Consumers’ mistrust on brands’ environmental claims rises
Almost half (48%) of British consumers don’t trust companies to be honest about their environmental impact. This figure is rising, having increased by 40% since 2021.
When it comes to brands communicating their environmental credentials to consumers, the research by Mintel suggests accessibility and simplicity is key. Around a quarter of Brits admit they find issues around the environment difficult to understand. Roughly four in 10 (43%) say they would like a colour-coded scoring system on products to help them understand how environmentally friendly their purchase is.
Despite cynicism around how open brands are about their environmental credentials, 44% believe companies can do more than governments to change the world.
The research also suggests there is a sense of pride among consumers when they buy green, with around a fifth (21%) of British people wanting to show others when they are doing good for the environment.
70% of marketers make major decisions in isolation
Around seven in 10 marketers are navigating crucial business decisions in isolation, as marketing teams reshuffle and come under increasing pressure given the current economic climate.
A survey of 700 marketers carried out by Nielsen for LinkedIn and HubSpot finds many marketers’ ability to collaborate is dwindling. While nearly 90% of sales and marketing leaders acknowledge that collaboration between the two functions is vital for growth and the success of both teams, many marketers are making decisions alone.
For example, three in five marketing decision-makers are currently choosing consumer-based software vendors alone, with just one in five involving advertising, sales or finance.
The research also finds half (52%) of marketers define their organisations as focused both on itself and on the customer. Just over a third (35%) describe their companies as “customer-first”, while around one in 10 (13%) say their businesses are “company-first”.
Source: HubSpot and LinkedIn
Consumers expect better experiences from brands during tough economic times
Brands might be under increased financial pressure when times are tough, but research suggests many consumers’ expectations increase during a difficult climate.
Research from Adobe finds half of global consumers (50%) expect better experiences from brands when economic conditions become more challenging. Indeed, more than a quarter (28%) report their expectations are much higher when the economy weakens.
Just 14% say they have lower expectations when economic conditions toughen.
Consumers are also prepared to prioritise better experiences over absolute low prices, even in a difficult economic environment. The researchers asked consumers to rank their priorities, with ‘a balanced approach’ that balances profitability, customer experience and corporate needs ranking highest. This is followed by ‘focus on customer experience’ above all else as the number two priority. ‘Offer absolute lowest prices’ ranks as the third priority.
“Competition for share of wallet has intensified as digital-first spending habits, economic conditions and new ethical priorities transform customer expectations at a time when every company must do more with less,” says Adobe EMEA president Luc Dammann.
In-house agencies lament lack of clarity on briefs
More than half (54%) of in-house agency leaders rate the briefs they receive from marketing teams as four out of 10 or less on quality, according to a report by the In-House Agency Leaders Club in association with WDC.
None of the internal agency leaders surveyed score the quality of briefs a full 10, with just 2% scoring either eight or nine.
While communication and collaboration between in-house agencies and marketers is generally good (50% and 54% respectively rate it a seven out of 10 or more), leaders working for internal agencies say poor quality feedback and marketers’ lack of understanding of the creative process are causing challenges.
Nearly a third (31%) score the quality of feedback they receive from marketers a four or less. Just 6% score it an eight or above, with zero giving a score of nine or 10. Part of the problem is just 40% of in-house agencies have client services or account management in place, the study finds.
Meanwhile, 40% of in-house agency leaders rate marketers’ understanding of the creative process a four or less. Just 10% rate it an eight or above.
Quality of briefs is the biggest barrier to in-house agencies producing better creative for 16%, while 14% say briefs going to external agencies is a problem.
The biggest barrier for the largest portion of respondents is a lack of time and forward planning (32%), though. Another issue for internal agencies is the fact that in the majority of cases work is not tracked, costed or effectively governed.
Nearly three-quarters (71%) say improving relationships with brief owners and stakeholders is a key priority going forward. This is second only to raising creative standards (73%). Another key priority is improving effectiveness (69%), followed by improving processes (59%) and building reputation (57%).
Source: In-House Agency Leaders Club
Just 12% of consumers have bought from influencers
Only 12% of consumers report having bought a product from an influencer, despite brands investing heavily in the channel in recent years.
Of those who had purchased from an influencer, more than four in 10 (42%) say they regretted the purchase afterwards.
More than eight in 10 (81%) say a brand’s use of influencers either has no impact or a negative impact on their perception of that brand. Around half of consumers say they scroll past influencer posts on social media, without paying any attention.
The survey of 1,000 consumers finds 90% prefer to see brands share content from actual customers, rather than paid influencers.
Some 86% say they would trust user generated content from brands more than those who use influencers. A similar proportion (82%) say they would be more likely to buy from a brand that uses user generated content.