Many marketers working within the IT and telecoms sector believe that the UK economy has come ‘back from the brink’, according to the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s latest Marketing Trends Survey (Spring 2009).
Although a slightly smaller proportion say that the economy will improve in the next 12 months (29%) than say it will get worse (32%), this is nevertheless a significant improvement from the last survey six months ago.
The survey, conducted for The Institute by Ipsos MORI, reveals that when considering their own organisation’s prospects, views are also relatively bullish. IT marketers are most likely to say that business for their organisation will improve in the next 12 months (40%) compared with other sectors.
Their views are therefore above the overall average (35%), and are noticeably improved from the figures in Autumn 2008 (29%).
Despite this general improvement, views about their organisations’ expected sales performance for this financial year are less encouraging.
The mean sales performance for technology/telecoms organisations is barely above zero (+0.6%). This is significantly lower than in autumn 2008, when marketers in these sectors were the most positive about their sales performance (+5.2%) and perhaps reflect the impact of the recession on sales.
Nevertheless, this expected sales performance is not unusual and is similar to overall average (+0.7%).
Nearly three-fifths (57%) of IT marketers now say that they believe their sales plan is “challenging”. This is slightly higher than the overall average (53%) but is broadly unchanged from the previous wave (58%).
Interestingly over two-thirds (68%) of IT marketers working in the sector feel that marketing is viewed as a ‘high priority’ within their company’s business strategy. This is the highest proportion across all sectors (on average, 57% of marketers say marketing is a ‘high priority’) and is unchanged from six months ago.
There is a correspondingly higher proportion of companies in this sector with marketing functions on their Board, compared with organisations in other sectors (55% versus 42% overall).
However concerns about job security are greatest among technology and telecoms marketers. Close to half (45%) say they are worried about losing their job over the next 12 months, which is higher than any other sector.
Director of research and professional development at The Chartered Institute of Marketing, David Thorp, said, “Despite fears over the economy and job prospects for the rest of 2009, it is clear that we are turning a corner in IT marketers’ confidence about the future and their own business operations.
“For now, marketers are wisely concentrating their promotional spend in the most effective activities, and as we move into 2010, I’m convinced this more professional approach will stand them in good stead when the economy recovers.”
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