Some 45% of marketers in Ireland plan to increase their spend in 2019 according to the latest Marketing Sentiment Survey carried out by MediaCom in association with the Irish Times and the Marketing Institute.
The survey also noted that just 10% planned to decrease their marketing investment this year while, overall, marketing accounts for around 8% of a company’s total revenues, lagging many international markets.
The survey also found that nine out of ten marketing decision makers agree that it is important to advertise with trusted media organisations while the majority (60%) of marketing budgets are signed off by CEOs/MDs.
In terms of the investment planned for 2019, the top three areas include websites (45%), branding (39%) and advertising (39%). Not surprisingly, when it came to the channels on which marketers were focusing their budgets, digital came out on top with some 56% planning to invest more in social media with 50% planning to spend more in search, content marketing (37%) and programmatic display (23%).
According to the survey, driving brand awareness (53%) remains Irish marketers top priority followed by improving brand positioning / differentiation (52%) and improving sales conversion (47%).
Following a number of major online media scandals in recent years, brand safety is also top-of-mind among many Irish marketers with 90% saying that trusted environments and media organisations are important when it came to advertising.
The level of skills and expertise in the marketplace was also identified by marketers as a problem area with 44% of marketing decision-makers claiming to be experiencing some skills gaps in their marketing. Training and recruitment are the top two solutions to closing these gaps, according to the survey.
Finally, with Brexit looming large on the horizon, 37% of marketers say their plans will be negatively impacted by Brexit in 2019.
According to Ian Mc Grath, Managing Director MediaCom: “There are many positives in this year’s survey. Generally marketing decision-makers appear upbeat and optimistic with what 2019 has in store for their businesses and their brands. However, there is still arguably more potential in such a buoyant Irish economy for businesses to invest more into marketing to create more customers and increase penetration.”
This is the third successive year that The Irish Times, MediaCom and The Marketing Institute have come together to track sentiment in the marketing industry. At an event earlier in the week to launch the findings of the research, Liam Kavanagh, Managing Director of The Irish Times welcomed more than 100 guests from agencies, leading brands and media organisations. The breakfast event featured a panel of industry experts, including Richard Molloy, Head of Marketing at Audi, Eoghan Crawford, Marketing Director at Mars and Lorraine Walsh, Head of Marketing at Laya Healthcare, who shared their thoughts on the results, insights for the year ahead and responded to questions from the audience.