Marketing sector results from Q3

shutterstock_274972916The latest Bellwether report has just been released, looking at how budgets and trends performed in Q3 (July to Sept), below are some highlights:

1. Budgets still increasing, but at a slower rate

Down from an increase of 12.2% to an average of 4.4%. Still increasing but possibly reflects increased caution around companies holding onto cash. Budgets have been expanding consistently since 2012, so it’s inevitable that slow downs will happen.

2. Growth areas are online and events

Bucking the general trend, online budgets are still increasing. Drivers for this seem to be an increased desire for personalisation and targeting. Investment in events is also continuing to rise, they provide a strong follow up to lead generation activities and help build stronger relationships, so this combined with increased online and personalisation is perhaps not all that surprising.

3. Market optimism has dropped

While respondents seem mainly positive about their individual company’s prospects, their optimism around the market overall is dropping slightly, again reflecting caution overall. What’s important to note however, is that it’s still significantly high and performing positively, one would expect the economic trends in China to be driving some of this drop in optimism, particularly in the manufacturing and automotive sectors.

4. Service sector growth slowed

While still in strong growth, the rate of growth has dropped for the first time since 2013. It’s one to watch, but growth rates are still significant.



Not too many surprises, economic trends in Europe and Asia continue to encourage caution in certain export markets, and online & digital marketing dominate growth areas, representing a more controllable and measurable spend.

Interesting reading:

IBM and the CMO Club recently completed their global CMO survey, which you can access here. What’s very interesting about this report is the shift from funnel to customer journey, and the focus on customer experience to drive increases in loyalty and advocacy. Supporting the Bellwether findings, there’s an increased emphasis on digital, as it enables a very responsive marketing approach that can be tested and tweaked as needed. The CMO tenure has also doubled from 2 to 4 years since 2004, a positive sign that marketing is increasingly gaining a respected place at the corporate table. Content is leading the marketing renaissance, according to the report, but in a very specific way that encourages quick information download.


About the Author

Charlotte Graham-Cumming

Director, Ice Blue Sky Ltd

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