Blackfriars Marketing Index Rises To 140 For Q2

Information and Media Companies Plan The Largest Marketing Spend In The Second Quarter

MAYNARD, Mass., May 16, 2005 — Communications and research consultants Blackfriars Communications, Inc. (Blackfriars) today announced that they have set the Blackfriars Marketing Index at 140 for the second quarter of 2005. The Q2 index indicates that companies expect to spend 40 percent more on marketing this quarter than they spent in an average quarter in 2003. Blackfriars also set its first quarter index of actual spending at 74. This value indicates that first quarter marketing spending in 2005 was 16 percent less than average quarterly spending in 2003.

Blackfriars also released its Marketing Category Indices for nine types of marketing spending. Direct marketing, event and other marketing spending, which Blackfriars interprets as non-traditional or online marketing programs, exceeded their anticipated budget spending for Q1. Advertising spending, which continues to lead all types of programs, fell to 24 percent from an anticipated 33 percent of budget. A graphical breakdown of Q1 marketing spending by program can be found at:

"First quarter marketing spending showed a change in the mix of marketing spending. Companies are increasing the proportions of budgets allocated to direct marketing, events, and public and analyst relations while advertising fell well short of its anticipated spend," said Carl Howe, a principal of Blackfriars. "Overall, Q1 actual spending fell short of budget, although that shortfall wasn't as bad as in 2004."

Blackfriars analyzed the responses of 300 senior business executives to questions about their marketing budgets, attitudes, and spending to set this quarter's marketing index. Blackfriars surveyed the executives at the beginning of April 2005. The executives surveyed represent a cross-section of U.S. businesses as tallied by the 2001 U.S. Census.

Survey Shows Vertical Industries Emphasize Different Aspects of Marketing

Blackfriars further analyzed its survey to distill marketing spending in six vertical industries: financial services; information and media; manufacturing; other services; professional, scientific and technical services; and retail trade.

A key finding in Blackfriars' analysis proved that industry affiliation has a big effect on marketing activities and spending. Retail trade companies spend 11.5 percent of revenue on marketing, the largest percentage of the six vertical industries studied. In contrast, financial services firms spend only 6.8 percent of revenue on marketing, the smallest percentage of the industries analyzed.

"Today, retailers devote the largest portion of their marketing budgets to advertising, because those dollars drive sales," said Howe. "But financial services firms devote the largest percentage of their marketing budget to events, because person-to-person contact at those events creates the trusted relationships required for financial business. This second quarter survey allowed us to analyze these differences among industries and understand where industries felt their marketing dollars were most effective."

Blackfriars distributes the Blackfriars Marketing Index each quarter to provide a benchmark for US marketing demand and spending. Blackfriars has also published a 24-page research report titled Marketing 2005: Q2 Marketing By Industry that provides detailed analysis of this survey data. Included in this report are details about actual first quarter 2005 spending, projections of second quarter marketing budgets, and detailed analysis of marketing spending in six vertical industries. This report is available for $495 directly from Blackfriars. Blackfriars will also publish a June report titled "Sizing US Marketing" that will analyze actual dollars spent on marketing across the US economy by industry and by marketing activity. Both reports will also be distributed through,,, and their affiliates.

About Blackfriars Communications, Inc.

Blackfriars Communications, Inc., headquartered in Maynard, Mass., improves how organizations communicate through consulting, executive training, and research services. With more than 25 years of experience in high technology, marketing, and training, Blackfriars employs objective methodologies to help companies distill, communicate, and deliver their value. On the Net: Blackfriars Communications, Inc. site: