This is a turnaround from the usual pattern of cutting marketing and PR budgets in a downturn, says report authors Shape the Future.
Companies will be particularly focusing on new forms of communication, such as networking and search engine optimisation.
25 per cent of UK businesses say websites will be their most important marketing stream during the next year. A further 12 per cent say PR will be key.
This change comes from the importance in digital communications – and car dealers will ignore it at their peril.
‘The research results from Shape the Future seem to show the far greater understanding of the online world and how it can aid survival this time around,’ said Liz Barnes, chair of the Chartered Institute of Marketing Sussex branch.
Peter Martin, MD at Shape the Future, and author of the report, added: ‘Interestingly, the data we have collected also shows an increase in print spend alongside SEO and PR.
‘This suggests that companies are moving towards finding that lucrative balance to meld on and offline activity to boost their bottom line.
‘The key is knowing where your customers are, and what they are likely to respond to the most.’