The UK has seen the biggest expansion in marketing budgets for almost a year, new figures have revealed.

According to the latest Bellwether report from the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA), 28 per cent of those polled recorded an upward revision in marketing budgets between April and June 2017.

Just 15 per cent recorded a fall during this period, resulting in a net balance of +13.1 per cent, compared with +11.8 per cent in Q1.

This growth has been largely fuelled by increased investment in internet and search/search engine optimisation, which saw a net increase of +15.6 per cent throughout the quarter.

The increase in search-related marketing spending was the highest seen in more than two years.

Meanwhile, investment in mobile marketing saw a net increase of +3 per cent, while main media advertising grew by +9.8 per cent.

Figures also showed renewed spending in events marketing, with the net increase of +2.1 per cent marking the 15th consecutive quarterly upturn in this area.

Paul Bainsfair, Director General of the IPA, believes the findings partly reflect ongoing uncertainties around the economic environment.

“It is inevitable that this has had a knock-on effect on UK plc,” he observed.

“Specifically for marketers, this has meant a desire, where possible, to seek out more activation-driven advertising. 

“This has resulted in a further move towards advertising in the digital space.”

Paul Smith, Senior Economist at IHS Markit and author of the Bellwether Report, added that current economic conditions are “strong enough to support higher sales and demand”.

This, he said, is encouraging firms to provide product support through ongoing marketing budget expansion.

IPA Bellwether Report – 2017 Q2, Markit Economics