Are business conditions for marketers improving? One way to answer the question is to measure a number of metrics like marketing budgets, trading conditions and staffing levels. Warc has made this calculation monthly in its Global Marketing Index (GMI) and the most recently published numbers show cause for concern.
The GMI has been dropping steadily since August in the Americas, the Asia Pacific region and in Europe. Currently, the reading stands at 50.1. According to Warc analysts, any number below 50 suggests generally declining business conditions. However, Europe is at 48.2 and there is concern that economic troubles there could easily spread to the U.S. which has the most positive number. Overall, the GMI is lower than it has been since October 2011.
Marketing budgets, one of the three components in the index, are also falling. The current level, 46, suggests marketers are pulling back and this is true not only in the U.S., now at 50, but also in Asia Pacific (46.8) and Europe (42.6). The hiring segment of this index is slowing as well. In the meantime, trading conditions are actually improving, globally, with all regions indicating a level of over 50.
Regarding the mixed signals these numbers are sending, Suzy Young, Data Editor at Warc noted, "It is a tricky time for marketers worldwide and many have chosen to adopt a 'wait and see' approach when it comes to budget setting in the short term." If marketers continue to pull back on their promotional budgets, publishers seeking their ad money might find conditions more competitive than they expected in 2013.[Source: Marketers Grow More Pessimistic. Warc.com. 22 Nov. 2012. Web. 3 Dec. 2012]