'We're All Right Jack,' Say UK Marketers

16 June 2008

COOKHAM, UK: According to a survey report published last week, British marketers are in bullish mode about business prospects for their own organisations – despite a national economic outlook gloomier than at any time since the early 90s.

Does this suggest that marketers are in PollyAnna-type denial? David Thorp, director of research at the Chartered Institute of Marketing believes not.

"This [optimism] may be because today's professional marketers know that they can help their organisations exploit the opportunities an economic downturn brings.

"By focusing on changing customer needs more precisely, in these challenging times they can help their organisations not only to survive but thrive."

The CIM's latest biannual Marketing Trends Survey indicates that over a third of marketers believe the UK will be in recession in 2008, with the number of marketers expecting general economic conditions to decline over the next twelve months rising from 40% to 57% since the last survey in September.

Paradoxically, however, marketers are optimistic about their own organisations' performance: 39% predict that business for their operation will improve during the next twelve months; 41% that it will remain the same; and only 17% believing conditions will worsen for their business.

Underscoring this optimism, the survey reveals that spending on marketing continues to rise, currently averaging 7.7% of an organisation's turnover - up from 6.6% in September 2007.

Moreover, almost one-third (30%) of marketers anticipate recruiting additional staff; while just one in ten expect a decrease in the size of their marketing department.

The study was conducted online by Ipsos MORI among a sample of 2,058 marketing professionals.

Data sourced from mrweb.com; additional content by WARC staff