Over one third, or 37%, of companies in Ireland say that they plan to increase their spend on marketing in the year ahead, according to a new survey of marketing decision-makers by the media agency, MediaCom Ireland, The Irish Times and the Marketing Institute of Ireland.
Of these, almost half of marketing management plan to invest more in the ecommerce or their website, 30% in advertising and 25% in PR and Communications.
However, 56% of those surveyed said that their marketing budgets in 2018 will remain largely unchanged while 7% said they would decline.
The 2018 Marketing Sentiment Survey is designed to capture the views of the people who shape Ireland’s marketing budgets. These in turn will ultimately determine the fortunes of media companies, agencies and the broader marketing communications community in the year ahead.
On average, companies here are spending just 8% of annual revenues on marketing activity vs averages of around 11% in the UK and US.
The most popular channels for future advertising investment are all digital media ones with 49% saying they will invest more in social media, 28% in content marketing, 25% in search, 24% in digital video and 24% in online display / programmatic advertising.
In terms of top priorities for 2018, marketing decision-makers cited their most prominent being generating increased brand awareness (49%), using social media to drive sales (33%) and expanding into new markets (32%).
The research was conducted by iReach using its online panel of business people across small, medium and large enterprises, as well the MII’s membership database. The primary results from this survey are based on over 280 individuals with direct involvement in marketing budgets, across a range of different industry and service sectors, as well as governmental and semi-state organisations.
According to Peter McPartlin, CEO of MediaCom Ireland: “There are a range of challenges which are shaping contemporary marketing. The obvious ones are there such as Brexit, GDPR and brand safety concerns but it is evident that are new issues which the marketing industry here faces around the talent gap, the primacy of data over creativity and the changing role of communications agencies.”
Speaking about the broader challenges facing marketers, Tom Trainor, chief executive of the Marketing Institute of Ireland, said “the challenge for the profession is to ensure we have the leaders in place with the requisite skills to win the confidence and support of the chief executive and the board.”
“The Marketing Sentiment study shows that the issue of brand safety and media trust continue to be ones which challenge the marketing communications industry,” adds Irish Times Media Solutions director Eimear Moran.