Events budgets rose for the seventeenth successive quarter at the end of last year, according to the latest IPA Bellwether Report for Q4 2017.
However, while companies noted the positive sales impact of direct client engagement, the net balance of rising budgets was +5.5%, down from +9.4% the previous quarter, to signal a slower rate of growth.
The report for Q4 2017 reveals growth in marketing budgets hampered by economic uncertainty and cost pressures. Its figures show 23.9% of marketing executives raising budgets during for the final quarter of 2017, generally as part of efforts to support brands, help launch new products or respond to competition.
"Looking at quarter-on-quarter results it is clear that uncertainty from the wider geo-political situation continues to affect a cautious approach from marketers regarding their budgets," said Paul Bainsfair, director general of IPA.
"That said, we must take comfort in the fact that budgets have been revised up overall in Q4 and that as ever the ability for advertising to push business growth cannot be underestimated."
The report’s author, Dr Paul Smith, director at IHS Markit, added: "While fears of a sharp deterioration in the UK economy following the EU referendum result in 2016 have so far proven to be unfounded, the current trend in growth signalled by the Bellwether survey is nonetheless consistent with an economy undermined by ongoing Brexit uncertainty and an increasingly common ‘wait-and-see’ attitude among businesses and consumers alike."
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