Marketing budgets still growing but not as quickly
The IPA’s quarterly Bellwether report shows that slightly more companies revised their marketing budgets up than down in Q4. This follows several upbeat quarters of strong growth. Companies report that their financial prospects are also positive, although this too has slowed from recent rather stronger optimism. One commentator called the current expansion more sustainable.
UK consumers remain upbeat, with their confidence rising for a couple of months now. GFK, the researchers, note that this was the first full year of positive consumer confidence since they began compiling the data in the 1970s.
What’s interesting in that many consumers are positive about their own situation yet negative about the economic outlook. This is seen as reflecting the recent downward pressures on prices of goods combined with wage rises for many. The effect has been to increase the personal feel-good factor that currently outweighs consumer worries of bigger picture issues.
The report predicts ad spending will grow in 2016 with a ‘steady expansion’ of 3.9%. 24.6% of marketers are planning to increase their budgets this year. Digital benefits the most, with 6.9% of marketers expecting to raise budgets. Main media and PR & events are also slightly up, at 1.1% and 0.6%.