The Media in Figures: Marketing budgets, IPA Bellwether Report

MARKETING budgets have increased for the ninth successive quarter-year but at a slower rate, according to a report by the body, the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising.

Says Q4 2014 IPA Bellwether Report: “Despite this loss of growth momentum, which stems from heightened caution regarding the slowdown in the wider economy, the average growth rate for marketing budgets in 2014 was the highest recorded in the survey’s 15-year history.”

Adds the report, there was a net balance (calculated by subtracting the percentage reporting a downward revision from the percentage reporting an upward revision) of +6.1 per cent of companies registering an increase in budgets during Q4 2014, down from +12.6 per cent in Q3 2014 and its lowest since Q1 2013.

Other figures:

* A net balance of +30.7 per cent of companies indicated they had grown more optimistic compared to three months ago, although this is down from +38.6 per cent in Q3 2014.

* Confidence regarding wider industry financial industry prospects also remained positive at +16.2 per cent, although down from +30.4 per cent in Q3, marking the lowest level for six quarters.

* A net balance of +30.6 per cent of companies are anticipating a rise in their marketing budgets, relative to 2014/15 levels. Events, PR and main media are expected to benefit most from this uplift in total budgets.

* Regarding growth in UK adspend, the Bellwether’s forecasting model predicts a rise of 4.1 per cent in 2015, in line with a stronger than previously expected increase in consumer spending.

* All categories recorded upwards revisions to their marketing budgets in Q4 2014, with the exception of ‘other’ (-10.5 per cent).

* The highest upward revisions were made to internet with a net balance of +15.1 per cent. This was up from +14.5 per cent in Q3 and marks the highest reading since Q2 2013.

* Within internet, search also recorded a significant net balance increase of +15.7 per cent, up from+9.4 per cent in Q3 2014, marking 22 consecutive quarters of growth.

* Main media advertising also recorded growth, +6.7 per cent, although this was down from +9.2 per cent in Q3, marking a one-year low.

* Additional categories to record growth include: PR (+6.6 per cent); direct marketing (+3.9 per cent); events (+2.4 per cent); sales promotion (+2.4 per cent); and market research (+0.6 per cent).

Source: Q4 2014 IPA Bellwether Report, January 15 2015.