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Marketing spend 'up by unprecedented levels'


The amount being spent on marketing and advertising in the UK increased by an unprecedented amount over the last quarter as the industry continued its inexorable recovery, according to the latest IPA Bellwether survey.

In the third quarter of 2013, a net balance of 12.3 per cent of companies registered an increase in budgets, compared to 7.3 per cent in Q2.

This statistic is calculated by subtracting the percentage reporting on a downward revision from the percentage reporting an upward revision, and indicates the sector remains in good health after recording a fourth positive reading on this metric.

One element in this positivity is the overall economic recovery seen across the UK, with expectations for industry financial prospects also good.

Particular parts of the market are performing especially well, notably the web-focused side of marketing - search engine optimisation was up by 7.7 per cent.

More traditional areas, including PR and direct marketing, endured a slight fall in their budgets. This could suggest an overall trend for the future of the industry, or merely a re-balancing of priorities as more focus is placed on the web.

Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit and the report's author, said: "The increased appetite to spend on advertising and marketing is being fuelled by a surge in business optimism, with firms seeing their financial prospects to be the brightest for at least eight years."

He added that the improved conditions in the marketing industry also look to be good news for the rest of the UK's economy, as firms regain their footing and begin to put expansion plans in place following the last few years of difficulties.

A great deal of hype has been seen in the online and digital marketing world over the last 12 months, with more consumers utilising smartphones and tablets to purchase items or research their shopping plans.

However, traditional areas such as events remain important for firms hoping to offer their clients a holistic approach to branding and marketing.

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