First the Bellwether report found marketing budgets being revised upwards at record rates in its report of sector confidence in the third quarter last month.
And now, the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) has found marketers’ confidence in their business performance is at its highest level since the report was first published in October 2012. Elsewhere, considerably fewer reported uncertainly or nervousness to spend than they had in the previous quarterly report.
Such news has resulted in risk aversion “taking a back seat”, the study said, with many businesses plotting “aggressive” growth ambitions in 2014.
This is all encouraging news. Marketers fuel growth in companies, sectors and the UK economy. Those that treat marketing as an opulent operating expense to be cut as if ostentatious in difficult times are guilty of short-termism.
However, as every good direct marketer knows all spending has to be accounted for.
Worrying then that tucked away in the CIM report a finding that should concern as much as news of increased budgets should buoy. More than a quarter of marketers (27 per cent), the report finds, said they evaluate their campaigns only when there is time and resource to do so. An even more pressing issue when considering the report also found almost half (45 per cent) of marketing plans are driven primarily by budgets.
The recession shone a light on the need for marketers to be accountable. The increasing prominence of big data was borne as much from technological advancements as it was from a demand for data-driven campaigns that are efficient and thoroughly evaluated.
Marketers are now taking in commercial terms in tune with boardroom thinking and language and in turn have made great strides in increasing their influence in the c-suite.
This and the increasing budgets they are beginning to enjoy will be put at risk if they do not account for the investment they are afforded. If you do not evaluate, you cannot learn and you cannot demonstrate return.