L – R Tom Trainor, Chief Executive,The Marketing Institute; Laughlin Rigby, Head of Marketing, The Irish Times; Gillian Hennessey, Head of Marketing Boots Ireland; Orlaith Blaney, Chief Communications and Marketing Officer, Ervia; Liam Kavanagh, Managing Director, The Irish Times and Peter McPartlin, CEO Mediacom.
Marketing spends to rise in 2018 but are still below average
Over one third 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.
However, total spend on marketing only represents an average of 8% of company revenues, according to the survey, and Ireland lags major markets such as the UK and US where the comparable figure is around 11%.
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.
Almost half of marketing managers plan to invest more in ecommerce or ensure their website is fit for transactions, 30% in advertising and 25% in PR and Communications.
The five highest rated media channels for increased investment in 2018 are all digital ones: 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 as generating increased brand awareness (49%), using social media to drive sales (33%) and expanding into new markets (32%).
The research was conducted for MediaCom Ireland by iReach using their 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 249 individuals with direct involvement in marketing budgets, across a range of different industry and service sectors, as well as governmental and semi-state organisations.
Commenting on the research, Peter McPartlin, CEO of MediaCom Ireland said “There is a range of challenges which is shaping contemporary marketing. But the primary one is that the levels of marketing investment in this country are still relatively low and this is being reflected in the ‘low-no’ growth forecasts for media spending too. The industry needs to collectively work on proof of marketing return on investment to boost this.”
Tom Trainor, CEO of the Marketing Institute said, “Whilst the survey results reflect the ongoing pressures on marketing leaders, it is apparent that there is scope for marketing to argue for greater authority and investment. 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 CEO and the board.”
Eimear Moran, Media Solutions Director of The Irish Times, said “The Irish Times has been working to highlight the value of advertising within trusted environments, on trusted platforms, and with trusted audiences for some time. The Marketing Sentiment study shows that the issue of brand safety and media trust continue to be ones which challenge the marketing communications industry.”
The research findings were presented at a special breakfast hosted by The Irish Times this morning (January 24th at 7.30am at their offices in Tara Street). A panel of senior marketing people from Boots Ireland, The Irish Times and Ervia also gave their perspectives on the marketing year ahead.
Download Sentiment Survey results here.