Companies spend big on marketing

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The recent positive information about the British economy has been added to with the news that many firms are spending a great deal on ramping up their marketing and advertising campaigns – generally a sign that further growth can be expected in the coming months.

According to the influential IPA Bellwether Report, the first quarter of 2014 saw the steepest upward revision in marketing spend recorded since its records began roughly 14 years ago.

This is the sixth successive quarter in which growth has been noted, highlighting the fact that the marketing sector has been in relatively rude health despite the travails suffered by some of its counterparts.

Some 20.4 per cent of respondents revealed a jump in their first quarter budgets, up sharply from the 11 per cent recorded in Q4 of 2013.

Report author and chief economist at Markit Chris Williamson hailed the study as one of the most upbeat ever produced by the organisation, which provides core support services to the advertising and marketing sectors.

“If the initial increase in budgets for the year being the strongest since 2006 wasn’t already enough, the fact that companies have already revised these budgets higher to an extent not seen in the 14-year history paints a remarkably buoyant picture for the rest of 2014,” he explained.

“Companies are ramping up their marketing and advertising expenditure in the face of growing optimism about the economic outlook. As higher marketing spend is also usually accompanied by rising business investment and job creation, this augurs well for economic growth to top three per cent this year.”

A net 26 per cent of companies questioned anticipate economic growth this year, which will be good news for marketers as well as for the coalition government in the build-up to a decisive election year.