Marketers in Europe are still confident about the sector despite reduced growth in budgets, new data has indicated.

Warc’s Global Marketing Index (GMI) revealed the index for marketing budgets is now 54.2, which still represents an increase but was 1.4 per cent less than in February, the third successive slowdown in the growth rate since December’s peak reading of 57.3.

Europe showed the greatest fall, dipping four per cent, although the reading of 52.4 still represented an increase.

The impact of this on sentiment has been to cut confidence by 0.9 per cent, but that still leaves an overall reading of 57.1, clearly in positive territory. In Europe this was only slightly less at 57.

Warc’s GMI takes into account expectations in three areas – marketing budgets, staffing levels and trading conditions.

Optimism remains high for marketers on the question of trading conditions, with the global reading at 62.5 – the fifth month in a row it has topped 60 – and Europe’s marketers the most confident of all at 63.5.

The staffing levels figure saw a 2.2 per cent month-on-month drop, but remained upward overall at 54.7, with the European figure again surpassing this at 55.2.

Commenting on the situation, data and journals director at Warc Suzy Young commented: “Marketing budgets have now been consistently rising since January 2013 and despite the rate of growth dipping in Q1 2014, the data continues to indicate very positive conditions for global marketers.”

The upward trend in marketing expectations has been observed in other research as well, with a study by Responsys and Econsultancy published last month indicating that 60 per cent of firms intend to raise their marketing budgets this year. That compares favourably with 54 per cent who said they would increase them in the same survey in 2013.

A notable element in the planned increases was a rise in digital marketing spend, which will average at 38 per cent of budgets this year compared with 35 per cent in 2013.

Growth in marketing budgets slows, Warc

Posted by Robin McCrink