1. Marketing budgets bounce back, despite pessimism about the future
In spite of economic uncertainty, marketers invested more in advertising during the first three months of 2019 compared to the same period last year.
The net balance of marketing executives reporting upwardly revised budgets increased to 8.7% in Q1, up from 0% the previous quarter.
Around 21.6% of members observed spending growth, compared to 12.8% reporting budget cuts.
Digital advertising was the best performing category, which saw the net balance for internet climb from 2.1% to 17.2%. Search/SEO also grew from -3.9% to 14.2%, while targeted advertising on mobile increased to 3.6% from -2.4%.
A renewed drive for big-ticket advertising campaigns was also apparent during the opening quarter of 2019, with main media marketing returning to growth of 5.2%, up from -6.2%.
However, market research, sales promotions, and direct marketing budgets remained in the negative, with net balances of -4.2%, -3.7%, and -3.5% respectively.
Source: IPA Bellwether
2. Retail sales climb in March
Retail sales increased in March as mild weather attracted shoppers to UK stores.
Year on year growth was the highest since October 2016 at 6.7%, while monthly sales grew 1.1%. Food stores and non-store retailing were the largest contributors to this growth.
Department stores were the only type of stores to report a fall in sales compared with the previous year, experiencing a 0.3% decline.
Additionally, online sales grew 12.4% year on year and by 8% compared to the previous month. They accounted for 18.6% of all retail sales that took place during the month – up from 18.1% in February 2019.
3. Cautious buying environment sees decrease in M&A spend
There were just 102 merger and acquisition (M&A) deals made in the marketing services industry during the first quarter of 2019, totalling $3.76bn (£2.89bn) in investments. This is a 20% decrease in spend on the previous year.
Independent agencies led activity this quarter with a 29% increase in total number of deals closed, followed by holding companies and MarTech buyers, which both reported a 13% decline.
Companies in North America closed 7% fewer deals (56) and registered 23% less spend year on year. Asia also saw M&A spend decrease by 40%.
EMEA is the only region to have exceeded the number of deals transacted, up from 28% to 32% year on year.
Source: R3 Worldwide
4. Digital video advertising integral part of cross-screen campaigns
90% of marketers say investment in digital video advertising will increase in the next 12 months.
It has also become an integral part of multimedia planning and buying with more than half of advertisers saying combined TV and video campaigns help to drive ‘incremental reach’.
Meanwhile, 90% of all stakeholders are using a Private Marketplace (programmatic direct) and a quarter of advertisers are buying more than 60% of their digital video inventory via open RTB(real-time bidding).
Publishers are also embracing video formats to support growing user and advertiser demands and to attract more brand spend. The number of publishers reporting that over 80% of their inventory was video grew by 72%, up from 16% in 2017 to 28% in 2018.
5. Number of females in C-suite roles climbs
The number of females in CMO roles at the US’ top 1,000 companies (by revenue) has risen from 32% last year to 36%.
CMOs saw the biggest percentage increase in women compared to other C-suite roles, with the financial industry home to the highest percentage of female CMOs at 53%, up from 45% the previous year.
This is followed by healthcare (45%) and technology (33%). Energy has the lowest number of women in CMO roles at just 20%.
Source: Korn Ferry