Companies across the UK have cut their planned growth in marketing spending to a record low, fuelled by fears about war with Iraq and a slowdown in consumer spending.
Planned growth in marketing spending has fallen to 1.7 per cent from 2.4 per cent in winter last year.
The latest Chartered Institute of Marketing’s (CIM) Marketing Trends Survey, which reveals that the marketers’ confidence index has dipped to 82.5, indicates that recession is likely to continue through 2003.
According to the survey, the UK marketing profession’s level of confidence has hit rock bottom, in sharp contrast to the confidence index of 98.5 just three months ago.
Marketers are not confident about meeting their deflated targets. Only 36 per cent describe their sales plans as realistic, compared with 58 per cent in last winter’s survey.
The gloomy outlook is likely to put a squeeze on sponsorship and PR activities, with planned spending expected to shrink by 1.9 per cent and 0.3 per cent respectively.
CIM international chairman Mike Johnston says: “In a slowdown, marketers have an opportunity to prove that marketing is the key force behind business success.”
CIM is launching a campaign called Brand Power to show how marketers can harness the power of brands to drive business performance “through tough times”.