BUSINESSES are spending more on marketing again, with a rise in expenditure on mass media such as newspapers as well as the internet.

The Bellwether Survey of the first quarter of 2019 has revealed a rise in the number of marketing people given increased budgets.

The most significant growth was in internet advertising, followed by traditional media such as newspapers and radio. Promotional events and client seminars were in third place.

Daily Echo publisher Newsquest last year announced its new business-to-business marketing brand LOCALiQ. It brings together the company’s range of marketing and advertising products, from print and digital advertising to bespoke digital marketing, SEO and website build.

The agency Marketing West, based in the Dorset village of Melbury Osmond, is a panel member of the Bellwether survey.

Marketing West director Nigel Reeve said: “It’s encouraging to see the market showing signs of an upturn in marketing spends. The previous quarter was flat, mainly due to the Brexit uncertainly, but the national figures reflect what is happening locally.

“We are finding that businesses are taking a longer-term view based on investing in future growth because sooner or later Brexit has to be sorted.

“Local businesses seem to be taking the view that to remain competitive, you have to invest in increasing your market share.

“The market may shrink or may grow, and that is out of your control, but you can still focus on growing your share of that market. The figures we supplied for this area are in line with the national trends.”

The Bellwether survey found the net balance of marketing executives reporting bigger budgets grew 8.7 per cent in the first quarter of 2019, after remaining flat in the previous quarter.

Around 21.6 per cent of its panel members observed spending growth, compared with 12.8 per cent seeing cuts. The balance in internet marketing grew 17.2 per cent, compared with growth of 2.1 per cent in the previous quarter. Search and search engine optimisation saw a net balance of plus 14.2 per cent after a 3.9 per cent fall last quarter, while targeted mobile advertising grew 3.6 per cent after a 2.4 per cent decline last time.

Main media marketing, such as newspapers and radio, returned to growth – 5.2 per cent, after a 6.2 per cent decline last quarter.

Events were the final category to register expenditure growth – 3.4 per cent after 2.6 per cent growth last year.

Market research saw a net balance of minus 4.2 per cent, sales promotions minus 3.7 per cent and direct marketing minus 3.5 per cent – all small improvements on the previous quarter’s figures.