Majority of UK companies intend to increase marketing budgets this year, survey reveals

Some firms now investing 25 percent of marketing spend in content marketing.

by Brian Oliver

The majority of UK companies are planning to increase their marketing budgets this year, according to MindMetre Research’s latest forward-looking survey of British business.

After canvassing more than 2,000 large and small British companies, the annual MindMetre Marketing Barometer, published at the end of February, found that some 57 percent of firms plan to boost their marketing budget in 2012. Only 18 percent intend to cut their marketing spend.

A similar survey 12 months ago showed no net increase in marketing spend – suggesting that there has been a marked surge in optimism among British businesses after a timid 2011.

“These forward-looking survey results augur well for 2012,” said MindMetre’s managing director Paul Lindsell. “If marketing budget trends are taken as a forward indicator of overall business sentiment, it may herald the beginnings of a true upturn for Britain Ltd. Unlike other studies, which only track the activities of Britain’s very largest businesses, this study embraces representation from the full range of company sizes.”

INCREASING INVESTMENT IN CONTENT MARKETING

At the same time, other surveys have found that companies are planning to boost their investment in content marketing this year after recognising that high-quality original content can play a key role in moving customers through the buying process.

Some firms are now spending a quarter of their marketing budget on content marketing, according to a study by the Content Marketing Institute.

The importance of implementing an integrated content marketing strategy was underlined by a February report from strategic communications firm Fleishman-Hillard and market research company Harris Interactive. The report found that 89 percent of buyers now turn to Google, Bing or other search engines to find information on products, services or businesses before making a purchasing decision.

Fleishman-Hillard’s findings support the idea that creating original online content aimed at providing relevant and valuable information to consumers or B2B buyers – without using pushy sales language – will help businesses appeal to new prospects.

ADOPTING NEW TECHNIQUES

Lisa Turner, marketing director at the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing, said she was encouraged to find “solid research” backing up anecdotal evidence and the Institute’s own findings.

“These are exciting times for marketers,” she said. “Difficult economic conditions taught us to be agile, flexible, adopt new techniques and to make every marketing penny count. Now that confidence appears to have returned, it’s that ability to embrace change and to prove marketing’s worth that will bring the greatest rewards going forward.”

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About the author:

Brian Oliver is a business journalist and the MD and founder of UK strategic communications consultancy Focus Marketing Communications

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CONTENTED MARKETER Magazine is brought to you by content marketing specialist Focus Content Marketing

Visit our website at: Focus Content Marketing

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