Confidence appears to be rising among businesses in the Midlands with a majority of companies planning to raise their marketing budgets this year, according to MindMetre Research’s latest annual forward-looking survey of British business. The annual MindMetre Marketing Barometer, which canvassed more than 2,000 large and small British companies, found that a net proportion of 39% of firms in the Midlands are predicting a marketing budget increase in 2012, a notable shift from last year, when the figure stood at -8%. The figure matches the British average.
The Barometer indicates a marked surge in optimism among businesses in the Midlands, a significant majority of which anticipate marketing investment this year will be money well spent, the findings demonstrate. This is the first year the Marketing Barometer figures have been released to the media. The MindMetre Marketing Barometer shows:
- 59% of companies in the Midlands plan to boost their 2012 marketing budget, while only 20% intend to cut it, with the difference between the two providing the net figure of 39%
- in 2011, a total of 39% of respondents in the Midlands planned to increase their marketing spend, compared to the 47% which intended to reduce it, leaving a net difference of -8%
- across Britain, a net proportion of 38.5% of companies plan on increasing their marketing budget over the course of 2012, compared to a net figure of 0% in 2011
- 57.1% of British companies plan to boost their marketing budget over 2012, while only 18.6% intend to cut it, with the difference between the two providing a net figure of 38.5%
- in 2011, a roughly equal proportion of all respondents (just under 42%) planned to increase their marketing spend as intended to reduce it, leaving virtually no net difference
The findings show that larger companies demonstrate a greater inclination to invest more in marketing than SMEs. This can possibly be attributed to the fact that bigger firms can more easily tap into cash flow and bank credit at a time when net business lending has fallen and smaller businesses continue to experience tight credit conditions. When it comes to Britain’s largest companies, 61% plan to boost marketing spend while just 15% aim to slash their budgets. Nevertheless, the strength of the SME outlook can still be characterised as buoyant, as 56% of SMEs intend to raise their marketing budgets while only 20% plan to cut their spending.
Paul Lindsell, MindMetre’s Managing Director, commented: “These forward-looking survey results augur well for 2012, which, if marketing budget trends are taken as a forward indicator of overall business sentiment, may herald the beginnings of a true upturn for Britain Ltd. Unlike other studies, which only track the activities of Britain’s very largest businesses, this study embraces representation from the full range of company sizes.”
Lisa Turner, Marketing Director at the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing, said: “It’s encouraging when trends which are apparent through our own experience and through anecdotal evidence are backed up by solid research. These are exciting times for marketers. Difficult economic conditions taught us to be agile, flexible, adopt new techniques and to make every marketing penny count. Now that confidence appears to have returned, it’s that ability to embrace change and to prove marketing’s worth that will bring the greatest rewards going forward.”
Lindsell added: “2011 may have seemed a year of economic despondency, but it was also a year where weak players went to the wall, and strong businesses survived, even making highly advantageous acquisitions. Although some sectors may still be suffering from low demand and over-supply, many more may have passed through their bloodletting stage and appear to be gearing up for growth, both at home and in buoyant overseas markets. MindMetre’s findings provide reasons to be cautiously optimistic as businesses in the Midlands attempt to beat off the threat of another recession and claw their way back to prosperity.”
Copies of the MindMetre Marketing Barometer 2012 may be obtained by visiting www.mindmetre.com