Brand awareness is the key objective for marketers
Brand awareness is the top priority for marketers across all media channels, with customer acquisition cited as the second most important goal.
In their quest to increase awareness, nearly two-thirds of marketers (64%) say social media is the most effective paid channel, with TikTok and Instagram claiming the majority of spend.
Comparatively, spending on TV and radio is significantly lower, with an overall increase of 53% for global marketers, according to data from Nielsen’s annual marketing report.
Since customer acquisition is the second most important goal for brands, the report suggests that marketers need to focus their efforts on the entire customer journey.
Measurement is another big concern for marketers, but media fragmentation makes it harder to achieve. While 69% of marketers believe first-party data is essential for their strategies and campaigns, and 72% suggest they have access to quality data, only 26% of global marketers fully trust into their audience data.
Marketers also lack confidence in their ability to measure ROI, with only 53% confident in measuring full funnel ROI. That drops below half on all other media once mobile and online video are taken out of the equation. Podcasting is an area that marketers intend to invest more in, but only 44% are confident in the measure of return on investment from this channel.
An average family saw their discretionary income drop by £52 in March
UK households have seen a drop in the amount of spare cash they had to spend last month. The average family saw their discretionary income fall by 4.9% in March 2022 compared to the same period last year, which is £52 less to spend on things other than groceries and bills.
The cost-of-living crisis is being felt unevenly, with the less well-off seeing a far greater share of their discretionary spending wiped out than the more well-off. Less well-off households saw their discretionary income fall by 5.2% in March 2022 compared to the previous year, or £26 less per month.
Meanwhile, the better off saw their discretionary income fall by £21 last month, or £5 less in monetary terms than the less well off. As a proportion of discretionary spending, this represents only 0.5% of the available cash flow of the wealthiest households.
These figures come from the Retail Economics-HyperJar Cost of Living Tracker, which finds that the loss of discretionary household spending likely wiped out around £1.4bn of income for non-essentials throughout the month.
The research also reveals that more than half (55%) of consumers consider the rising cost of living their top concern, followed by a weaker economy (13%) and lack of savings (8%).
Going forward, consumers worry about their ability to manage their spending. About a quarter of consumers say they are “about to get by” (25%) and almost a third (30%) say they are “somewhat worried” about their current financial situation.
Source: Retail Economics-HyperJar
Brands are increasing their marketing budgets as confidence grows in pandemic recovery
Marketing budgets have now been increasing for four consecutive quarters, with a net balance of 14.1% of companies revising their marketing budgets upwards in the first quarter of 2022. This figure is the highest in almost eight years.
These figures come from Bellwether’s Q1 2022 IPA report. The figures represent a significant increase from the last quarter of 2022, when a net balance of 6.1% revised its marketing spend upwards.
Nearly a quarter (24.1%) of companies surveyed increased their marketing spend in the first quarter of 2022, compared to just 10% who revised their budgets downward.
The increase in marketing spend reflects the UK’s emergence from the Covid-19 pandemic and signifies greater confidence among businesses that they will be able to continue without the disruption of lockdowns or restrictions.
However, the IPA warns that the industry faces “strengthening headwinds” against its recovery, including inflation and the war in Ukraine.
The headwinds mean that slower growth is expected in the coming months, which will negatively impact advertising spend. API revised its growth figures down to 3.5% in 2022 and 1.8% in 2023, from 5.2% and 2.5% respectively.
Most UK consumers view brands that collect data as ‘unethical’
UK consumers want personalized experiences, but are also skeptical of brands collecting their data. Around seven in ten consumers say they consider companies’ data collection to be “unethical”. Consumers also say they are increasingly aware of how companies use their data, with more than half (54%) saying they are more aware than in 2020.
Despite this, almost half of consumers do not realize that companies sell their data to other companies.
Very few customers are aware of the upcoming changes to third-party cookies, 80% said they had no idea of the changes.
People are more aware of their online behavior being used by brands, but nearly seven in 10 (67%) are not comfortable with their online history being used. The second most sensitive category is phone numbers, with 57% of users expressing discomfort with these companies knowing this information about them.
Despite skepticism surrounding brands’ use of data, research suggests there’s still an appetite for a more personalized experience. Less than one in five consumers (16%) believe the brands they interact with understand their needs as an individual.
Store sales slow as cost of living crisis sets in
UK store sales slowed last month as consumer confidence was dampened by worries about inflation and the cost of living.
In the five weeks to April 2, 2022, UK retail sales were down 0.4% on a like-for-like basis compared to the same period in 2021, when they were up 20.3%. The three-month average growth was 3.2%, while the 12-month average growth was 6.5%.
Across food and non-food products, total sales rose 3.1% in March, compared to a 13.9% increase in March 2021.
Sales of food and beverage products suffered particularly over the period. Over the three months ending in March 2022, sales of food products fell by 2.6% in total and by 3.1% at constant scope.
Sales of items other than food and beverages were more dynamic, increasing by 14.9% in total and by 8.6% on a like-for-like basis. This is notably driven by in-store sales, which increased by 92.9% in total and by 74.9% on a like-for-like basis, suggesting a return of consumers to the shopping street.
Conversely, online non-food sales fell 29% during the month of March, after increasing 64.7% during the same month in 2021.