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Irish marketers upbeat about 2014

Friday, February 14 15:40:28

Irish marketers - generally a cheery lot - are approaching 2014 with confidence and positivity with the vast majority expecting to grow their staff numbers and their budgets in the year ahead.

That's according to research commissioned by MCsquared (the consumer and brands division of Murray Consultants) and carried out by Amarach Research, in association with the Marketing Institute of Ireland (MII).

The research which was carried out among MII members indicates that investment in brand communications through digital channels continues to grow strongly with almost 60pc of those surveyed planning to increase the budget allocated to digital marketing in 2014. Digital currently accounts for almost one quarter (24pc) of marketing spend.

While there is a sense of renewed optimism in the industry, many marketers surveyed, are still grappling with getting their businesses and their teams fully up to speed to deal with the plethora of social media channels now available.

Commenting on the findings, Grainne O'Brien, Director, MCsquared said the 2014 marketing outlook is more positive than at any time over the past six years.

"Marketing jobs and budgets are expected to increase over the next two years with Digital and Content Marketing set to benefit most from any uplift. Notwithstanding some loosening of marketing purse strings, we are seeing a pretty dramatic evolution of marketing disciplines and skills that presents challenges and opportunities in equal measure. Many marketers are still struggling with the balance between in-house or partnering with the right agencies. At MCsquared we have invested to ensure our people are skilled and confident in the digital space. Our survey indicates that a majority of marketers will upweight their in-house digital capability and that multi skilled agencies will be seen as more attractive to multiple specialist providers," Ms. O'Brien added.

The research found that 39pc expect staff levels across the business to increase and 27pc expect staff levels across the marketing department to increase.

Commenting on the findings, Tom Trainor, Chief Executive of the Marketing Institute of Ireland said: "There is no doubt that many Irish marketing departments and agencies have had a torrid time over the past five years but this research and feedback from the wider industry suggests that there is greater confidence amongst business leaders which should translate into real growth in 2014."