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Warc-Global-Mktg-Budgets-Jan-2013Marketers around the world report a positive outlook regarding their budgets this month, finds Warc [pdf] in its latest Global Marketing Index (GMI). The budget component of the index improved to a reading of 50.4 this month, its highest level since April 2012 (53.7) and its first positive score since May (50.3). (A score above 50 indicates a generally improving environment, while a score below 50 indicates a generally declining environment.)

The overall budget reading was buoyed primarily by sentiment in the Americas, with a solid score of 53.9, up from 50.2 in December 2012. In the Asia-Pacific region, the budget score edged up slightly to 48.1, but remained in negative territory. And in Europe, the score remained firmly negative, at 46.2 (from 44.8).

Staffing Levels Also Improve

The global index for staffing levels also registered a sharp improvement, up from a score of 53 last month to 56.7 this month. The Americas again had the highest reading, of 61, indicating a rapidly rising level of employment, while marketers in the Asia-Pacific (55.6) and Europe (54) also reported positive sentiment.

According to survey results from Bernhart Associates, 47% of digital and direct marketers plan to add staff in Q1, while only 14% have a hiring freeze, a significant drop from 21% in Q4 2012.

Other Findings:

  • According to Warc, the index for trading conditions stood at 57.9, up slightly from 57.1 in December. The Americas again registered the highest reading, at 59.3, though that was down from 61.1 the previous month. The scores for the Asia-Pacific (57.8) and Europe (55.4) were also healthy.
  • The headline global marketing index (GMI), comprised of the budget, staffing, and trading conditions components, improved to 55, from 52.5 in December.

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: 7-18 January 2013. 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.

Bernhart Associates’ Q1 hiring survey was emailed on January 7 and 14 to more than 15,000 senior executives, hiring managers, human resource officials, and other key participants in online and offline direct marketing. A total of 338 organizations responded to the nationally followed hiring-trends survey, which is now in its fourteenth year.

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