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Bellwether reaction Q3 2015

Industry provides sector and regional reaction to Q3 Survey.

By Sector:

James Goddard Chief Executive JJ Marketing:
“This quarter’s results are obviously disappointing for the sector - however they should be viewed in the context that the previous six quarters registered an increase in spend so it is important that we stay confident in PR’s integral role in the marketing mix.”

Main Media
Jane Ratcliffe, Chairman, MediaCom, IPA Media Futures Group:
“It’s encouraging to see the industry recording three straight years of growth in budgets.  Marketing is a state of constant change and these figures go to show that companies see the value and understand the importance of brand building and communications.  However, the figures are not quite as robust as we would have hoped, marking a slowdown in the overall number of those seeing an increase to their budgets.  Some of the marketing disciplines appear to be taking more of a hit than others but these are changeable times, good marketers can and will adapt to look for more creative solutions.  It’s encouraging to see that digital continues to rise as marketers and brands alike look to focus their message and develop new ways of increasing relevancy and improving targeting.”

Paul Mead, Founder & Managing Director, VCCP Media and chair of the IPA Search Group:
“Internet spend bucked the trend in terms of the broad based slow down in budget growth across most marketing channels quarter on quarter. The 7.8% uplift demonstrates that online is perhaps the one ‘go to’ channel where continued focus and investment is required, almost regardless of the wider outlook.”

Paul Simonet, Creative Strategy Director, Imagination:
“The sustained growth across the year in Events and Experiences budgets, along with the continued growth of internet expenditure, points to two fundamentals.
“First, clients are putting their faith increasingly in owned channels above paid …because they deliver greater integrity for a brand and greater depth of engagement
“Second, that the internet and Events and experiences are the natural bedfellows of the new brand scene. Digitally enabled experiences is the way forward engagement.” 

By Region:

Brian Coane IPA Chairman for Scotland, and Partner, Leith Agency:
“While the most recent Bellwether report shows confidence levels dropping, it’s interesting to note that, as well as Internet, events continues to grow, the other category that continues to grow is events. This is a category in which IPA agencies in Scotland are particularly strong, from long-established events such as T in the Park to newer world-class events venues such as the SSE Hydro. It also highlights how marketers need to balance increasing online spend with activity that gives consumers a more meaningful experience.”

Claire Wood, Associate Planner, Leith agency:
“We’re really encouraged by the latest findings of the Bellwether report. Growth in marketing budgets in the third quarter of 2015 extends the longest growth streak we’ve seen in the 16 years of Bellwether’s history and mirrors uninterrupted growth in the Scottish economy.
“We’re delighted to see the creative industries continuing to make a substantial contribution to the Scottish and the UK economy and hope that the strengthening climate will continue to encourage excellence from existing practitioners, particularly in the exceptionally strong digital sector, and attract new talent to the industry to feed this growth.”  

England & Wales 
Ben Quigley IPA Chairman England & Wales and Group Chief Executive, Everything Different:
"Bellwether’s continued upward marketing budget growth for a successive 3 years, shows that marketing initiatives around the UK continue to move full steam ahead, with the only concern uncertainty in global economy cooling the rate of growth.” Ben Quigley, Chairman, England and Wales Membership.”

Jackie Holt, IPA North West City Head and Managing Partner, BJL:
“It’s pleasing to see that the growth period is continuing, but, we have to be aware that some client budgets are under review. The Bellwether does point to some loss of confidence from marketers, and a mixed bag of adjustments in budget spend is not unexpected.  It appears that the real opportunities to exploit growth remain in online spend and Agencies’ abilities to demonstrate ROI will only grow in importance.”

Andrew Wilson, IPA City Head for West Midlands and Chief Executive, WAA:
“In a strange way, some of the results from the 2015 Q3 survey really hearten me because they will force agencies to look harder at the commercial reality of creative work.
"I certainly see them as a ringing endorsement of the approach we have taken for a long time, which is that creative is only great if it is grounded in real understanding of the client's business and the results it needs to deliver.
"Although marketing budgets continue to increase, the key areas are internet and events, arguably two of the easiest to attribute direct results to in a meaningful manner. This is often the default because agencies have not given their client the confidence that work in other areas is genuinely going to produce the business benefit they need.
"The overall picture is that, whilst budget is there, organisations do not have the luxury of pressing the gamble button on ideas that look or sound 'nice'. They need to invest where the return will be quickest and most tangible.
"This does not rule out any channels, it just means that agencies need to up their game when it comes to using business insight and objectives to drive the ideas, and having clear goals which can be measured and monitored."

Andy Reid, IPA City Head for South West, Managing Director at McCann Bristol:
“The continued growth findings from the latest Bellwether Report are still positive but with a warning. We shouldn’t be surprised by the relative slowdown of growth; it was unsustainable to expect double-digit increases for such a long period of time.”


Last updated 15/10/2015

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