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Global Marketing Index

Released: March 27, 2015

Global TV adspend budgets fall, prompting worries that digital growth will cause TV revenues to decline as happened with other traditional media

  • Marketing budgets grow in all regions.
  • Digital and Mobile continue to gain share of marketing spend.
  • TV, Print, and Radio budgets continue relative decline.

The Headline Global Marketing Index (GMI) for March registered a value of 57.0, up by 0.4 on its value in February. This is the third successive month that the Index has increased indicating marketers are continuing to experience strong business activity across the world. Robust marketing activity was recorded in each region with values for the Headline GMI of 57.0 in Europe, 58.6 in the Asia-Pacific area and 57.1 in the Americas respectively. In all regions the Index rose on its value in February.

Marketing Budgets by Medium
The global survey showed that in March the marketing budget allocation by medium across the world, saw a continuing reduction in finance allocated to TV. It has joined the other traditional media in their losing of marketing budget share, while digital and mobile continued to soar.

Panellists recorded that the absolute amount spent on TV budgets across the world fell in March with the Index registering a value of 48.4, down by 1.4. This decline follows six months with the Index oscillating around the 50.0 no change level. The collapse of TV budgets was most evident in the Americas where the Index value registered fell by 1.3 to 43.3. No growth has occurred in TV budgets in this region since August 2013. In the Asia-Pacific region the TV budget Index fell by 1.2 to 47.1, the eleventh successive month that the resources allocated to the medium has fallen Only in Europe did TV budgets continue to grow at a modest pace with an Index value of 53.8 in March down by 2.5 on the previous month.

Mobile and Digital continued their courses of rapid growth, The Index for expenditure on Mobile rose by 2.0 to reach 74.2 in March, the sixth successive month that the value of the Index has risen. This pattern of rapid and accelerating growth was witnessed across all regions. Similarly, panellists saw the money allocated to Digital grew at a rapid rate with an Index value recorded of 77.5 up by 1.9 on its February value. The most rapid expansion of this medium occurred in the Americas region where the Index expanded by 3.3 to attain a value of 76.7.

Expenditure on Print maintained its downward plummet with the value of the Global Index in March falling by 1.5 to 33.6. In Europe, the medium reached 30.9 having declined by 1.6.

The Index values for Radio and Out-of-Home (OOH) both signalled falling amounts of spent on these media across the globe with Index values of 41.5 in March, down by 1.7 and 47.3, up by 0.1 respectively. In all regions for both media the Index recorded values below the 50.0 no change level, but in the Americas Radio dropped by 1.5 in March to reach an Index value of 39.1.

Global Marketing Budgets
The Index for Global Marketing Budgets growth dropped by 1.2 in March to register a value of 53.5. This is the 25th consecutive month that the Index has registered that panellists were experiencing rises in the amount of resources devoted to marketing.

Marketing Budgets by Region
The monthly changes in Marketing Budgets exhibited expansion for all regions in March although at a decelerating rate of growth. In the Americas the rate of growth in marketing budgets fell by 0.9 to reach a level of 52.4 indicating much slower growth. In Europe, the Marketing Budgets Index fell by 1.1 to reach a value of 54.2 and it declined by 1.7 on the month before to a value of 54.8 in the Asia-Pacific region.

Staffing Levels
The Staffing Index reflects the number of staff taken on compared to the same period last year.

The Staffing Level Index registered a value of 59.1 in March, up by 1.7 on the previous month indicating that marketing departments are still adding staff. On a regional basis, the Staffing Levels Index was up by 1.5 in Europe at 58.7. In the Americas was up by 1.3 to reach 60.3 and by 2.1 in the Asia-Pacific region attaining a value of 58.8.

World Economics Chief Executive Ed Jones commented on the release:

“The Headline Global Marketing Index reading for March indicates that marketing budgets are expanding in all regions, although at a decelerating rate. TV expenditure is falling across the world and in all regions apart from Europe leading to fears that it could join other traditional media in a downward death spiral as the money spent on Mobile and Digital rises faster.”


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The Global Marketing Index results are calculated by taking the percentage of respondents that report that the activity has risen (“Increasing") and adding it to one-half of the percentage that report the activity has not changed (“Unchanged"). Using half of the “Unchanged" percentage effectively measures the bias toward a positive (above 50 points) or negative (below 50 points) index. As an example of calculating a diffusion index, if the response is 40% “Increasing," 40% “Unchanged," and 20% “Reducing," the Diffusion Index would be 60 points (40% + [0.50 x 40%]). A value of 50 indicates "no change" from the previous month.

The more distant the index is from the amount that would indicate "no change" (50 points), the greater the rate of change indicated. Therefore, an index value of 58 indicates a faster rate of increase than an index value of 53, and an index value of 40 indicates a faster rate of decrease than an index value of 45. A value of 100 indicates all respondents are reporting increased activity while 0 indicates that all respondents report decreased activity.

As of March 2015, all index values are based on a three month moving average to mitigate abnormal seasonal variations.

About the Global Marketing Index 
The World Economics Global Marketing Index (GMI) provides a unique monthly indicator of the state of the global marketing industry, by tracking current conditions among marketers.

Our global panel (2,000+ members) consists of experienced executives working for brand owners, media owners, creative and media agencies and other organisations serving the marketing industry. The panel has been carefully selected to reflect trends in the three main global regions: Americas, Asia Pacific and Europe.

About World Economics
World Economics is an organisation dedicated to producing analysis, insight and data relating to questions of importance in understanding the world economy. Its parent company Information Sciences Ltd has a long history of the development of key business information today used throughout the world, including the origination of the Purchasing Managers Indexes in Europe and Asia (now owned by Markit) .

Currently our primary research objective is to encourage and assist the development of better and faster measures of economic activity. In cases where we believe we can contribute directly, as opposed to through highlighting the work of others, we are producing our own measures of economic activity.

Our work is mainly of interest to investors, organisations and individuals in the financial sector and to significant corporations with global operations, as well as governments and academic economists.

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