No cheerful news from Sir Martin today, reporting a 47% fall in profits across the WPP Group for the first six months of the year. Tough times across all territories, with like-for-like revenues down 8%.
WPP is a good barometer for the marketing services sector worldwide given its size and breadth of businesses, so it's a good reflection of what's happening to marketing and insight budgets in 2009. Interviewed this morning, Sir Martin said that the year had been tough and disappointing, but next year would show an improvement.
With budgets being squeezed so tightly, smart planning, targeting and effective measurement of investment become ever more important. And this separates the good Marketing Director from the average. There's no room for average in 2009, as many businesses are finding out the hard way.