LONDON: Marketing budgets are rising in both the Americas and Asia, but conditions remain rather more challenging in Europe, according to Warc's latest Global Marketing Index.

The Global Marketing Index was launched in October 2011, and boasts a panel of 1,295 leading executives representing brand owners, media companies, ad agencies and other organisations serving the communications industry.

In the monthly GMI survey for March 2012, overall expectations for marketing budgets stood at 51.5 points, on a scale where scores above 50 points suggest an expansion, and figures below this benchmark point to a decline.

This total had come in at 43.9 points in November 2011, before gradually improving every month since that date, reaching 49.3 points in February 2012.

Marketers in the Americas were the most positive in March 2012, on 56.1 points, ahead of their peers in Asia Pacific on 51.6 points. Europe hit just 47.9 points, although this did mark a major gain on the nadir of 40.8 points secured in December 2011.

When assessing different media channels, digital registered 78.9 points, meaning expenditure is rising rapidly. Mobile also received 71.2 points, according to the analysis.

By contrast, TV recorded 48.8 points and out-of-home yielded 48.1 points, as demand softens slightly. Press was facing a more adverse climate on 36.1 points, as was radio on 42.3 points.

Within this, television was especially well-placed in the Americas, on 52.6 points. Less favourably, radio was on 40.4 points in the same region, beneath the global average for the medium.

Elsewhere, across the entire sample, respondents rated trading conditions at 60.8 points in March 2012, an increase from 59.7 points month on month.
As the range of totals provided on this measure varied from 59.2 points to a high of 61.8 points, it appears the general outlook for the featured markets is becoming more balanced.

Similar trends were observable for staffing levels. The worldwide figure was largely flat on 59.8 points, but Europe and Asia Pacific logged their best returns to date, on 57.9 points and 60.5 points respectively.

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Data sourced from Warc