Marketers continued to increase their spend on experiential marketing in the final quarter of 2018, with budgets rising 5.5% overall, according to the latest IPA Bellwether Report.
Although this was good news for the industry, the figure was down from 9.4% in the previous quarter. However, experiential was only one of two marketing disciplines that achieved positive budget growth.
The fall in marketing investment was put down to economic uncertainty due to Brexit by Dr Paul Smith, Director at IHS Markit and author of the Bellwether Report.
“Whilst fears of a sharp deterioration in the UK economy following the surprising EU referendum result in 2016 have so far proven to be unfounded, the current trend in growth signalled by the Bellwether survey is nonetheless consistent with an economy undermined by ongoing Brexit uncertainty and an increasingly common ‘wait-and-see’ attitude amongst businesses and consumers alike,” he explained.
Internet marketing was the only other discipline to grow in terms of spend, up and impressive 10.9%, but this figure was still 6.1% lower that Q3 2017. Meanwhile, PR recorded the lowest net balance (-6.6%), followed by other (-5.8%), market research (-5.4%), direct marketing (-4.5%) and sales promotions (-3.0%).
“Companies have subsequently adopted a similar attitude towards their marketing budgets,” added Smith. “Whilst willing to expand in perceived cost-value areas such as digital they continue to do so by weighing down on budgets related to traditionally bigger-ticket main media campaigns.”
The fact that marketers deem experiential worthy of increased spend, when it fell in all other disciplines except internet marketing, bodes well for the future of live brand experience.