More evidence of the significant impact COVID-19 is having on the marketing industry comes in the March issue of the WARC Global Marketing Index, which shows an accelerating decline in traditional media budgets and, for the first time, a fall in global staffing levels.

In the WARC Global Marketing Index (GMI), which provides a monthly indicator of the state of the global marketing industry, the growth rate decreased to 42.5 in March from 48.8 in February (where 50.0 indicates no change); it has been in ongoing decline since July last year.

With all regions affected by COVID-19, the index in Europe had the slowest rate of decline at 45.0 in March, but the region saw the largest drop in index value, from 53.4 in February. In APAC, the index fell from 46.0 in February to 40.0 in March whilst in the Americas, the index decreased from 45.6 in February to 41.0 in March.

Among the constituent parts of the GMI, the Index for Global Marketing Budgets has been in decline since the middle of last year, but the rate of decline has significantly increased, from 45.9 in February to 38.7 in March; this is the lowest index value since the inception of the GMI and consequently the fastest rate of decline.

Despite significant decreases in the index for marketing budgets, mobile and digital still remain in growth, with mobile’s index value of 55.2 above digital’s 53.9.

All other tracked media remained in decline in March, with COVID-19 accelerating the rate of decline in the marketing budgets of TV (46.3 to 38.2), radio (38.0 to 34: its new lowest index value), OOH (45.1 to 37.9) and press (29.4 to 26.7).

The index for Global Trading Conditions in March remained in decline at 40.9: a notably higher rate of decline than February’s index of 49.1.

And, for the first time since the inception of the Global Marketing Index, the latest data shows negative global staffing levels, with a decrease from 51.3 in February to 47.9 in March.

Europe, however, remains in growth, albeit with a decreased rate of growth from 55.2 in February to 50.8 in March. The index in APAC fell into decline from 51.6 in February to 48.3 in March, and the rate of decline in the Americas increased from 47.8 in February to 45.4 in March.

The Global Marketing Index provides a unique monthly indicator of the state of the global marketing industry, by tracking current conditions among marketers.

The global marketing panel consists of experienced executives working for brand owners, media owners, creative and media agencies and other organisations serving the marketing industry.

If you currently work for a brand owner, media owner, creative or media agency – or any other organisation serving the marketing industry – then we want you to take part in our panel.

Sourced from WARC