As a freelance, I inevitably get about a bit. So I hear an awful lot about how well (or otherwise) businesses and individuals round my way are doing.
I can’t comment on the daily media stories about how the economy is getting better / worse / becoming more unpredictable by the day, but I certainly have a pretty good overview of how the Northern marketing scene is fairing. And the only constant theme here is of inconsistency.
The six / seven figure proper pitches (no faffing about with RFIs and the like) are back – but so are the ‘jump through hoops for £10K’ projects. Some agencies are flying and others are faltering – and this doesn’t seem to reflect size, specialism or even client sector strength.
I’m happy to be extremely busy at the moment (as evidenced by the reduction in blog posts of late) and other freelancers at the top end of the campaign development chain tell me a similar story – but this doesn’t seem to be reflected for many market researchers, some of whom appear to have been hit quite hard by reductions in government spending as well as cautious clients elsewhere.
I know of several clients who seem hell-bent on spending their way out of recession via an increased focus on strategy, braver creative and stonking budgets (hurrah!). But also several clients who are seemingly incapable of making any decision, for fear of making the wrong one.
What does this tell us? Apart from that there’s no such thing as a definitive answer to how the marketing community is doing up here, it does feel like the economy is rewarding the brave.