For the first time since May 2012, global marketing budgets have risen, however despite improving conditions, marketers in Asia-Pacific and Europe continue to cut budgets, according to Warc's Global Marketing Index report.
The Global Marketing Index provides a monthly indicator of the state of the global marketing industry by tracking current conditions among a global panel of 1,225 members, comprising experienced executives working for brand owners, media owners, creative and media agencies and other organisations serving the marketing industry.
The data for this report was collected from 7 through 18 January.
Globally, the marketing budgets index registered growth in January (50.4), buoyed by improved confidence in the Americas, rising from 53.9 from 50.2 (a reading of 50 indicates no change, and a reading of over 60 indicates rapid growth). However, marketers in Asia-Pacific (48.1) and Europe (46.2) continue to cut budgets.
This is in direct contrast to the burst of confidence marketers in Asia-Pacific registered, rising 2.3 points to the value of 53.8 overall on the headline index, which is a composite of the marketing budgets index along with indices of trading conditons and staffing levels.
"Positive budget setting in the Americas has lifted the index for global marketing budgets into growth territory for the first time since May," said Suzy Young, data editor at Warc. "But despite an improving outlook in terms of general trading conditions, marketers in Asia-Pacific and Europe continue to scale back their budgets."
The reluctance to increase budgets may therefore be due to a lack of confidence in their ability to implement a strong digital strategy, proposed Adobe and Econsultancy in a November report on digital marketing in Asia-Pacific. According to the report, only 6 per cent of marketers believed their company has had a high level of digital marketing proficiency and 40 per cent believe they need improvement and are lagging behind. Marketers, it suggested, are reluctant to increase spend because they are "struggling to provide targeted, intelligent and personalised experiences that can have a direct impact on the success of the business".
Warc's index for global trading conditions indicated fairly rapid improvement for January on 57.9, with Asia-Pacific (57.8) and Europe (55.4) both registering month-on-month increases.
The global index of staffing levels—the third component of headline GMI—showed significant improvement in January, on 56.7. Asia-Pacific indicated rising levels of employment with the index at 55.6.