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PR Spat: A case of re-balancing?

By Billy Hamilton-Stent on 1st September 2014

There was a PR spat in the press recently following an article from the Editor-in-Chief of PR Week about the ‘death’ of PR agencies.

The emotional bit boils down to money, really. Tell anyone who has a mortgage or rent to pay that their means of income is going to die, and temperatures are bound to rise. Because it’s an industry said to be dying, this has profound implications for jobs, giving PR Week an ample foundation for an interesting article and some heated discussion. A 2014 Gartner study shows that B2B marketing spend is flat, compared to B2C – see chart below. When you look at our own Tech Heads research research which specifically looks at content marketing trends it shows an increase of 20% in that area of focus for B2B businesses. Gartner - Revenue allocation to marketing The increase in the budget is not the interesting part though, it’s the changing balance of disciplines within marketing that is interesting, and not whether one part of it is dying. What the ‘spat factor’ has to get over, is that budget holders aren’t interested in the nuances of service provider change. The gap between lofty ambitions, such as reputation management, and the harsh realities of bottom line performance are closing. Clients are increasingly aware of what works, and what doesn’t from an investment perspective. No parts of marketing and communications are any less important these days than they were in 2008. It’s just that a wave of technologies has given us a much better handle on where the value resides. Measurement, integration and flexibility, driven by external demands. These are the ingredients we see shaping client investments. These are the things that matter. After that, you can call it what you like.

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