Gloom Hits Britain’s Marketers as US War Drums Intensify

05 March 2003

The latest Marketing Trends Survey by the UK’s Chartered Institute of Marketing portrays an all time low in confidence among senior members of the business.

The survey’s Confidence Index – which measures members’ confidence in their ability to reach sales targets - stood three months ago at 98.5 and has since nosedived to its lowest-ever level of 82.5.

Only 36% of respondents describe their sales plan as ‘realistic’, compared to 58% three months ago. In contrast, 62% described their sales plan as ‘very challenging’ and only 3% as ‘over achievable’, compared to 20% and 19% respectively, in the earlier survey.

The largest firms, those with a turnover of over £100 million ($158.81m; €144.76m), are forecasting 6.3% growth following only a 2.7% rise last year. Across the board, firms are planning a 1.7% increase in total sales resource this year, down from the 2.4% increase reported in winter 2002.

Comments CIM chairman Mike Johnston: “Clearly uncertainty about war in Iraq combined with a continuing consumer slowdown mean that senior UK marketers are concerned about the prospect of a recession.”

Next Monday the CIM will launch Brand Power – a campaign showing marketers how to harness the power of their brands to drive business performance through tough times.

The postal survey was conducted among UK-resident CIM members and other senior marketing professionals between 14-21 February and the data is based on 120 respondents.

Data sourced from: CIM (UK); additional content by WARC staff