WARC releases its Global Marketing Index report with a full review of the state of marketing in 2020.
The WARC Global Marketing Index (GMI) provides a unique monthly indicator of the state of the marketing industry, by tracking current conditions among marketeers. The latest report reviews the GMI ,over the last 12 months of 2020, analyzing the trends shown by the indices for trading conditions, marketing budgets and staffing.
Recovery is apparent across most GMI indices as businesses gain confidence in economies across the world
Over the last 12 months, the GMI has seen the greatest fluctuation in its history. The Headline Global Marketing Index, a summary of how the marketing industry is faring globally, reflects the volatility of 2020. The year began in slight decline, with a dramatic drop over the first half of the year, reaching an all time low in May at 19.7 as a result of the effects of COVID-19.
Since then, as optimism for an emergence from the pandemic has grown, the index has returned to growth. The year ended with three consecutive months of increased growth rate finishing at 55.4 largely driven by markets across APAC and the Americas, with the pace of recovery slower in Europe.
The index for marketing budgets saw both its lifetime high and low index values in 2020
The overall index for global marketing budgets mirrored the trends of the Headline Global Marketing Index. Budgets reached an all time low of 13.4 in May, but as economies started to recover, by December, they were at a value of 57.8 with APAC showing the biggest growth rate. WARC Data forecasts indicate that it will take at least two years for the global advertising market to fully recover.
When broken down by medium, digital and mobile are the clear drivers of growth from August onwards, driven by the boom in e-commerce as a result of global lockdowns. Digital budgets ended at an index value of 67.4 and mobile at 67.0.
TV remains a resilient channel. After returning to growth in October, it ended the year on 56.0.
Although radio, OOH and press budgets have started a slow recovery, the indices for these channels have remained in decline.
Slower recovery in the global staffing levels index than in the other GMI indices
The Staffing Index reflects the number of staff taken on compared with the same period in the previous year. Although the rate of decline has consistently decreased since June, the index for staffing levels has remained in decline since March, ending 2020 at 47.0.
Although APAC (45.0) and Europe (45.2) ended the year in decline, APAC showed the fastest decrease in the rate of contraction from 39.5 in November compared to 43.2 in Europe. However, it is evident that this index will take the longest to recover from the economic shock of the pandemic.
APAC ended the year with the strongest index levels, showing increased rates of growth across most indices going into 2021
When broken down by region, the GMI indices show the varying confidence levels across the world. APAC's increase in growth rate in the final few months of 2020 was rapid, whereas the Americas showed steadier growth over the second half of the year, with a particularly strong staffing index compared to other regions. Europe only returned to growth at the end of 2020, but is set for further challenges in 2021 as a result of Brexit and the ongoing second wave of COVID-19.
"The Global Marketing Index trends through 2020 reflect the volatility seen over the past 12 months as advertising budgets were slashed as a result of the global pandemic. Yet the possibility of emerging from the pandemic and increasing business adaptation to the 'new normal' has seen all regions come back into growth for 2021, with APAC seeing the biggest increase in growth rate. WARC's monthly GMI data provide a unique early look at the health of the marketing industry, and point to the ongoing strength of digital and mobile channels into 2021, driven by the continued rise of e-commerce as COVID-19 lockdowns continue in many countries," says Zoe McCready, Research Executive, WARC.