Event spend still up despite slowdown in marketing budget growth: Bellwether

Event spend is still up compared to Q2, despite slowing growth in marketing budgets, the latest IPA Bellwether report has revealed.

The Q3 report found that a net balance of +2.6% of all companies revised their events budgets up. Though this was an increase compared to the majority of other sectors, it still represented a decrease in growth from the previous quarter, where a net balance of +7.4% of companies recorded upward revisions to their event spend.

Overall, almost 16% of the survey panel indicated a downwards adjustment in marketing budgets, while 20% registered an increase. The result was a net balance of +4.4%, down from Q2’s +12.2%.

Budgets for internet marketing expanded most significantly, making it the only category to experience a higher positive net balance than the previous survey (+7.8%).

With the Bellwether report highlighting a slowdown in marketing budget growth for the third quarter, plus projections for a wider macroeconomic slowdown, projections have been downgraded. The overall growth forecast for 2015 fell from 4.2% in Q2 to 3.7% in Q3, with PR and market research representing the greatest falls.

Paul Smith, senior economist at Markit and author of the Bellwether report, said: "While the deterioration in the headline index to a ten-quarter low looks dramatic, the slowdown in growth was somewhat on the cards. As noted in the previous survey, confidence in the financial and economic outlook was already on the wane. Since then, UK growth has softened, while concerns over the outlook in emerging markets and the wider global economy have increased.

He added that focus would be better placed on the continued expansion in budgets.


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