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IPA Bellwether survey: marketers expect strongish 2023 (fingers crossed)

As the world’s self-styled economic movers and shakers gather in Davos – cautious optimism seems to be the keynote so far – back at the UK coalface it seems as though 2023 may not be the car crash many feared, at least according to the marketers surveyed in the IPA’s quarterly Bellwether Report.

Marketing budgets grew in the last quarter of 2022 (just) with 20% up and 18% down, a net balance of 2% with events the strongest performer and published brands and Out of Home the weakest.

Looking forward, 39.5% of surveyed companies (39.5%) expect total marketing budgets to be higher in 2023/24, with 15.3% anticipating spending cuts, a strong positive net balance of +24.2%.

Hope springs eternal of course and no-one really knows what 2023 has in store. 2022, with a war in Ukraine and soaring energy and food costs fuelling inflation took everyone by surprise. In 2023 main media marketing (net balance of +13.4%) is expected to recover strongly.

Joe Hayes, senior economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence and author of the Bellwether Report says: “The latest Bellwether survey provided some interesting insights into how UK companies are planning to navigate an impending UK recession.

“Another quarterly expansion in total marketing budgets at a time when business costs have hit multi-decade highs and consumer confidence has plunged suggests many businesses understand the importance of investing in resources that will help them get through the downturn as best as possible.”

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