Marketing Budgets Rising in the Americas

February 23, 2012

warc-mktg-budgets-by-region-feb-2012.jpgThe Americas remains the sole region driving global marketing expenditure growth, with a Global Marketing Index (GMI) component score of 56.9, where a score above 50 indicates a generally improving environment, according to a February 2012 report from Warc. In fact, this score is an improvement from 53.2 just a month earlier. Marketers in Europe remain pessimistic, with a score of 44.3, but executives in Asia Pacific saw marketing budgets improve to 49, slightly below the neutral level of 50. Overall, outlook for global marketing budgets has improved from a low of 43.9 in November 2011 to 49.3 in February.

According to a December 2011 study conducted by StrongMail in conjunction with Zoomerang, 51% of US business leaders plan to increase their marketing budget this year, compared to just 8% who expect a decrease.

Optimism Increases Across Regions

warc-globalmarketingindex-by-region-feb-2012.jpgWarc’s headline Global Marketing Index (GMI), which tracks overall industry opinion as a composite of marketing budgets, staffing, and trading conditions, rose from 52.9 in January to 56.2 in February. Respondents from the Americas were again the most positive, with headline GMI jumping from 56.5 to 62.9 during that period. Sentiment from the marketers representing the Asia Pacific also showed some growth, rising from 53.4 to 56. Europe continued to lag, but recorded a score of 52, up from 50.4 in January and 49.6 in December.

Digital Channels Getting More Spend

warc-mktgbudgets-by-medium-feb-2012.jpgConsistent with previous months, digital (excluding mobile) and mobile channels continue to gain global spend in February, with index scores of 80.5 and 72.1, respectively. The press sees the worst spending environment among traditional media, with a score of just 33.5, while radio (39.6) and out of home (44.5) also suffer from declining sentiment. TV, though, improved to a near-neutral 49.1, its best performance since Warc began its index in October 2011.

Other Findings:

  • The global trading conditions component index rose significantly in February, jumping from 54.4 to 59.7. The Americas continues to be the region with the best outlook, increasing from 60.2 to 66.2, though the Asia Pacific saw the largest jump, from 52.8 to 59.2.
  • In terms of the worldwide staffing component index, the number of job vacancies in the marketing industry appears to be increasing. The global index stood at 59.5 in February, up from 57.1 in January. The staffing index for the Americas has been the most volatile, dropping from 64.7 in December 2011 to 56.1 in January 2012, before rising back to 65.8 in February. Warc insight suggests this could be due to temporary Christmas hires.

About the Data: Warc compiles the Global Marketing Index in association with World Economics by tracking the opinions of an online panel of global marketers. The GMI results are calculated by taking the percentage of respondents that report that the activity has risen (“Increasing”) and adding it to one-half of the percentage that report the activity has not changed (“Unchanged”). Using half of the “Unchanged” percentage effectively measures the bias toward a positive (above 50 points) or negative (below 50 points) index. As an example of calculating a diffusion index, if the response is 40% “Increasing,” 40% “Unchanged,” and 20% “Reducing,” the Diffusion Index would be 60 points (40% + [0.50 x 40%]). A value of 50 indicates “no change” from the previous month. The more distant the index is from the amount that would indicate “no change” (50 points), the greater the rate of change indicated. Therefore, an index value of 58 indicates a faster rate of increase than an index value of 53, and an index value of 40 indicates a faster rate of decrease than an index value of 45. A value of 100 indicates all respondents are reporting increased activity while 0 indicates that all respondents report decreased activity.

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