CIM Q4 Marketing Confidence Survey: Growth is back on the agenda

Yesterday the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and Bloomberg released the results of their Q4 Marketing Confidence Monitor – a quarterly benchmark exploring and tracking marketers’ attitudes, sentiment and outlook. The headline message from the survey is that “growth is firmly back on the agenda”. Finally, some good and encouraging news for business owners!

We have highlighted below some key findings, which we found of most interest.

Improving business confidence:

52% of marketers report improving confidence in economic prospects over the next 12 months, compared with 15% reporting falling confidence – a net change of 32.8 percentage points.

Short-term optimism also high:

49% of marketers predict an improvement in UK economic performance in the next quarter, compared with 12% expecting a weakening.

Ethics high on the agenda:

77.9% agree their organisation is emphasising sustainability and responsible practices in corporate, brand or product/service messaging.

Top three priorities to support growth:

SME respondents were asked to choose their organisation’s  ambitions over the next six months. The top 3 answers were:

1. Doing ‘the basics’ better – delivering consistently for our customers.

2. Targeting new customer groups/segments.

3. Exploiting new digital channels and social media.

Outlook for marketing expenditure unsure:

29.3% of marketers report falling confidence in having access to the right level of marketing investment, whilst 29.4% report improving confidence – suggesting continued uncertainty.

Marketing still lacks credibility in the boardroom:

Half (49.5%) of marketers agreed that, in their organisation, marketing is largely viewed as a communications-focused function, which restricts their ability to contribute to strategy development.

Export expansion is not being supported by Government:

Only 2.6% of marketers say their organisation gets help from the Government with exporting, and that it makes a difference, and 21.1% say they receive help and support but that ‘there could be more’.

So, overall the picture is good although there is definite room for improvement in certain areas.

Whilst the Marketing Confidence survey is based on sentiment, more so than hard facts, we are encouraged to see this overall improvement in the marketing community’s perception of the economic outlook and the results tally with our recent experience. We have seen an increase in marketing expenditure and potential client enquiries over the last quarter. Now we all have a role to play in continuing to talk the economy up and helping to grow each other’s businesses!

For more information on the survey and to access the full report click here.