Brands’ eco-credentials become more important to shoppers
More than half of people (52%) are making purchasing decisions based on brands’ eco-credentials. One in five (22%) say they regularly choose eco-friendly products over less sustainable alternatives, while 48% say they do so sometimes.
More than a third of UK shoppers say they have stopped buying food and drink products (36%) and household brands (33%) due to concerns over sustainability.
Consumers also take sustainability into account when buying home electronics (15%), sportswear (12%) and furniture (12%).
Simon Carr, chief strategy officer at Hearts & Science, says: “It’s not just that UK shoppers will choose brands that have the best green credentials – now, they will actively stop buying those that don’t.
“Brands have to demonstrate their concern for the environment and can no longer get away with paying lip service. Savvy consumers want to see evidence that their shopping habits aren’t hurting the world around them, or they’ll go elsewhere.”
Source: Hearts & Science
Grocery sales drop but still up on pre-pandemic times
Take home grocery sales fell by 5.1% during the 12 weeks to 11 July compared to the same period last year. But despite the decline, sales are still strong compared with pre-pandemic times, with shoppers spending an additional £3bn on groceries compared to the same period in 2019.
The number of people choosing to buy groceries online fell by 81,000 in July compared with the same four weeks last year.
Looking at specific supermarkets, Ocado remained the fastest growing over the past 12 weeks at 3%, but its growth is starting to slow. It also increased its market share by 0.1 percentage points to 1.8%.
Aldi and Lidl both won market share over the period, with Aldi gaining 0.4 percentage points to hold 8.2%, while Lidl’s share increased by 0.2 percentage points to 6.1%.
Tesco achieved its biggest year-on-year share increase since December 2016, growing from 26.7% last year to 27.1% in the latest 12 weeks.
At Sainsbury’s, online sales continue to perform strongly, helping move its share up to 15.2% from 14.9% last year. Asda’s share slipped by 0.1 percentage points to 14.0%, while Morrisons’ fell from 10.3% last year to 10.1% this period.
Nearly half of measurement metrics do not reflect effectiveness
The true impact of marketing campaigns is being “obscured”, as 41% of industry measurement metrics reveal only campaign delivery performance and not marketing effectiveness.
The DMA analysed over 850 entries to its awards programme, dating back to 2017. The research covers brand and response campaigns, retention and acquisition campaigns, single and multi-channel campaigns, and 20 industry sectors.
Of the 167 measures of effectiveness identified across these entries, only 59% relate to response, brand and business effectiveness measures.
The rest relate to campaign delivery measures, such as reach, frequency and impressions, as well as ‘vanity metrics’ like clicks, likes and shares. According to the DMA, these measures “obscure the true picture of campaign impact”.
The ‘Meaningful Marketing Measurement 2021’ report highlights the lack of common language around campaign measurement, and suggests marketers should aim to leave campaign delivery metrics in media planning and audit documents “where they belong”.
The DMA’s director of insight Tim Bond adds: “As marketing professionals, we should be constantly striving to unearth new, rich data sources that contribute to both our understanding of marketing effectiveness and the measurement of this effectiveness. As such, we must all also try to be better measurement professionals too.”
Consumers willing to spend as confidence edges up
As the majority of lockdown restrictions have now been lifted in the UK, consumer confidence has risen higher than pre-pandemic levels, according to the latest GfK Consumer Confidence Index.
The overall index for July scores -7, marking six months of steady improvement. In March 2020, the last month before lockdown, consumer confidence sat at a score of -9.
GfK’s client strategy director, Joe Staton, says: “We’ve been through a lot between those two points and the scores – five months of -30 or worse and six months firmly mired in the -20s – underline how gloomy the consumer mood has been. Are we seeing a breakout now? Possibly yes.”
Staton also notes a willingness among consumers to spend money, with July’s major purchase index score of 2, the highest since February last year and a “healthy” 7 point increase since June. This aligns with strong retail growth figures, which reflect the gradual opening up of the UK high street and the release of pent-up demand.
People also continue to feel confident in their personal financial situation over the coming year, with the forecast holding steady at a score of 11 for a second month. This is 11 points higher than this time last year.
However, expectations of the general economic situation over the next 12 months are less positive, having dropped by a further 3 points to -5.
Ecommerce and online video to fuel ad spend recovery
Global advertising expenditure will grow 11.2% in 2021, driven by increased demand for ecommerce and online video, according to the latest Advertising Expenditure Forecasts from Zenith.
A total of £522bn is expected to be spent on advertising this year, £31bn more than was spent before the pandemic in 2019.
In the UK alone, ad spend is expected to grow 13.5%, 8.5% higher than 2019. Three quarters of that spend will be on digital advertising, Zenith says, rising to 77% in 2023. This puts the UK well ahead of the global market, where digital is to take a 58% share this year.
While ecommerce growth is expected to slow as pandemic restrictions ease, Zenith expects the channel to continue to pull in advertising spend around the world, driving 13% growth in social media spend and 12% growth in search in 2022.
However, online video advertising is forecast to be the fastest-growing digital channel in 2021, with spend rising 26% globally to reach £49bn.
Meanwhile, Zenith predicts global social media advertising will expand by 25% this year to reach £107bn, overtaking paid search in scale for the first time. Paid search will grow by 19% to reach £105bn.