Britain’s Chartered Institute of Marketing detects a more upbeat note among the nation’s marketers than that found by the recent Bellwether Report published by ad agencies’ body, the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising [WAMN: 15-Jul-03].

The CIM’s Marketing Trends Survey predicts a 10% increase in sales in the year ahead, while 30% of respondents expect to surpass their sales plans. This forward view contrasts with Bellwether’s report which is based on actual spend for the preceding quarter.

Whereas the latter reported 29% of companies revising current marketing budgets downward, the CIM found that marketing expenditure is expected to increase by 2.4% over the coming year, compared with a rise of only 0.3% in its last quarterly survey. It also noted that some forty per cent of businesses say they are planning to increase the size of their marketing and sales departments.

According to CIM chief executive Peter Fisk, his survey reflects a growing mood of business optimism since the end [?] of the war on Iraq. “The marketing department is usually the first part of an organisation that can gauge an understanding of how the economy is reacting through its in-depth knowledge of sales activities and consumer preferences,” opines Fisk. “It is a further indicator that it is vital to have marketers on-board who can create real business value for shareholders.”

The survey questioned 100 sales and marketing executives across a variety of industries, asking about sales growth, price changes, business confidence, marketing expenditure and marketing focus. It compares with Bellwether’s panel of over 200 marketing professionals in all key business sectors, drawn primarily from the nation’s top 1000 companies.

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