Events set to benefit from eight-year high for marketing budgets

Marketing budgets are set to hit their highest levels in eight years, with events predicted to see the most benefit, according to the Q4 2014 IPA Bellwether Report.

Events set to benefit from eight-year high in marketing budgets
Events set to benefit from eight-year high in marketing budgets

A net balance of 30.6% of companies are predicting marketing budgets to rise in 2015 and events, PR and main media expected to benefit the most from the uplift.

However, in the fourth quarter of 2014, 2.4% of event budgets saw an upwards revision, which dropped notably from 7.8% in the third quarter of 2014.

Overall, marketing budgets increased for a ninth successive quarter but at a slower rate. The report suggests that the decrease in growth momentum is a cause of heightened caution regarding the slowdown in the wider economy.

However, the growth rate for marketing budgets in 2014 as a whole was the highest recorded in the survey’s history, which first began in Q1 of 2000.

Paul Bainsfair, IPA director general, said: "According to the latest Bellwether, 2014 was the best year for growth of marketing spend in the survey’s 15-year history and budgets have been revised up for a ninth successive quarter.

"This gives the industry real cause for celebration. While it is inevitable that the current wider economic uncertainty and geopolitical unrest is starting to impact decisions regarding marketing budgets, it will be interesting to see which companies will weather this best. In the long run, we know that maintaining share of voice drives brand growth and wins market share."

Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit and author of the Bellwether Report, added: "The planned increase in marketing budgets for the coming year is more aggressive than anything we’ve seen since data were first collected back in 2000. 

"However, it’s clear that business optimism has cooled. Given the upcoming General Election, the likelihood of interest rates starting to rise in 2015 and ongoing worries about the Eurozone, it’s not surprising that we are seeing companies report increased uncertainty about the year ahead.

"We’re therefore forecasting a further solid rise in marketing and advertising spend in 2015, but expect that 2014 will prove to have been the high-water mark in terms of growth in the current upturn."

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