Shortage of confidence is the greatest threat to sales

A lack of confidence among consumers is the biggest threat to sales in the current economic environment, according to a poll of marketers ahead of this week’s Marketing Week Trends Show in London.

According to the survey of marketers, 61.4% say a shortage of consumer confidence ranks as the primary influence on the performance of their business.

In addition, 63% report that the economic downturn is slowing or having a negative effect on their business, with only 7.1% reporting a sales upturn.

The findings come despite signs that both consumer confidence and retail sales have recently rallied. Last week, Nationwide Building Society’s consumer confidence gauge climbed eight points to 50, the biggest rise in nearly two years while the British Retail Consortium reported earlier this week that like-for-like sales grew 4.6% in April.

The survey also found that 34.3% of marketers are aiming for small successes and investing in momentum in light of the economic downturn, while 22.9% are looking to take a risk on “the big idea” with the rest hedging their bets.

In terms of marketing effort, 36.2% of respondents are looking at product improvements, developing new products or product extensions to steer their brand or company’s sales during the recession.

However, only 2.9% are to focus on new advertising to boost sales in the sluggish economy, preferring promotion and ecommerce (both 10.1%) as a means to maintain revenues during the downturn.

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