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Global marketer confidence falls

Marketer confidence fell in August, yet conditions in the industry are still improving overall, according to Warc’s latest Global Marketing Index.

Globally, the headline GMI measure – which takes into account marketers’ expectations for trading conditions, marketing budgets and staffing levels – recorded an index value of 54.4 this month, where a reading of 50 indicates neutral sentiment. The reading is a fall of 2.2 points from July’s index and a 1.2 point fall from this time last year.

James McDonald, Research Analyst at Warc, said: “Despite a fall in headline indexes this month, industry consensus is that things remain on the up, with trading conditions in particular proving favourable for marketers in all regions.”


Marketer confidence is highest in Europe, with a headline index of 56.0 in August, suggesting improving conditions overall despite a 1.2 point fall from the previous month. Optimism is also high in the Americas, though a headline index reading of 55.2 marked a 2.5 point fall against July and a 3.1 point fall from the same period last year. Asia Pacific’s headline index was at 51.8 in August, after a fall of 3.3 points from July.

The GMI is a unique indicator of the state of the global marketing industry. Every month it tracks conditions among marketers within their organisation and region. It tracks marketing budgets, trading conditions and staffing levels. A reading of 50 indicates no change, and above 60 indicates rapid growth.

Robust trading conditions aided the positive outlook in both Europe and the Americas, with index readings of 56.0 and 55.2 respectively showing marketers remain confident about their business conditions. Indicators are also positive for Asia Pacific, where the index registered 51.8. The global index for trading conditions, which factors in these regions, alongside Africa and the Middle East, stood at 56.8 this month.

The second component index of the headline GMI, the index for marketing budgets, showed flat index growth globally from July to record 53.1 in August, marking the nineteenth consecutive month of budget improvement. The highest reading was registered in Europe, on 55.5 (up 1.4 points from July), followed by the Americas on 54.2 (also up 1.4 points). However, an index reading of 48.2 in Asia Pacific marked the first month of a net decline in budgets in the region since September 2013.

Within this all media total, the global index for TV budgets stood at 49.7, suggesting a second month of declining spend. There was a general tightening of TV spend in Asia Pacific, where the channel’s individual index recorded 44.6 for August, a 3.7 point fall month-on-month. Spend on TV is also declining in the Americas, where the index recorded 48.9. Only in Europe are TV budgets rising: the index recorded 54.1 there in August.

The third and final component of the headline GMI – the index for staffing levels – fell by 4.3 points this month to 53.3. For the ninth consecutive month, the rate of hiring was highest in the Americas, on 55.5, followed by Asia Pacific (54.1) and Europe (51.5).

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