SINGAPORE: Brand marketing leaders are generally optimistic about increased budgets in the next year, with growing digital media spend and in-house capabilities top of mind for many, according to a new survey by agency network Dentsu Aegis.

The survey, which questioned 1,000 marketing leaders globally, found that chief marketing officers in China are highly optimistic, with a full 75% of respondents anticipating a larger marketing budget in the next 12 months despite the country’s economic slowdown.

By contrast, Japanese marketers are more pessimistic about their budgets – just 35% expect their budgets to increase in the next year, Mumbrella reported.

Digital media spend is top of mind for many chief marketing officers internationally, with more than half (54%) expecting to ramp up investment on online channels over the next 24 to 36 months.

“The speed of growth and the variety of new channels through which brands can engage consumers is astonishing. But many brands are guilty of letting the tail wag the dog, allowing a short term preoccupation with digital detract from long-term brand building,” said Nigel Morris, Dentsu’s chief strategy and innovation officer.

“As with any innovation, these tools need to be considered in the context of a brand’s long-term strategy and as part of an integrated marketing mix that address all phases of the consumer lifecycle,” he added.

The research also found that 52% of respondents are set to bring more marketing capabilities in-house and a third (33%) intend to reduce the number of external agencies their brand currently partners with. Both figures are likely to be alarming for agency holding groups, which are facing disruption in their business models already.

“This trend, coupled with the popularity of in-house marketing capabilities, does speak to the pressures facing brands and the need to demonstrate effectiveness of marketing spend,” the report said.

Sourced from Dentsu Aegis, Mumbrella; additional content by WARC staff