The report found that marketing budgets as a whole have risen at an accelerated pace, marking the tenth successive quarter of upward revisions.
Over 27% of the companies in the survey panel reported an upward revision to their marketing budgets during Q1 2015, compared to around 15% that signalled a fall. This meant the quarter’s respective net balance of +11.8% was also a marked improvement on Q4 2014’s reading of +6.1%.
The latest data also marks the final quarterly reading for the 2014/15 budget year, and with upward revisions to budgets happening throughout the whole time period, overall growth for the year was the best recorded since 2004/05. Provisional data showed that a net balance of +21.8% of companies indicated that budgets had risen over the year.
The report indicated that marketing professionals have confidence for the future and predict that marketing funds will grow for a third consecutive year. Data for the 2015/16 budget period showed that a net balance of +28% of panellists are forecasting an increase in their marketing budgets relative to 2014/15. The panel also predicted that events could be one of the largest beneficiaries.
Paul Simonet, creative strategy director at agency Imagination, said: "The increasing demand for events and experiences really only bears out what we have been seeing commercially for some time. You cannot be a modern brand without a digitally enabled experience strategy - welcome to the experience economy."
Paul Bainsfair, IPA director general, said: "With over 10 successive quarters of growth in marketing budgets and the best budget year for marketing spend in a decade, this latest Bellwether provides welcome evidence of the extent to which clients recognise and value the significant contribution marketing communications makes to their business success. This stands us in good stead for what is set to be an unsettled few months politically."
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