The recent recession ushered in an era of budget austerity and caused marketers to begin operating in a ‘new normal.’ During the past 7 budgetcutyears, the Association of National Advertising has been surveying businesses about marketing budget plans. This year’s study, just issued, is likely to be the last in the series, and points to continued  pressure on organizational marketing budgets.

The ANA study shows slight improvement in the  number of businesses who are still trying to save money on marketing. Last year, 84% of businesses had that fiscal restraint focus, while this year the number is down to 82%. Businesses tend to go after the same line items when they are looking for ways to cut marketing expenses. This year, they will be scrutinizing:

  • Travel expenses 58%
  • Talk with agency about lowering costs 45%
  • Delay or cut new projects 44%

Businesses will also be taking a closer look at their media mix. While 40% of businesses were shifting their spending to less expensive formats last year, only 30% say they’ll take that step this year.

According to Bob Liodice, ANA president and CEO, “Companies expect technology, expanding media platforms and better decision making to better enable marketers to pursue earnings growth objectives.”

Are you still looking for ways to streamline your marketing budget or are you increasing spending this year?

[Source: 2013 ANA Recession Survey. Ana.net. 1 Apr. 2013. Web. 11 Apr. 2013]