The news has been optimistic about holiday retail, but pessimism abounds around the world when it comes to marketing budgets, says Warc [pdf] in its latest Global Marketing Index. The budget component of the index fell to 46, its lowest point since December 2011 (45), and extending a streak of 6 consecutive months below the threshold score of 50. (A score above 50 indicates a generally improving environment, while a score below 50 indicates a generally declining environment.)
Each region registered a drop in sentiment this month. The budget score in the Americas fell to 50 (from 53.8 in October), the first time it has not passed the 50 threshold in 13 months. The Asia-Pacific index score dropped back down to 46.8 after hitting 51 in October, while Europe continue to put forward the worst showing, with a score of 42.6, down from 44.1.
Overall Marketing Index Barely Positive
As with the budget component of the index, the other components that make up the headline GMI index slowed from last month. The trading conditions component stood at 53.4 in November, down from 54.7 in although, but remaining in positive territory. The Americas saw a big drop from last month’s score of 60, this month with a reading of 53. By contrast, marketers in the Asia-Pacific recorded some improvement, with a score of 55.2 (up from 54.3). Europe’s trading index score remained flat at 42.6.
While the global index of staffing levels also remained positive, its score of 51.4 was its lowest reading since Warc began tracking this component last year, and was down 2 points from October. Marketers in Europe reported a drop in employees (49.4), while Americans (56.6) and Asia-Pacific (51.4) stayed in positive territory.
The net result of the 3 components (budgets, trading conditions, and staffing) was a barely positive reading for the headline GMI index, with a value of 50.1, down from 52.3 in October. Both the Americas (53.2, down from 58.6) and Asia-Pacific (51.2, down from 52.6) maintained their positive outlook, while Europe (48.2) dropped further below the threshold level to a negative outlook.
About the Data: Warc’s global panel (1,225 members) consists of experienced executives working for brand owners, media owners, creative and media agencies and other organisations serving the marketing industry. The panel has been carefully selected to reflect trends in the three main global regions: Americas, Asia Pacific and Europe.
Data collection period: 5-16 November 2012. The Global Marketing Index results are calculated by taking the percentage of respondents that report that the activity has risen (“Increasing”) and adding it to one-half of the percentage that report the activity has not changed (“Unchanged”). Using half of the “Unchanged” percentage effectively measures the bias toward a positive (above 50 points) or negative (below 50 points) index. As an example of calculating a diffusion index, if the response is 40% “Increasing,” 40% “Unchanged,” and 20% “Reducing,” the Diffusion Index would be 60 points (40% + [0.50 x 40%]). A value of 50 indicates “no change” from the previous month.