Global marketing budgets, market research, fake reviews: 5 interesting stats to start your week

We arm you with all the numbers you need to tackle the week ahead.

Global marketing budgets return to growth for the first time in 18 months

Global marketing budgets are growing for the first time in a year and a half according to Warc’s Global Marketing Index (GMI).

The GMI is a monthly measure that indicates the state of marketing budgets. An index score above 50 indicates growth, while one below 50 indicates a decline.

In December, the global index score was 50.7. This is the first time the score has been above 50 since June 2022, when it was 53.3.

The global growth was driven by the Americas, which had an index score of 54.8, and by Europe, which had a score of 52.9. However, in Asia Pacific, budgets were declining, with an index score of 42.9.

On a channel level, the GMI finds growth for mobile (63.7), digital excluding mobile (62.0), and out-of-home media (54.6) in December. However, global TV budgets declined at a steeper level, with a score of 46.8, versus 46.8.

Radio (45.3) and press (35.0) marketing budgets continue to decline.

Source: Warc

Market research sector grows by almost one-tenth in a year

The market research sector grew by £1bn in 2022 to reach a record £9bn valuation. The UK’s top 100 research agencies grew by 9.9% in the year. Their collective revenue has now risen to £4.8bn.

This made 2022 the best year for the sector since the disruption of the pandemic. By contrast, in 2020 the UK’s top 100 research agencies grew by just 0.8%.

The UK now accounts for more than half of all European social and market research output. It is the second-largest market globally, after the US.

The research from the MRS, shows success for the sector beyond how much it is worth.  The gender pay gap within the UK research sector has narrowed to 13.3% – below the national average of 14.3%.

Source: MRS

Consumers think brands must tackle fake reviews on their sites

Almost two in three (63%) consumers think brands should be removing fraudulent content on their websites, including fake reviews.

Consumers believe brands hold the most responsibility for removing fraudulent content, followed by governmental bodies (49%) and third-party experts (36%). Three-quarters of consumers are concerned about fake reviews.

While consumers may want brands to do more, the brands themselves believe they are on top of tackling fraudulent user-generated content. More than nine in 10 (94%) brands and retailers say they highly rate the importance of maintaining online content authenticity.

Over three-quarters (76%) are confident in their tools and mechanisms for tackling fraudulent online content.

Consumers are often verifying the authenticity of content themselves. Most consumers report using trusted online shopping platforms (63%), researching the brand online (58%), and checking for secure website indicators, for example, a padlock symbol (51%) to verify the authenticity of online content.

Source:  Bazaarvoice and Savanta

Most marketers using AI aren’t telling their line managers they use it

Around two in three marketers using AI have not told their line managers or clients they use it in their work. Additionally, 56% have not told colleagues they use AI in their work.

Marketers in startups are the most transparent with stakeholders (which includes managers, clients and colleagues), with 77% reporting they’ve told them about their use of AI. By contrast, 42% of marketers at established brands haven’t informed stakeholders.

Over three-quarters (76%) report using AI to create marketing content, with over four in 10 (42%) using it daily or weekly.

Almost three in four (73%) marketers believe AI will help people take on tasks outside their skillset. Half believe AI will become a crucial aspect of their job.

According to marketers, the top three things that AI will have a positive impact on are productivity (83%), profitability (62%), and creativity (59%).

Source: Filestage

Consumers open to use of older influencers

With around three in five UK adults agreeing that the younger influencer market is crowded, there may be space for an older social media creator to take the stage.

Over a third (36%) of millennials prefer to follow influencers who are older than them, and a further 40% agree influencers aged 50 plus are more inspirational and more trusted than younger counterparts.

The research suggests that Snapchat users (typically aged 18 to 24) have the most interest in older influencers, 81% finding them inspirational and 72% loving to regularly watch their videos. A further 41% would like to see more content from older influencers.

Additionally, almost three in 10 (29%) TikTok users find over 50s to be the most trustworthy influencer group.

Older influencers also have the potential to better speak to their own age group. Over half of over 55s are using social media daily, making them the second most frequent users of social media.

Source: Age Co