The IPA says it is onwards and upwards in 2020 for marketing budgets. Gartner says that 2020 UK marketing budgets are gloomy. Who to believe?
Let’s first look at summaries of their findings.
Q4 IPA Bellwether Report
The summary of the report identifies what it considers to be the key areas:
· Budget plans for 2020/2021
· Own company outlook
· Adspend growth for 2020 onwards
The summary shows that 23% of companies saw an increase in their budgets in the final quarter of 2019. While the increases are small, they represent promising news after so many months of stagnation.
Yet, the general feeling is neutral. Since feelings are neutral and the budgets increases are very small across a small number of businesses, the positive territory might be factually true but seems overly optimistic.
When businesses were surveyed about their ‘own-company outlook’, a third said that they felt downbeat about their company’s performance. While overall budgets for 2020 will increase, a large percentage of budgets will remain unchanged (58%).
It seems to elicit a lot of optimism from a relatively small increase if you only consider the data. Yet with the election result, it believes that the conditions for increased marketing spend have improved and will continue to do so.
The Gartner CMO Spend Research Report 2019-2020
Compare the IPA summary to that of the Gartner CMO Spend Research report for 2019-2020 and you get a completely different perspective.
According to their webinar (presented by Ewan McIntyre), there has been a 2-percentage point decrease for UK marketing budgets year on year. This means that marketing budgets now account for just 9.3% of overall company revenue (compared with the previous 11.4%). Furthermore, this puts the UK marketing budget allocations a good deal behind their American counterparts.
If we’re going to be global competitors, that is perhaps not the best start to 2020.
That said, there is a long way to go before the UK and the EU situation is resolved.