THE UK’s quarterly Bellwether survey reports that 26% of UK-based companies expect their marketing budgets to increase in 2024, the highest percentage in a decade. 11.3% expect the opposite. So who’s right?
Main media (which includes digital and TV) is expected to expand (show a net positive balance) at 14.2%. PR by 10.2%, direct marketing by +16.8% and events by +17.8%.
Despite this researcher Markit is forecasting a technical recession in the first quarter of 2024 but growth in the economy overall of 0.5% in the year (more optimistic than most, including the Bank of England.)
IPA director general Paul Bainsfair says: “The UK economy is expected to endure a shallow recession, which will end in the first half of 2024, and our data clearly show more companies are prepared to ride out the bumps to put themselves in a strong position when the recovery phase kicks in than those that aren’t.”
Optimistic forecasts can easily be blown off course: who would have thought inflation, which has been dropping globally, would be blown off course by the Houthis’ actions against Western ships in the Red Sea? Bellwether clocks the predictions of marketers, not those of CFOs who may want to keep their money for share buybacks and the like.
But there are at least some glimmers of hope for media other than digital, which must be reaching some kind of saturation point in the UK.