LONDON, 22nd April 2020: Earlier today the IPA released its latest Bellwether report, revealing the severe impact that COVID-19 is having on UK marketing budgets and the wider economy.
Over the past three months, marketing budgets have declined at their fastest rate since the global financial crisis, with the key brand-building category, main media, suffering a steep downward revision of -9.9%.
But it’s not all doom and gloom, with forecasts predicting a sharp rise in total marketing budgets in the second half of 2020 and early 2021 when public health measures are expected to ease. Reassuringly, the main media advertising segment has recorded the strongest forecasts, with a net balance of +8.4% of companies expecting an upward budget.
Tom Byrne, evp Agency Services, commented “The results are no surprise given the massive disruption that COVID-19 is wreaking across the economy. In the short term, many businesses are in survival mode in order to protect jobs and keep themselves afloat. For others, internal processes that were in need of digital transformation pre-pandemic and would have taken months or even years to achieve, are falling away, laying the foundations for dramatic organisational innovation.
The results also suggest that there is optimism that we will start to return to a semblance of normality later this year. Many businesses will be using this period of enforced pause to use deep analytics to re-evaluate large swathes of their strategy and develop more robust ad- and mar-tech foundations, with many already turning their attention to how their business will be shaped when emerge from the pandemic
The use of data to properly inform new strategies and business plans and to drive a host of tactical decisions across the business at pace will be absolutely critical. Today’s business decisions will be judged and scrutinised in years to come so they shouldn’t be viewed as a short-term fix, but a long-term solution.”