World Economics - Insight , Analysis and Data

World Economics - Insight , Analysis and Data

Global Marketing Index

Released: September 18, 2014

Marketer optimism in Europe outpaces rest of world

  • Trading conditions show improvement in all global regions
  • Marketing budgets rise for 21st consecutive month
  • Staffing levels continue to show steady growth

Marketing confidence in Europe rose to its highest ever level in September, according to Warc's latest Global Marketing Index.

The region's headline GMI index –which takes into account marketers' expectations for trading conditions, marketing budgets and staffing levels –rose 4.2 points from August to record a value of 60.2 this month, where a reading of 50.0 indicates neutral sentiment. The reading also represents an uptick of 5.3 points versus the same month last year.

At a global level, the headline GMI measure recorded an index value of 56.4 in September, signalling improving industry conditions. The reading is a rise of 2.0 points from August's index and shows a 1.7 point rise from this time last year.

Optimism was also high in the Americas, where a headline GMI reading of 56.0 marked a 0.8 point rise from August. The comparative index for Asia Pacific also suggested improvement on 54.5, a significant 2.7 point rise from last month.

Growth in the global and regional headline indexes was supported by improving trading conditions across the board in September. The global index for trading conditions rose 2.3 points month on month to register a reading of 59.1.

On a regional basis, European marketers were most positive about general trading conditions. The index reached its highest ever value on 64.8, following a 3.8 point rise from August.

While trading conditions in the rest of the world could not match those in Europe, the respective indexes for the Americas and Asia Pacific also signalled steady improvement in September. The Americas recorded a 2.1 point rise to reach an index value of 58.0, while the same index for Asia Pacific reached 55.9, following a 2.7 point month on month increase.

The second component index of the headline GMI, the index of marketing budgets, showed flat growth from August to record a value of 53.3 in September (+0.2 points), although this does mark the 21st consecutive month of budget improvement overall.

Again, the highest regional reading on this measure was registered in Europe, with an index of 58.7 (up 3.2 points). This equals the highest recorded index value, previously attained in December 2013.

The index for marketing budgets in Asia Pacific also recorded a significant rise in September, with a 3.6 point increase to reach 51.8 this month. This signals net budget growth for the region once again, after a dip in August. Increases for Europe and Asia Pacific were counter balanced by a drop in the index for marketing budgets in the Americas. While the index for the region continues to show growth on 51.3, this does represent a drop of 2.9 points from August.

In terms of the allocation of marketing budgets by media channel, the trends remain consistent with previous months. Digital (excluding mobile) and mobile continue to attract budgeted spend at the expense of the other media, with index readings for September on 73.5 and 69.5 respectively.

Of the more established media, TV registered a value of 51.8 globally this month, an increase of 2.1 points from August. This reading was boosted by an index value of 59.2 in Europe in September, a strong 5.1 point rise from last month, and represents its highest reading. By comparison, budgets for TV were reduced in both Asia Pacific (46.8) and the Americas (45.1) this month. At a global level, out of home recorded a value of 48.8 for September (up 1.0 point), radio registered 45.0 (up 1.7 points) while press rose by 0.5 points to just 35.9, indicating the continuing rapid shrinkage of marketing spend for the medium.

The third and final component of the headline GMI –the index of staffing levels –registered a reading of 56.8 globally this month. This demonstrates a 3.5 point rise from August. Employment conditions remain the strongest in the Americas (58.8), followed by Europe (57.0) and Asia Pacific (55.9).


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.

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

Our global panel (1,225 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 Warc 
Warc is the global provider of ideas and evidence to marketing people. It has produced trusted and independent data on advertising expenditure and media costs for more than 25 years, and has partnerships with leading advertising organisations in more than 80 countries. Warc’s premium online service,, is the largest single source of intelligence for the marketing, advertising and media communities worldwide. With subscribers in over 100 countries, is a unique resource relied upon by major creative and media agency networks, market research companies, media owners, multinational advertisers and business schools, to help tackle any marketing challenge. In addition to the online service, Warc publishes five magazines, provides industry data and runs events.

To find out more about Warc, take a free trial at

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