An above-average level of confidence will ensure that Europe’s marketing industry will end 2014 on a positive note, according to findings from World Economics. 

The firm’s monthly Global Marketing Index shows EU firms recording an average confidence score of 56.3 for December. This month’s reading is down slightly from the 58.1 posted in November, but comfortably above the crucial 50-point mark to signal growth.   

Globally, marketing confidence crawled over the end-of-year line on 55.1 as November’s score of 56.5 was brought down by declines in many regions. The Americas proved to be one of the worst-hit areas, its score decreasing 2.7 points to 53.2. It was a different story in the Asia-Pacific region as confidence surged 1.1 points to hit 55.9.  

Digital takes starring role

The scores take into account trading conditions, staffing levels and the all-important assessment of marketing spend. Ratings are pledged by World Economics’ global panel of over 1,000 marketing executives from brand, media owner, agency and creative backgrounds, who respond to questions by grading their activity in certain areas as positive, negative or unchanged. 

The growth of digital advertising, which does not take into account the progress of mobile, has been the standout feature of H2 2014, as the index proved. 

This rise in digital spend is causing marketing budgets to rise way above levels witnessed between 2011 – 2012, where many economies were still trying to pick themselves up following the onset of the recession. In December 2011, global marketing budgets were rated at 47.0 to indicate decline, but rose to over 57.2 at the end of last year.

Although December’s global average shows a decline on the score of 56.3 in October and 56.5 in November, Ed Jones, World Economics’ chief executive, noted improvements in crucial areas.

“December’s headline ‘Global Marketing Index’ reading indicates marketing activity is rising across all regions with marketing budgets having increased every month for two years without a pause. 

“Mobile and digital continue to attract a rising share of marketing budgets, but the prospects of the traditional media radio, TV and OOH [out of home] have differed from region to region.“