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    Marketing budgets on the rise latest figures reveal

    By James Delves, CIM's head of PR and engagement

    Marketers, I have good news. The latest IPA Bellwether Report for Q1 2021, released late last week (July 15th) concluded that total marketing budgets across the UK have increased for the first time since Q4 2019. With a rising net balance of 6% across the 300 UK surveyed companies, the report found that 21.2% registered growth while just 15.2% reported a decline - ending five consecutive quarters of marketing spend decline.

     Looking closer there was positive news across the various marketing disciplines:

    • Digital - Video grew at 4.2%, audio by 1.1% and online by 11%
    • Direct marketing grew by 0.7% (compared with -11.8% in Q1)
    • PR and communications rose the most out of all the disciplines with a net balance of 1.8% of company’s reporting increased spending (up from -8% in Q1).
    • Mainstream media increased with 1.3% of companies raising budgets (versus -8.2% in Q1)
    • It was also predicted that adspend will grow by 7.5% in 2021 and 6% in 2022.

    There were declines for the sector:

    • Events continued to suffer due to lockdown and regulations recording a fall of 24.7% (against -43.2% in Q1)
    • Published brands and out of home were down by -6.1% and -7.5%.
    • Sales promotions also shrank by -0.7%
    • Market research also fell by -9.6%

    Positivity regarding the future of the marketing sector:

    The IPA Bellwether Report echoed our own Impact of Marketing research and CMO50 report regarding the optimism of marketers for the months and years ahead. 45.9% of marketers were more hopeful than they were in 2019 about their own company's financial position (with just 11.4% of marketers more pessimistic). This generates a net balance of 34.6%, just .2% short of last quarter - but the second-highest since Q1 of 2015.

    Reflecting on the report's findings, Chris Daly, CIM’s chief executive said: “It is a relief to see marketing budgets bouncing back with the lifting of lockdown. After an opening quarter and a previous financial year of declining growth in marketing spend, today’s positive IPA Bellwether report reinforces what we already knew about the industry - that marketing professionals are resilient, have upskilled and adapted over the last year, putting the industry in a better position to show its value to businesses.”

    “Now, as the UK prepares to come out of lockdown, we can be optimistic that the marketing industry will play a critical role to economic recovery, supporting businesses of all sizes to adapt, grow and reconnect with customers.

    "It is key that the industry continues to place the same importance on the need to retrain and embraces continuous professional development to ensure this upward curve of marketing spend, allowing the sector to drive forward.”

    To read more about the IPA Bellwether Report, please click on any of the links below, which feature comment from CIM:

    • City A.M - Click here for the full article
    • Campaign - Click here for the full article
    • Mobile Marketing Magazine - Click here for the full article
    • The Drum - Click here for the full article


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