It’s a great start to the year when you hear some news that may mean brighter prospects for many of us working in the marketing industry.

The quarterly Bellwether survey by the Institute of Practitioners In Advertising that reports on marketing budgets is out. And it’s good news.

The latest report reveals that marketing has had its biggest boost since 2008 with companies increasing their budgets for the fifth quarter in a row in Q4 2013.

Also making headlines is the news that optimism regarding financial prospects remains high and that marketers signal confident plans for the 2014 budget year.

This news reflects our own experiences too here at The Market Creative. The last year has been our best yet. We’ve grown existing clients, welcomed new faces, extended our team and had a fantastic time along the way. You can read some of our 2013 highlights in our end of year blog.

So what for 2014? We’ll shortly be announcing a few new business wins, we’ve lots of brand development work ahead and a new TV campaign is on its way for one of our retail clients. We are also reviving our own business too and will soon be revealing a sparkly new website as well as a new brand identity for The Market Creative.

For retailers looking to strengthen their position I’d anticipate that 2014 will be the year for developing and refining cross-platform multichannel strategies as more businesses recognise the value of marketing in this way. We’ll certainly be looking at evolving retail marketing campaigns to meet consumer demands to buy what, when and where they want it as well as creating greater synergy online and in-store.

A confidence boost, continued optimism and wide economic recovery look to be on the cards for 2014. The expression ‘better late than never’ springs to mind but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We’re only just starting to embrace February but let’s hope this signals the start of a great year to come.