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How Is Marketing & PR Affected By The UK Recession?

David Blackburn from Marketing Quotes In the UK was kind enough to write a guest post for me on the topic of, "How Is Marketing & PR Affected By The UK Recession?" Here's the post:


UK Marketing Since the UK recession back in 2007, companies have been very nervous about their spending.  

The recession does link to the global turndown and as such many companies are being affected by trends outside of the UK economy as well as inside.

As such, many companies are looking at cost cutting, how to reduce their monthly overheads and ensure that there is sufficient capital in the bank should trouble come knocking.

A major area of spend for many businesses is sales and marketing; through the various marketing channels that companies use whether exhibition & events, online marketing or their physical sales teams. 

How Is The UK Responding?

Many companies in the UK are looking at smarter forms of marketing; instead of cutting marketing altogether businesses are looking at different forms of marketing

For example, instead of sending out letters, many businesses are looking into e-marketing.  Companies that are looking for website design still need websites to be built, it is just that they do not have as big a budget for the building as they may have done pre 2007 (but still want the same standard of design and usability).

Instead of attending events and exhibitions, many businesses are opting to contact visitors from previous events.  This means less capital costs but hopefully similar results.  As a result, the events industry has suffered with many shows being cancelled.

Newspaper advertising has been cut over the last 3 years and instead, more resource is put into websites & internet marketing (certainly in the case of Scottish councils).  Scottish councils have cut millions in recruitment advertising in lieu of advertising on a custom build website.  Scotlands largest council authority has cut its recruitment adverts from £668,000 down to £137,979 over the last 3 years.

According to the UK Advertising Association the total spend on advertising exposure during 2010 was £15.5 billion.  2011 figures will be released towards the end of the year.

The national newspaper the Daily Mail reported that they anticipate that advertising revenue will fall – again another traditional route suffering due to changing economic trends.

An interesting point is that during 2010, advertising globally went up (the most advertising done was by Proctor & Gamble spending over $2 billion) from spend during 2008/09 as optimism returned (which was up by over 18% from 2009 *according to Good).

Looking at a post in PR week for January 2010, the spend on PR (within the UK) was down with 63% of PR agencies reporting that revenue had fallen.  This may well be as a result of more companies looking at on-line marketing.

The Need To Adapt

Many companies are seeing the growth of mobile devices as being the future and companies such as Vodafone acknowledge the need to secure the content.  In the last 5 years smartphones, iphones and many other mobile devices have take over the way the world communicates (not just the business community but everyone from teenagers and students through the social spectrum) and a new era of advertising has been born.