Marketers look towards new media as ad budgets shrink

Chartered Institute of Marketing report points to change in advertising strategies.

Marketers are cutting back spending on advertising and sponsorship and reassessing strategy in light of tough economic conditions.

According to a report from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, respondents say they currently spend more than 9% of marketing budgets on advertising, excluding online, but expect a 4.9% drop by the end of the sales year.

The findings reflect the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising first quarter Bellwether survey, which reported 45% of companies were revising down marketing budgets.

The report, based on a survey of 1,223 marketers carried out by Ipsos MORI, found spending on public relations is also expected to drop 0.4% this year.

At 11%, PR activity takes the largest cut of total marketing spend, but just 2% of marketers believed it delivers the best return on investment.

Telephone, field and internal marketing are all set to drop 2% and over. Other areas set to be cut as marketing spend shrinks include sponsorship, diving 3.7%, lead generation, branding and sales promotion.

However, online activity and email marketing are expected to be up an average of 0.7%. More than half of marketers said social media activity is becoming increasingly relevant to their organisation, with social networking, user-generated content and blogs highlighted as key tools.

The report found that almost three-fifths of marketers saw marketing as a key aspect of their business’ strategy, though factors such as a lack of understanding and budget concerns hindered progress.

When it came to budgets, just under half of marketers said securing marketing budgets and funding was fairly difficult. Over 60% said this was partially due to economic conditions.

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