Marketing budgets remain low but marketers should not be left disheartened

A recent report conducted by Bellwether has found that marketing budgets have been cut for the first quarter of 2011 within the UK. Despite this, Brand Recruitment who specialise in marketing jobs across Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire have found that marketing budgets set aside for recruitment have not been affected.

300 companies were surveyed by Bellwether and reportedly budgets were cut by a net value of 5.1%. The report seems to indicate that public spending cuts could be the cause to these cuts in marketing budgets. This could very well be true as growing economic uncertainty ripples through the UK. Another factor that has been suggested is the drop in consumer confidence reported by the Nationwide. Retail sales have fallen in the first quarter of this year which could affect company’s budgets. All of these factors could contribute to marketing budget cuts.

Despite the recent Bellwether report, marketing budgets have slightly risen on the last quarter of 2010 by 0.3%. Of the 300 companies surveyed, 39% plan on increasing their spend and only 22% declining their spend. This infers that marketing is still an important part of company’s overall strategies and they can see its significance. The report also brought attention to the particular disciplines of marketing that have been cut. Direct marketing and events have certainly taken a ‘hit’ whereas online and digital marketing continues to grow. This trend has also been found in Brand Recruitment’s most recent marketing jobs review.

Dominic Phipps, Consultant at Brand Recruitment comments that “recent marketing recruitment activity across the Eastern Region has increased in the first quarter of 2011. We have become increasingly busy and companies are seeking to recruit. The demand for marketers across counties such as Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire has risen. There has been a slight decline in the demand for direct marketers and event managers but this is not to say that companies have completely stopped recruiting for these types of jobs.” He further suggests that marketers should not feel pessimistic as the current job market is vibrant. This is echoed by Andy Viner, Head of Media at BDO LLP who observes “The outlook for 2011 looks a lot more positive with more businesses planning to raise their marketing spend compared with 2010.” Concluding that marketers should not fear recent reports suggesting that budgets will continue to be cut.

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