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The outlook’s clear with a risk of showers – Belwether Q3

Marketing budgets have continued to rise in the Q3 edition of the IPA Bellwether Report marking two years of continued growth. It means that the survey has reached third-highest level in the survey’s 14-year history.

The figures show a net balance of 12.6% of businesses that have increased in budgets during the third quarter of this year.

The biggest increases were registered in internet (+14.5%), main media advertising (+9.2%) and events (+7.8%) with slight increases for direct marketing (+2.1%) and PR (+1%).

While the results point towards a positive overall picture, our Strategy Director James Hankins spoke to The Drum and provided a word of caution for marketers.

“The latest Bellwether comes the day after the FTSE experienced its biggest drop in more than 16 months and shortly after several surveys that suggest consumer confidence has stalled to give us an interesting vantage point from which to view the outputs in the report,” said Hankins.  “These factors, coupled with continued evidence that disposable and living incomes are still under pressure (and being subsidised by savings and credit), paints a very different picture from the positive one that could be taken from the report”

“Taking into account the likely dampening effect of the upcoming election and the predicted interest rate increase, brands and businesses should be wary of taking too aggressive a budgetary stance as we move into 2015,” he added. “If they do plan to spend more then it may be wise to push weight of spend into the second half of next year when the business and consumer landscape should be a bit clearer.”