COOKHAM, UK: British marketers are reportedly despondent about the state of the nation – or more precisely - its economic prospects in the year ahead. Moreover, the larger the companies for which they work, the bleaker their outlook.

The latest biannual Marketing Trends Survey, published Thursday by the Chartered Institute of Marketing, reports that 73% of marketers expect the UK to be in recession in 2009; while those who believe that conditions for the UK economy will worsen in the year ahead (70%) has accelerated thirty per cent from last year's pessimism level.

But stiff upper lip chaps! There are those among the bulldog breed – eleven per cent to be precise – who believe that the UK economy will improve over the next twelve months.

The report, conducted for the CIM by Ipsos MORI also found that:

  • Marketers in smaller firms - organisations with a turnover of less than £10m - are much more confident about their own organisation's prospects in the next year than those in larger organisations (turnover £10m+).
  • But that situation is reversed when it comes to worries about job prospects in the next year – one third of marketers are concerned about this, rising to 42% in firms with a turnover of under £1m.
  • The proportion who expect their organisation to expand the size of its marketing department in the next year remains higher than the proportion expecting it to contract, but the gap has dwindled to just 2% from 20% (Spring 2008: 30% expand versus 10% expecting cuts. Autumn 2008: 17% versus 15% respectively).
  • Around half of marketers (49%) have significantly altered their marketing plans due to the downturn – this is more prevalent in the retail, distribution and leisure sectors (60% of marketers) and in the financial and other services sector (57%).
In evangelistic mode, CIM Director of Research and Information David Thorp told marketers they could demonstrate their indispensability to their employers if they create real value for their organisations and measure the effectiveness of their marketing activities.

"Despite deep concern about the prospects for the UK economy, today's professional marketers recognise that they have a key role to play in helping their organisations identify and exploit the opportunities an economic downturn brings," he proselytised.

The study, conducted online in October, polled a total of 1,259 marketing professionals across a broad cross-section of organisations.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff