American marketers are bullish about 2013

One of the most exciting developments in PR and communications is the greater access in-house and agency teams have to marketing budgets that were once the sole jurisdiction of the advertising community.

One of the most exciting developments in PR and communications is the greater access in-house and agency teams have to marketing budgets that were once the sole jurisdiction of the advertising community.

PR agencies are increasingly working for the CMO in addition to their traditional interactions with the CCO.

The trend is epitomized by developments such as Procter & Gamble dispensing with its CCO position completely and bundling communications under global brand building officer Marc Pritchard (don't call him a CMO – P&G doesn't like that.)

The shift from paid advertising to earned, shared, and owned media – spearheaded by the drive toward brands as content owners and producers – is opening up all sorts of opportunities for the PR industry, which has always played well in this area.

It's a trend we are reflecting in February's print edition of PRWeek, which we have branded The Marketing Issue and which will contain lots of great content reflecting these developments, including an in-depth profile I did with Jeff Jones, CMO of Target.

Given this context, it was heartening to see a recent survey by the World Advertising Research Council showing global marketing budgets are set to rise for the first time since May 2012, fueled largely by improved confidence among marketers in the Americas. Staffing levels in the Americas are rising even more rapidly.

The council produces a Global Marketing Index each month, culled from a survey of a global panel of marketers. It has only registered positive four times in the last 16 months, and it is the Americas that are driving this – Asia-Pacific and Europe are still scaling back.

So despite WPP head honcho Sir Martin Sorrell's gloom and doom pronouncements at Davos this week about his five major threats to the global economy – the UK pulling out of the European Union, US debt, Middle East tensions, the Eurozone crisis, and China's economy – marketers in the Americas are bucking the trend and starting 2013 on a bullish note.

That's got to be good news for the US, for marketers, and for the PR and communications sector that is increasingly playing in this space.

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