marketing spending

Marketing spending has increased by 40% over the last 20 years. Plus, with a predicted growth for 2019 and 2020 of 4.8% and 5.5% respectively, there are no signs of it slowing down anytime soon.

So what exactly are we spending on?

According to the latest study from the Ad Association and Warc, online advertising accounts for over 50% of the spend, with social media and search advertising leading the way. So, why have businesses increased their marketing spend, and what benefits are they reaping from the additional investment?

Here are five reasons why marketing spending is on the rise:

1 Competitor pressure

Intense competitor pressure is squeezing margins across the board, and businesses are increasing their budgets to retain market share and profit margins.

Despite uncertainty about the UK economy, companies are pressing ahead with their marketing plans. Savvy marketers realise that investment is integral to growth in the face of change, and every business wants to be top of the pile.

2 The rise of video marketing

With 1.9 billion people using YouTube each month, it’s not surprising that video marketing is becoming more and more popular. The downside to this is that video is more expensive to produce and distribute  than other forms of content, adding further costs to marketing spending budgets.

3 People spending more time online

Rather than making transactions in physical buildings, people are now buying their goods and services online. Evidenced by the disappearance from our high streets of household names such as HMV and Toys R Us (as well as the rise of online giants like Amazon), the digital marketplace has become the place to do business.

As a result, marketers are spending more money on SEO optimisation, content marketing and mobile optimisation for their ads. The latter is becoming increasingly important as people in the UK spend an average of 3 hours and 23 minutes a day on their phones, more often for web browsing than for making phone calls.

4 Investment in technology

To remain competitive and improve the customer experience, companies are investing in digital marketing tools as well as advertising. New technologies are emerging quickly. This makes it difficult to distinguish what investments will genuinely boost your bottom line, and which present more style than substance.

However, there are several technologies which are worth the marketing spend, such as:

  • Data analytics to increase personalisation, help target customers effectively and boost conversion rates
  • Chatbots or automated service assistants to answer customer queries. These improve productivity by dealing with simple questions and allowing humans to tackle more complex matters
  • Voice search to speed up search and ordering processes
  • Omni-channel customer interactions to ensure a seamless journey that enhances customer engagement.

5 Growing investments in social media marketing

Over 3.2 billion people around the world use social media, making it an essential part of any business’s marketing strategy. It doesn’t matter if you run a local cleaning business or a multi-national insurance company – investing in social media marketing generates leads, builds brand awareness and connects you with your customers.

There are four different platforms for a business to advertise through:

  • Social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn)
  • Photo sharing sites (Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat)
  • Video sharing (YouTube, Facebook Live)
  • Microblogs (Twitter, Tumblr)

Your platform of choice depends on several factors, most significantly your target customer base.

For example, if you’re selling health and wellbeing products to millennials, you may want to advertise on Instagram as they make up over 70% of active users worldwide. It’s also worth noting that Google displays company social media accounts as part of local search results. So, at the very least, maintaining a Facebook presence, even if it’s not a significant marketing platform, is a sensible move.

However, social media marketing isn’t just about advertising – it’s also about content creation.

Once a business defines its target customer and understands how they move from awareness of a product or service to purchase, they can deliver the most relevant content. For example, blogs, infographics and webinars can help build trust among an audience. Companies can also use social media to build communities, increase brand awareness and boost engagement.

Where to channel your marketing spending

Whether you want to increase sales revenue, generate more leads or increase website traffic, there are three focal areas that contribute to successful marketing:

Brand building

Traditional sales techniques revolved around direct communication with customers, whether face-to-face or on the phone. The advent of digital marketing means organisations now build relationships and customer loyalty indirectly through websites, mobile apps and online advertising. However, developing a recognisable and trustworthy brand remains crucial to drive growth and increase sales.

As brand awareness grows, it should result in an increase in sales, advocacy for the product or service offering and consistent stream of referrals from customers.


Websites are no longer purely transactional. They now make a substantial impression on potential customers, even if they land there through other channels.

These days, expectations from a website include transparency about a business — everything from where a company sources its products to their corporate social responsibility actions and brand values. If a website displays this information effectively, it can help you connect with customers and increase loyalty to your brand.

Marketing spend on a responsive, high-quality website will never be wasted. It is an essential tool for attracting and converting potential customers, improving search rankings and portraying a positive brand image.

Digital marketing

Digital channels will experience the most significant growth over the next few years as businesses work to improve their interactions with online customers.

Companies are likely to focus their marketing spending on the following areas:

  • Social media
  • Email marketing
  • SEO
  • PPC
  • Display advertising
  • Content marketing
  • Video marketing

Digital marketing provides many opportunities for businesses to grow their presence and build audiences. However, it can also be costly without a well thought-out strategy in place. This strategy must be underpinned by a strong understanding of their customer base and customer behaviours.

Here at Simply Media, we specialise in helping businesses grow. Whether you’re considering data marketing, social media management or TV planning and buying, we have all the expertise and enthusiasm to help you achieve success. Get in touch and let’s work together to take your business to the next level.