Q4 2019 Bellwether Report

Marketing budgets return to positive territory in Q4 2019 as political uncertainty eases.

Marketing budgets return to positive territory in Q4 2019 as political uncertainty eases.

The Bellwether Report is researched and published by IHS Markit on behalf of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising. The report features original data drawn from a panel of around 300 UK marketing professionals and provides a key indicator of the health of the economy. The survey panel has been carefully selected to represent all key business sectors, drawn primarily from the nation’s top 1000 companies.

Key findings from the Q3 2019 survey:

  • Total marketing budgets increase for first time since Q1 2019
  • Initial budget plans for 2020/21 show bullish expectations, with strong growth in total marketing budgets expected as uncertainties diminish
  • Internet marketing continues to outperform as businesses invest in online tools to bolster digital presence
  • Own-company financial prospects move into positive territory for first time in over a year
  • Adspend expected to improve in 2020 and beyond as business cycle recovers from current soft spell

Commenting on the latest survey results, Paul Bainsfair, IPA Director General, says:

"This latest IPA Bellwether Report demonstrates the extent to which UK marketing budget planning has been at the mercy of the unstable political environment. Over the past year we have seen a stagnation in marketing budgets, culminating in a below zero score last quarter. And yet now, with the clear result of December’s General Election, we are seeing a return to positivity in terms of UK companies’ confidence regarding their own financial prospects and in terms of their budgeting plans – up marginally this quarter and significantly for 2020/21. With Brexit still looming, I’m sure it won’t be plain sailing, but these forecasts provide an upbeat outlook for the year ahead for UK plc, their marketers and of course the agencies that work with them to grow their businesses."