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Experiential budgets grow again as most disciplines flatline.

Q2 2019 IPA Bellwether results are in and they make good reading for brand experiences.


The overall growth in brand marketing spend has abruptly come to a halt, according to the IPA’s Bellwether Report for the second quarter of 2019.

Following a return to growth in the opening quarter of the year, buoyed by firms taking a more pro-active approach to offset risks to their businesses, latest Bellwether data signalled a stalling of growth, with the net balance falling from +8.7% to +0.0%. The 20% of panel members reporting greater marketing spend was completely offset by those cutting expenditure, while the remaining 60% kept budgets unchanged since Q1.

Despite the overall flatlining, three disciplines did post positive growth in investment. Experiential spend grew the most, rising to +4.8% from +3.4% in Q1. Main media advertising spend was also up +0.4% to +5.6%. The biggest growth in marketing investment again went on online campaigns at +9.9%, but this was down on Q1’s +14.2%. Other disciplines all showed negative spend.

Again, the Bellwether report reveals both the increasing popularity and resilience of experiential marketing at a time of growing economic uncertainty, continued ambiguity over Brexit and additional risk through a change of political leadership in the UK.