Demand rises for digital skills
Brands are increasingly looking for marketers with harder digital skills, with social media in particular growing in importance.
Data from LinkedIn shared exclusively with Marketing Week shows demand for marketers with an understanding of paid social media has grown by 116.4% since last year.
Other notable social skills on the rise include social media advertising, which increased by 45.9%, Instagram (up 28.4%), social media optimisation (26.2%), and knowledge of LinkedIn (25.7%).
The top three fastest rising jobs were also related to social media, with social media coordinator up by 19%, community manager up 18.1% and social media assistant increasing by 16.5%.
Other skills rising in demand include ad serving (84.6%) analytics (46.1%), and web content writing (30.3%).
Consumers’ interest in subscription services up
Online subscriptions for services such as next-day delivery, streaming and shopping are on the up, showing the shift in consumer spending practices during the pandemic.
Over a third (37%) of consumers subscribed to next-day delivery services such as Amazon Prime, with data showing a year-on-year increase of 9%.
Monthly subscription-based buying for everyday items also saw a year-on-year increase. Categories on the rise includes toiletries and personal hygiene products (15%), clothes (15%), beauty and cleaning products (14%) and alcohol (13%).
Additionally, paid streaming services increased by 6%, while paid music streaming increased by 29% and subscriptions to online/print newspaper by 17%.
Home grocery orders surge to £32.8bn
Home grocery sales grew 12.2% to £32.8bn in the 12 weeks ending 26 January, with the growth down to Christmas and the reintroduction of national lockdown restrictions.
Online shopping hit a record share of 14% during the period, driven by an increase in consumers aged over 45 shopping online.
Kantar’s head of retail and consumer insight, Fraser McKevitt, says: “Retired households have boosted their online spend by a staggering 229% compared with January 2020. Older people are clearly getting more comfortable and proficient at ordering online and they now make up 28% of the 6.4 million who used online services in Great Britain this month.”
Veganuary and dry January also had an impact on grocery sales, with 6.6 million households buying vegan food ranges, representing a 10% year-on-year increase. Vegan-specific products grew 23% in the last four weeks compared to the same period last year.
Meanwhile, dry January grew demand for non-alcoholic beer by 12%, however, alcohol saw an uplift of 29% over the same period to £234m.
Shopper confidence on the up
Shopper confidence rose to its highest level since February last year due to the UK’s roll-out of Covid-19 vaccines.
This is down to restored confidence among the over-55s. But despite the encouraging results, overall confidence remains fragile, caused by no confirmed end date to the national lockdown, the economic downturn and potential supply chain disruption stemming from Brexit.
IGD data puts consumer confidence in January at the relatively low level of -5 but this was the highest score since February 2020. Confidence dropped to -7 in early January when the new national lockdown was enforced and Covid infection cases and hospital admissions increased.
The index then rose to -4 at the end of the month as the UK passed the halfway point towards its mid-February target of administering at least one dose of the vaccine to 15 million people.
Confidence has increased most among those aged 55+ (-3 versus -9 last month), who are a priority group to receive the vaccine. With news of the progress on the vaccinations programme, 19% of consumers surveyed expect to be better off in the year ahead (+2% versus last month), which is the highest level since July 2020. Just under a third (31%) expect to be worse off financially in the year ahead (-1% versus last month).
CMOs increase focus on local marketing
CMOs are turning their attention to local marketing with 95% of executives seeing the brand advantages of acting at a local level.
More than half (54%) of CMOs believe local communication is more important since the pandemic started, while 28% believe national communication have become less important.
Over half (52%) of executives think communication at local level is more important for raising awareness of new products and services, with almost the same rate (54%) saying it benefits brand awareness.
Half of CMOs believe local advertising will be important to meet their marketing objectives as they expand into new markets.