The traditional marketing disciplines of advertising, sales promotion and direct marketing are much more likely to suffer budget cuts in financial services companies over the next year than event marketing, according to research launched today by the George P. Johnson Company (GPJ) and the MPI Foundation.

The independent research, which was conducted among 123 marketing directors from large UK companies, documents the changing role, investment levels and effectiveness of event marketing. It shows that 19% of financial services companies will cut their direct marketing budgets, 15% will cut their sales promotion budgets and 12% will cut their advertising budgets. However no respondents predict a decrease in the budgets for event marketing and over a quarter (27%) state that budget allocations for this discipline will expand.

As face-to-face interaction with customers becomes more of a marketing focus, events have become a primary element of the marketing mix. This is reflected in the research that shows event marketing currently commands just over a third of financial companies' entire marketing budget - and this is set to increase still further. An equal number of respondents (50%) indicate that the future importance of event marketing for their company will either increase or remain constant. None of the sample in this sector saw event marketing declining in importance.

Neil Jones, Managing Director of GPJ (UK) believes that the reason why event marketing is perceived as such a critical component of the marketing mix is due to financial marketing directors' confidence in events to provide effective return on investment (ROI). According to the research event marketing is seen as second only to direct marketing in generating ROI, followed by PR, then traditional advertising mediums and finally sales promotion and internet advertising which are quoted as least likely to provide ROI. Neil Jones comments:

"A significant percentage of the respondents in our survey feel that of all the elements that may be included in the marketing mix, event marketing provides the greatest return on investment. Add to this the fact that insufficient ROI is given by most as the prime reason for budgets reductions, it's clear that financial companies expect accountability from their marketing efforts and consequently are redirecting their marketing budgets towards tactics that can deliver this."

Further information from:
Tammy Winsley,
Energy Public Relations Ltd
T: 01993 823011

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