UK marketing budgets were revised up in the third quarter of 2011, with 21 per cent of companies raising spending while 17 per cent reduced it, according to the latest UK IPA Bellwether report by Markit Economics.
But it’s still ‘tin hat’ time in the UK with 39 per cent of the marketing executives surveyed saying they were more gloomy about prospects than they were earlier in the year.
“It does indicate that although general levels of confidence remain low, there is a willingness to go out there and stimulate spending,” says IPA director general Paul Bainsfair.
Most of the increased spending went on more supposedly quantifiable areas sales promotion, online and direct marketing, rather than traditional media including TV and print.
“Companies do have quite large cash surpluses on average and they are not making a decent return on their capital,” says Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit.
“They have not been taking on staff or investing in other areas. They are operating quite efficiently. That means they have got some money. In most cases, instead of investing in brand building or expensive TV campaigns, what they are doing is looking to boost up their marketing spend to generate some quick sales and get revenues up in the short term.”