1. Social media should be a top priority for small businesses
With a new user joining social media user every 15 seconds, businesses need to up their social media strategy this year. Only 57.6% of small businesses currently use social media. Meanwhile just 42% had a blog last year, compared to 80.4% of bigger companies (those with more than 1,000 employees).
Meanwhile three in 10 users say supporting their favourite brands on social media is important. And 49.5% of small businesses link to their social media pages on their website.
Source: Office of National Statistics and TurnerLittle.com
2. Brands decrease spend over ad fraud fears
About 22% of UK brands say they plan to decrease their programmatic advertising spend over the next 12 months amid concerns over cost, performance and transparency.
Of those who plan to reduce spend, 39% say it is due to a lack of transparency about where their ads will be placed.
When asked what proportion of their ads were seen by humans rather than bots during the past 12 months, only four in 10 say the figure is more than 50%. Just 7% think the proportion viewed by humans is 80% or more.
Source: Query Click
3. Retail prices decline
Shop prices slid deeper into deflationary territory in December, falling 0.6% on last year compared to the 0.1% decline in November, marking the most significant deflation since March 2017.
Non-food prices fell at their fastest rate since January 2017, dropping 2.1% year on year compared to 1.1% in November.
However, food inflation grew to 1.8% in December, up from 1.5% in November. While ambient food inflation continued at a similar pace with prices increasing by 1.7% year on year in December, slightly down from 1.8% in November.
4. Advertisers concerned about levels of transparency in programmatic advertising
Almost eight in 10 (79%) senior marketers are worried about the level of transparency in programmatic advertising, while only 14% strongly agree they have a good understanding of where their ads are served.
Meanwhile, 39% of advertisers regard lack of visibility on third party websites as one of their biggest concerns, as well as lack of agency transparency (42%).
One third (36%) cite ‘medium’ or ‘quite low’ levels of trust in their digital media agencies, while more than a quarter (27%) say they have felt compelled to use media agency services that are not in their best interests.
5. Brits’ business confidence slumps
Brits’ business confidence has fallen amid fears about trade and economic growth.
Brexit is considered the biggest concern, with 73% of chief financial officers expecting the overall business environment to worsen following Brexit. As a result, 39% expect investment into their business to drop.