Brand safety a key priority among advertisers
More than three-quarters (77%) of brands say brand safety is a key priority, with 57% agreeing that was top of mind in 2019 to a greater degree than previous years because of increased knowledge and understand of the issue.
To protect against brand safety concerns, more than 80% use a series of solutions to ensure their ads appear in brand safe environments. Some 93.8% of brands use blacklists, 91% keyword targeting, 87.8% whitelists and 83.9% verification partners.
Source: IAB Europe
Trademark infringement on the rise
Some 85% of brands say they experienced trademark infringement in 2019, up from 81% in 2018 and 74% in 2017.
The most common infringement was business name and web domains, on 44%, followed by social media and online marketplaces (both on 38%) and ad campaigns (34%).
The biggest consequence of trademark infringement is customer confusion – cited by 45% of brands. This is followed by loss of revenue (38%) and damage to brand reputation (37%).
Three-quarters of trademark infringements led to litigation, with 40% of companies spending between $50,000 and $250,000 on legal proceedings. Almost half (46%) had to rebrand as a result.
Marketing budgets return to growth
More companies upped their marketing spend in the fourth quarter of 2019 than reduced it as political uncertainty eased.
Overall, 23% of companies said budgets increased and 19% reported cuts, leaving 58% with unchanged spending. That means a net balance of 4% of marketers revised their budgets up, a turnaround from the previous quarter when a net balance of 0.5% revised their budgets down.
Budgets also look promising for 2020, with a net balance of 15.7% expecting spend to increase this year. That is a significant on last year’s forecast, when just 3.4% expected growth.
Retail sales fell sharply in December
Retail sales fell sharply in December as an Christmas shopping spree failed to materialise.
Sales volumes were down 0.6% compared to November, the fifth straight month without growth. Value sales fell by 0.3%.
Sales at food stores were down 1.3%, while clothing stores saw sales drop 2% and department stores 1.8%. Household goods and fuel were the only sectors to experience an increase.
Online sales accounted for 19% of December spending, up from 18.6% the previous month.
Source: Office for National Statistics
Marketers’ biggest challenges with data use
Trust is the biggest challenge facing marketers when it comes to data
‘Reinforcing customer trust’ is marketers’ biggest challenge when it comes to how they use data, cited by 59% of marketers questioned in a survey.
That is followed by ‘understanding customer wants and needs’ on 52%, ‘measuring ROI’ on 48% and ‘adapting to data privacy regulations’ on 45%.
Source: Data & Marketing Association