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Marketing budgets on the up


Recruitment companies could be set for an increase in the number of marketing jobs available in the UK, with a recent report suggesting that marketing budgets are likely to grow over the course of the year.

The latest Bellwether report, a quarterly survey of 300 senior marketers from the UK's top companies, found that 36 per cent have set out larger budgets for the 2013/14 year, with only 23 per cent cutting their spend.

Furthermore, the net balance of 13 per cent is the highest since the first quarter of 2011, suggesting that marketing is one sector that has not been adversely affected by the economic problems besetting Britain.

This is reflected in the confidence of the executives surveyed - 36 per cent anticipate an improved performance from their companies, up from 28 per cent in the last quarter.

Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit and author of the Bellwether report, tempered this optimistic viewpoint by pointing out that continued uncertainty over the UK's economic future could sap the positivity currently espoused by top marketers.

"While the Bellwether is suggesting the economy is recovering, it looks set to be another challenging year for businesses and the pace of economic expansion is likely to be modest," he declared.

"The hope among many companies is that increased sales and marketing activity will drive business growth, but firms will need to see convincing signs that demand and profits are improving in coming months to prevent business confidence falling again and marketing budgets from being revised down," Mr Williamson added.

Despite the Markit economist's efforts to dampen any enthusiasm marketers may be feeling about the future, it is clear that the industry can play a major role in driving any recovery seen in the UK economy.

With channels such as digital and especially mobile becoming more important, budgets are expected to remain healthy for some time.

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