Magazine article Marketing

ANALYSIS: Budgets Look Healthy in Global Comparison

Magazine article Marketing

ANALYSIS: Budgets Look Healthy in Global Comparison

Article excerpt

UK marketing chiefs look set to boost expenditure at a faster rate than the four other major economies in 2003, reports Daniel Rogers.

Fed up with the New Year gloom-mongering already? From Tony Blair to Martin Sorrell we've had a swathe of warnings about how tough 2003 will be, politically and economically.

But an extensive survey published this week by London Business School and Havas paints a brighter picture for UK marketers.

It reveals that UK marketing chiefs intend to boost expenditure by more than 5% this year, with interactive techniques and direct marketing the main beneficiaries.

Based on interviews with the marketing heads of 727 large- and medium-size businesses across five countries, it claims to offer a sharper insight into marketing behaviour due to a heavy emphasis on the qualitative.

'This is the only report to be based on the actual comments of the people who hold the purse strings,' says Patrick Barwise, professor of management and marketing at London Business School.

It suggests UK marketing expenditure will grow by more than in the world's four other major economies: US, Japan, Germany and France.

A prediction of a 5.3% increase for 2003, outstrips the average 4.2% growth rate achieved last year. France and the US are expected to show similarly modest growth (5.1% and 4.4% respectively) while marketing expenditure in recession-hit Japan is again likely to contract by around 1.5%. Indeed most of the upbeat comments in the survey hail from UK or US companies.

'We anticipate a big increase in consumer demand,' says the top marketer at one UK financial services company. 'We need to maintain market leadership and maximise share of voice and share of trade.'

The increase in expenditure heralds a long-awaited dose of good news for the beleaguered UK media sector, with a prediction of 4.8% growth in above-the-line media spend during 2003. This compares with a static or declining market last year - spend among the companies questioned in the survey fell by 0.8% in 2002.

However, the real winners look like being below-the-line media. The report predicts a 23.3% increase in interactive marketing techniques via the internet, digital TV or mobile devices. DM will grow by 6.8%, compared with 13.3% last year.

'We have sophisticated measuring tools and know media advertising is not working as well as direct marketing,' explains the chief marketer at one UK consumer durables producer. …

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