Marketing budgets to grow 7% during 2010

Marketing executives are set to increase their budgets by 7% next year as the industry recovers and new spending trends such as the mobile market continue to take hold, a new survey reveals.

According to the new research undertaken by Colmar Brunton for the Australian Marketing Institute, budgets are set to increase as the mood of the market recovers.

The survey found that budgets are expected to rise by 7% next year, compared to increases of 2% this year and 5% during 2008, but each industry is recovering at its own pace.

While the budgets of media and communications professionals fell 9% this year, spending is set to grow by 4% next year in the smallest increase in the survey. However, the manufacturing industry is set to record the highest increase of 10% next year, followed by a 5% increase during the current year.

The biggest challenges were identified as “getting your message to market”, followed by “maintaining current customer base” and “acquiring new customers”.

But the survey also identified new methods of spending, with 63% of executives saying they had spent more in online advertising, with a massive 61% putting money towards social media campaigns.

Traditional marketing is also on the decline, with nearly 40% of executives spending less in newspaper advertising, 35% spending less in free-to-air television and 34% spending less in sponsorships. However, each category also recorded a small increase in spending.

Australian Marketing Institute chief executive Mark Crowe says the results of the survey show there is a definite trend towards “modern style” media.

“There are definitely trends occurring. There is clearly a move towards the online environment, and that has been on the cards for awhile now.”

“However, it should be noted some traditional media is due for a lift in spending. This isn’t about “winners” and “losers”, but there are areas of traditional media that are seeing some increases. It depends on the industry.”

Crowe says marketing executives in smaller businesses should learn from the survey that reducing market expenditure during a downturn can often lead to a business taking a worse hit than it should.

“I think a good point for SMEs is that investing in your marketing during a downturn can invariably have a far greater impact in your share of the market. If others are reducing expenditure, you can spend more and get a higher return on investment.”

“Our studies are showing that companies which do invest in a downturn have brands that come out stronger. We are seeing a new maturity out of this survey, we see that during a downturn there isn’t an immediate rush to cut costs across the board. Companies are more strategic, and that’s a good thing for SMEs to notice.”

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