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.