Global Marketers Optimistic About Budget Growth

March 23, 2012

warc-global-mktg-budgets-march-2012.jpgSentiment regarding budgets appears to be steadily improving among global marketers, finds Warc, in its latest Global Marketing Index (GMI). The budget component score moved to 51.5 in March, passing the threshold score of 50 for the first time since Warc began tracking sentiment in November 2011, when it was at a low of 43.9. A score above 50 indicates a generally improving environment. The March score was an improvement from February’s 49.3.

Optimism Drops in Americas, Still Solid

Warc’s headline Global Marketing Index (GMI), which tracks overall industry opinion as a composite of marketing budgets, staffing, and trading conditions, rose from 56.2 in February to 57.4 in February. Respondents from the Americas were again the most positive, although headline GMI dropped from 62.9 to 59.7. Sentiment among marketers representing the Asia Pacific also showed some growth, rising from 56 to 57.9. While Europe remained behind in sentiment, it continued to improve, rising to 55, up from 52 in February and 50.4 in January.

Digital and Mobile Still Hot

warc-mktgbudgets-by-medium-mar-2012.jpgAs with previous months, digital (excluding mobile) and mobile channels continued to attract global spend in March, with index scores of 78.9 and 71.2, respectively. The press again experienced the largest reduction in expenditure, with a score of 36.1, although that was an increase from 33.5 last month. Radio also improved slightly from 39.6 to 42.3, though remained well below the threshold for rising expenditure. TV and out-of-home hovered around the neutral mark, at 48.8 and 48, respectively.

Details from Zenith Optimedia’s March 2012 global ad spending forecast by medium can be found here.

Other Findings:

  • The Warc global trading conditions component index increased marginally in March to 60.8, after jumping from 54.4 to 59.7 in February. Asia Pacific surpassed the Americas as the region with the best outlook, increasing from 59.2 to 61.8, while the index in the Americas fell from 66.2 to 59.9, just ahead of Europe (59.2).
  • In terms of the worldwide staffing component index, recruitment appears to be strong. The staffing index for the Americas, which has been the most volatile, dropped to 63.1 this month from 65.8 in February, after rising from 56.1 in January. Even so, the region continues to be the most optimistic, followed by Asia Pacific (60.5) and Europe (57.9), both of which posted their strongest scores to date.

About the Data: Warc compiles the Global Marketing Index in association with World Economics by tracking the opinions of an online panel of 1,295 experienced executives working for brand owners, media owners, creative and media agencies, and other organizations serving the marketing industry.

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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