DUBLIN: Two thirds of Irish marketers plan on spending the same amount in 2017 as they did last year, according to a new survey that also highlights their concerns around pricing.

Media agency MediaCom Ireland and The Irish Times polled 209 marketing decision-makers and found that the majority were not intending any significant shifts in their marketing spend.

Just three in ten expected to increase marketing budgets in the year ahead while 7% said they would cut them, The Irish Times reported.

Peter McPartlin, MediaCom Ireland chief executive, suggested those results were encouraging, given the difficulties faced by many companies, not least the economic uncertainties posed by Brexit and the election of Donald Trump.

Looking beyond those two factors, the survey revealed that price-cutting pressures were a concern for 37% of respondents, followed by new Irish competition (26%) and competitor innovation (21%).

Among those companies spending more in 2017, four in five indicated that investment would be directed to website or ecommerce functions; around half advised that advertising budgets would rise, with social media channels especially likely to benefit.

At an event unveiling the figures, several speakers raised the issue of consumer trust as another thing that marketers would have to contend with.

"We have a really challenging job in getting customers to believe us, hear us, listen to us," said Orlaith Blaney, group head of brands and marketing at utilities company Ervia.

And Brian Keating, group propositions and brands director for banking organisation AIB, added that marketers needed to consider "quantity versus quality" in their communications or risk damaging brand reputation.

"There is a lot of stuff out there that I would call electronic junk mail," he said.

Data sourced from The Irish Times; additional content by Warc staff