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UK – Market research budgets fell in Q1 2022, the first contraction in research spending since Q2 2021, according to the latest IPA Bellwether report.

A -3.5% net balance of survey respondents reduced their market research spending at the start of 2022.

Lower budgets contrasted with a net balance of 7% saying they would increase market research budgets
Bellwether panelists, however, were optimistic about increased market research spending in their next budget planning cycle, with a net balance of 8.6% predicting greater availability of resources in the fiscal year. 2022/23.

Louise Ainsworth, Executive Managing Director of UK and Europe, Middle East and Africa at Kantar’s Media Division, said: “It’s great to see new optimism from marketers and a desire to move beyond the pandemic crisis. It is surprising, however, that the growth in marketing expenditures is not accompanied by greater investments in market research.

“Getting timely insight into how people think, feel and behave has never been more important. Consumer markets are incredibly volatile right now, with people’s habits and lifestyles being reshaped by levels record inflation, lingering pandemic trends and anxiety about economic developments and the war in Ukraine.

“Brands need to understand what all of this means to them and stay close to data if they want to protect and drive business growth.”

The Bellwether IPA report found that total marketing budgets were close to their highest level in eight years, with marketing managers saying they were heavily optimistic about budgets for 2022/23.

However, the rising cost of living, supply chain issues and the war in Ukraine were noted as the main threats to businesses in the year ahead, with ad spend forecasts lowered for the financial year. In progress.

Paul Bainsfair, chief executive of the IPA, said: “With the end of Covid-19 restrictions, it is clear that UK businesses want to capitalize on this moment and increase their marketing spend.

“It’s good news now, but we know we are facing high levels of inflation, increases in the cost of living, supply chain issues, all exacerbated by the war in Ukraine and certain recruitment shortages in the sector.”