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Report: 70pc of marketing leaders to boost digital budgets in ‘bullish’ 2024

UK marketing leaders are gearing up for a ‘bullish’ 2024, with more than 70% planning to boost digital budgets this year, new data shows.

Following four years of economic flatlining and commercial pressures for many of the UK’s top marketers, 2024 is expected to see a resurgence in industry optimism, with increased investment being directed in key growth areas including AI, websites, SEO, broadcast and podcasts, as well as email and content marketing.

The data comes from more than 500 UK marketing leaders who were surveyed by search-driven content agency No Brainer and is available to in-house and agency marketers now in the 2024 ecommerce Trends Report.

In addition to No Brainer’s findings, a recent Statista report indicates the ecommerce market is set to reach a projected £100bn in the UK for the first time in 2024, and ecomm marketers are poised to make 2024 the year they seize a greater share of consumer spending.

The report by No Brainer also reveals significant spending growth in key areas of marketing, with many marketing decision markers saying they intend to invest over 60% more than they did in 2023 in the following areas:

  • AI: 64% to increase spend by as much as 60%
  • Website: 64% to increase spend by as much as 60%
  • SEO: 62% to increase spend by as much as 60%
  • TV, Radio & Podcasts: 59% to increase spend by as much as 60%
  • Email Marketing: 58% to increase spend by as much as 60%
  • Content Marketing: 57% to increase spend by as much as 60%
  • Digital PR: 57% to increase spend by as much as 60%
  • Influencer Marketing: 56% to increase spend by as much as 60%
  • Organic social: 56% to increase spend by as much as 60%
  • Paid search: 55% to increase spend by as much as 60%

Some of the highest budget increases came from marketers working in sectors including Education with 69% increasing by up to 60%, Finance with 64% increasing by up to 60%, and Retail with 56% increasing by over 40%. Only 14% of marketing decision makers said they’ll be dialling back on budgets in 2024.

“Four years of rising costs, inflationary pressures, and squeezed budgets has made life tough for UK marketing leaders tasked with delivering growth, but we’re expecting to see that turn around in 2024 with many taking a more bullish approach in terms of spending power,” said Gary Jenkins, director at No Brainer.

“This is great to see, and not just because we play in this space, but because if businesses of all sizes are serious about recovery and growth, then investing strategically in the right areas of marketing is crucial. Sadly, in challenging times, these are the things that can often be the first cut.

“When every penny matters, like it has in recent years, then there’s a laser focus on marketing leaders proving the value of every pound they spend, and quite rightly. It’s got everyone challenging the ROI of their spending across every marketing sector, and the same rule should apply with these increased budgets.

“It’s about putting them to best use. A solid, strategically planned marketing strategy can unlock new audiences, drive more revenue from existing ones, and drive more brand loyalty and advocacy, so it’s still a case of spending smart, even if spending more.”

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