Marketers’ confidence is wilting according to the latest CIM Marketing Trends Survey

Marketers are feeling less bullish about the future of the economy than they were this time last year and this is squeezing budgets, according to the latest research from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).

The report, published in today’s Marketing Week, shows the proportion of those who say the economy will get worse in the next year has risen from 21% to 40%. There has been a corresponding decline in positive opinion: the percentage of those who believe the economic climate will improve has dropped from 26% to 14%.

The Marketing Trends Survey, carried out by Ipsos MORI, also shows that the percentage of turnover spent on marketing has fallen to 6.6% from 7.6% in autumn 2006. The CIM remains optimistic, however, saying: “The fall takes us nowhere near the 2001 low of 2.5%, so perhaps it should not be ringing too many alarm bells.”

The research, which surveyed 1,127 marketers, supports the view that digital and online advertising are driving growth, and reveals that marketers are focusing their digital efforts on networking. Over half of the respondents (55%) say their organisations use business networking regularly, while 37% claim to be regular social networkers. This compares to just 8% who say they use viral marketing at least “a fair amount”, 7% who use corporate blogs and product seeding. Podcasts and mobile marketing have been adopted by just 6%. This shows little change from the spring survey (MW June 7).

Although online marketing is gathering pace, views are mixed as to whether the move towards online media means that marketers without online skills have little to offer the profession. While just over a third (35%) agree with this statement, 39% believe the opposite.