioned goals, marketing executives chose to bolster spending primarily in three categories: events, internet and main media.
Events marketing was the clear overall winner as the report noted a series record net balance of +13.4%, a sharp rise on Q1’s +6.3%.
Meanwhile, internet recorded a net balance of +10.9%, up from +9.8% in the previous survey period and main media recorded a marked uplift in Q2 to a two-year high of +9.3%.
As savvy marketers chose to shift spend into better performing tactical activities the primary losers for the quarter were market research, sales promotions and direct marketing.
Despite recording a marked rise in total marketing budgets, the data and anecdotal evidence hinted at some uncertainty amongst marketing execs.
Over two thirds of panellists signalled no-change to budgets over the quarter citing macroeconomic uncertainty caused by the June EU referendum.
This led in a number of cases to the shifting of marketing spending around different areas while operating within previously agreed budget ceilings.
Following the vote to leave the EU, many forecasters have downgraded their expectations for the UK economy over the coming years. The result is a downgrade to the Bellwether adspend forecasts, with declines of -0.2% and -1.3% now predicted for 2016 and 2017 respectively.