88% of Marketing Execs Are Either Maintaining or Increasing Ad Budgets

Few are cutting back, per Forbes/Gyro study

There's a healthy strain of cautious optimism among senior marketing executives in the United States, per a quarterly report by Forbes Insights and ad agency Gyro.

Thirty-nine percent of execs plan to ramp up ad spend, while 49 percent are sitting pat on their budget plans for the time being, says the study, which surveyed 875 CMOs and other marketing higher-ups during late summer and early fall. In other words, only 12 percent plan to slash marketing funds.

When asked to rank their sentiment on a scale of 0 to 20 about the next six months of business, the median response charted at 13.6. Regarding the topic of budgets, their sentiment collectively scored a 12.7.

Forty-five percent in the study said their feeling about industrywide marketing conditions was improved compared to months ago. Almost the same number (46 percent) said they were as positive about the future as they are about today's circumstances. Nine percent said they were less optimistic about the months and years ahead.

And while 54 percent of marketers say they intend to keep their current marketing team the same, 36 percent expect to add people. Ten percent are looking to cut. For the Forbes-Gyro study, the sentiment score for adding staff was 12.6 (once again, using the 0-to-20 scale).

Christoph Becker, gyro's CEO and chief creative officer, said, "The good news is they feel energized and positive. There has never been a better time for a brand to find the most humanly relevant way to engage with the world than today."

Fifty-five percent of the survey participants said they are spending the greatest amount of their time growing existing markets. Less rosy, 29 percent said they intend to enter new markets, while only 16 percent aim to grow in new markets. A more negative finding showed that new markets in the study's sentiment index only scored 7.5.

Lastly, 58 percent of those surveyed are focused on growing current product lines and services. Twenty-eight percent said they are preparing a product or service launch, while 14 percent said such launches were a chief priority. With a sentiment score of 5.8, marketers were generally pessimistic in the area of launching product and services.