Marketers in the Midlands are increasingly concerned about the prospects for the UK economy, according to the latest Marketing Trends Survey from The Chartered Institute of Marketing, conducted by Ipsos MORI.
It shows that marketers based in the Midlands are overwhelmingly pessimistic about the performance of the UK economy over the coming year.
Only six per cent think the economy will improve (compared with 12 per cent for the UK as a whole), while 65 per cent believe conditions will worsen in the year ahead.
Confidence in their own organisation’s prospects has also tumbled.
Asked whether they thought business for their organisation would improve in the next 12 months, 37 per cent said they believed it would – a significant drop from the 59 per cent who expected business to improve in Autumn.
Anticipated sales performance figures have also fallen sharply amongst Midlands marketers. The average figure of five per cent is slightly lower than the UK average of 6.2, and well below the 7.9 marketers in the region expected in the previous survey in autumn 2007.
However, with more than a third of marketers in the region expecting conditions for their organisation to improve, there is little evidence of widespread job cuts. Indeed, although ten per cent of Midlands marketers say they are reducing marketing staff, 28 per cent are looking to recruit.
Commenting on the survey’s findings, David Thorp, director of research and information at The Chartered Institute of Marketing, said: “Although marketers in the Midlands are increasingly pessimistic about the economy, professional marketers will be looking to make the most of the opportunities an economic downturn brings. By focusing on changing customer needs more precisely, they can help organisations not only survive but thrive.”
The Institute’s marketing trends survey looked at attitudes towards sustainability and the 2012 London Olympics: Almost three-fifths of Midlands marketers believe a company’s sustainability practices affect customer buying (59 per cent), slightly lower than the UK average (66 per cent).
They see clear benefits from the Olympics, with 73 per cent believing the 2012 games will have a positive impact on the UK economy, although a clear majority (49 per cent against 38 per cent) believe it will only benefit marketers in London and the South-east.