Budgets for 2011

Marketing budgets increased by a net 0.5% in the third quarter of 2010, according to the latest Bellwether report, but the report’s author and Markit chief economist Chris Williamson urged caution following public sector cuts and the VAT increase. We asked marketers what their budgets are looking like for 2011.

Click here to read the cover feature: Just how prepared are you for 2011?
Click here to see which 2010 campaigns were voted the best by marketers
Click here to read the top marketing strategies for 2011
Click here to read what consumer behaviour Richard Madden thinks marketers should be mindful of in the year ahead
Click here to check out the brands to watch in 2011

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Ed Relf
Chief commercial officer
Mind Candy

Our marketing budget is growing at a double-digit percentage every month. The reason for this is because the first thing we did before launching the subscription component [of children’s online game] Moshi Monsters was build a metric tracking system. We track every transaction back to return on investment. Once you understand exactly which channels are generating you profit, it’s very simple. You’ve effectively an unlimited budget, because if you’re spending a pound and you know you’ll get five pounds back four weeks later, there’s really no reason to slash budget.

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Ashley Stockwell
Executive director of brand and marketing (departing)
Virgin Media

Virgin Media is planning to spend on a similar level to last year. Clearly it would love to spend more, and the most successful brands will invest in marketing through tough times. It puts you in a much stronger position once things get better. Having said that, if budgets do get tight, it forces more creative thinking. You have to come up with new, clever, more cost-effective ways of spending it. For Virgin Media that means using PR and social media.

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Andrew Mullins
Managing director
Independent, Independent on Sunday and London Evening Standard

We will maintain a flat budget as a start, but will invest behind growth as it happens.

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Michelle Feeney
Chief executive
St Tropez

We will hopefully have more budget in 2011 because we’re trading very well. We have a new partner in business, PZ Cussons, which has an appetite to grow, so our marketing budget has increased by 25% for next year.

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Elliot Moss
Director of business development
Mishcon de Reya Solicitors

It might be a bit more [in 2011] because our business has grown. I look at marketing budget as the pot of what I spend in the market, but also what my people cost me. The total cost of our marketing is usually about 5% of total company turnover, so about £2.5m.

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Cameron Saunders
Managing director
20th Century Fox Theatrical UK

The objective I’m setting the team in 2011 is to hold the marketing spend level with 2010 and to squeeze extra value out of it in order to counter media inflation.

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Keith Moor
Director of brand and communications
Santander

Budget pressure is always going to be there. As marketers, we should continue the trend that we’ve started in the past five years, to show how effective marketing can be. Marketing is becoming seen as an investment rather than a cost centre. I’m not sure if budgets will go up, but we’ll certainly look to maintain investment.

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Kristof Fahy
Group brand and marketing director
William Hill

Like any good marketer I’ve asked for more in 2011. Marketers, particularly at this time, have to be very aware of their responsibility to a business from a financial point of view. Yes, we know that marketing on a great day can drive new customers and new revenues, but it is an investment. I call it the eternal debate: whether you invest in marketing in difficult times, versus it being one of the first things you cut. To be honest, that’s the debate we’re having right now.

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Brema Drohan
UK managing director
Nespresso UK and Ireland

We don’t divulge exactly how much we spend by market but we will certainly increase our spend next year and we’re forging ahead as far as we’re concerned. We’re in a place in the market where we’re not a pure niche player but we’re a part of the market that’s a bit insulated. Our plans are to definitely further our growth in 2011.

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Caroline Halliwell
Director of brand and B2B marketing
FT

I hope to see a slight increase in budget this year. Driving subscriptions will be key for us, especially digital subs. Our audience is premium and global so we will also be continuing to communicate with clients – both direct and through media agencies. We’ll also continue to promote FT Weekend and Howtospendit.com to a wider audience.

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