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Improved outlook for marketing

A healthy budget growth, stabilisation in digital spending, and a stampede toward content marketing has been forecast by the Australian Marketing Institute in a survey conducted in December 2013.
The Australian Marketing Institute and Colmar Brunton's Fifth Annual Senior Marketers Monitor reveals a range of insights about current market sentiment and practice, providing pointers to changing levels of marketing activity.
Marketing budgets are expected to continue to grow this year and the prediction is that they will record another overall increase, at around an average of 3.4% against the 1% recorded in the previous year’s survey, and the 4% growth of 2011. 41% of marketers are anticipating their 2013 budgets to increase, against 38% expecting expenditures to remain largely unchanged.
“This year confirms a trend where we are seeing large budget variances across all sectors, but organisations with a turnover of under $150 million are more likely to be expecting budget increases, and among those expecting increases the average lift is a very healthy 18%,” says Mark Crowe, Australian Marketing Institute CEO.
Expenditure on content marketing was included in the analysis and it looks ready to increase for almost half of the organisations. Rounding out the top five channels by expenditure are:
• Content marketing
• Social networking and Web 2.0 applications
• Online advertising
• Public relations
• Mobile advertising
Mark Crowe said the sharp increase in content marketing, while not surprising, is still quite extraordinary. He also noted that the use of social networking and Web 2.0 as a communication channel continues to grow, but spending has stabilised.
He also said that movement away from investment in traditional marketing has been arrested with growth occurring in some of these channels.
There’s a continuing confidence in marketing’s role and influence in Australian business with marketers continuing to feel positive about their profession and its role.
The survey also found that marketing priorities are steady with no major changes evident.
The top challenges faced by marketers include:
• Effectively getting messages to market
• Acquiring new customers
• Maintaining current customer base
• Demonstrating the contribution of marketing to senior management
• Maintaining pricing/margins
“Top marketing priorities continue to be measures to increase sales, customer acquisition and focusing on more profitable market segments, with a decreased focus on efficiency and brand building than in previous years,” concluded Mark.