Bellwether: 12-month positive growth for event budgets

The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising's (IPA) latest Bellwether report on marketing budgets has reported events spend saw a 7.8% uplift during the third quarter of 2014.

Event spend third highest in Q3 2014 Bellwether report
Event spend third highest in Q3 2014 Bellwether report

It is the fourth consecutive quarter that event marketing spend has experienced positive growth, and the eighth consecutive quarter that overall marketing budgets have seen an upward revision. During Q3, 12.6% of companies registered an increase in marketing spend.

The sharpest upward revisions to marketing budgets were made to internet (+14.5%) and main media advertising (+9.2%), which continue to be the best performing categories in the report. Modest growth was seen for direct marketing (+2.1%) and public relations (+1.0%), while sales promotions (-1.1%), market research (-1.7%) and the report’s 'other' category (-4.7%) saw declines.

In the Q3 2014 edition of the report, companies were at their most optimistic regarding full-year budgets for seven years, with a rise in 26% of businesses recording an uplift in their marketing budgets relative to the 2013/14 accounting period.

Paul Bainsfair, IPA director general, said: "Two years of continuous investment in marketing budgets, coupled with sustained confidence, has enabled the industry to innovate and diversify, and crucially to drive business growth. It is good to see companies adapting to the complex media landscape and capitalising on the positive economic climate."

Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit and author of the Bellwether report, added: "Companies remain bullish about the business outlook, ratcheting up their marketing spend once again and adding to prospects of the economy continuing to grow strongly as we head towards the end of the year.

"The third quarter upward revision to marketing budgets was the third largest recorded since the survey began in 2000, exceeded only by the upward revisions already seen in the first two quarters of the year. This represents a remarkably positive picture of companies gaining confidence about the economic outlook as the year has proceeded, ploughing more money into budgets that had already been set higher at the start of the year."

He explained 2014 is panning out to be the best year of growth for marketing spend in the survey’s 15-year history.

The Bellwether report is researched and published by Markit Economics on behalf of the IPA, featuring original data drawn from a panel of around 300 UK marketing professionals.

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