Marketing leaders focused on long-term brand-building amid turbulent times
Over eight in 10 (84%) UK marketing leaders report they spend at least 60% of their budget on long-term measures, such as brand-building. In fact, around two-fifths say they invest 80% or more of their budget on the long-term.
The vast majority (84%) of the UK marketers surveyed agree they have the right balance between short-term return and long-term brand building in their marketing. Indeed, many UK marketing leaders believe they have sold the rest of the C-Suite on the virtues of this balance, with 46% agreeing very strongly with the statement: ‘my CEO and CFO believe in the value of investing in our brand for the long-term’.
While UK marketing leaders are confident in their strategy of putting investment behind long-term brand building, they also feel disproportionally hit by ongoing macroeconomic turbulence. Almost three-quarters (70%) of UK marketing decision-makers believe that their industry has been hit harder than others by the ongoing turbulence of recent years
Marketers are balancing concerns about the economy with the need to make progress on sustainability and diversity, equity and inclusion matters. Around four in 10 (40%) marketing leaders agree that supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion in society is an important part of brand identity.
While around two-fifths (38%) of UK marketing leaders say customers expect them to address sustainability and environmental protection, this is lower than the proportion of consumers who say the same. Another recent study from GfK found almost three-quarters (73%) of consumers expect companies to take environmentally responsible actions.
Over half of retailers planning to offer steeper discounts this festive season
Over half (54%) of UK retailers are planning to offer steeper discounts in the 2023 festive season. Retailers expect their price cuts will average at 23%.
Retailers are hoping this will work to drive sales, with 83% expecting an uptick this festive season. Almost one in three (31%) are expecting sales to increase “significantly”, despite a tough economic backdrop.
However, retailers are feeling the pressure from online ecommerce giants. Over half (55%) of retailers worry that domination by sites like Amazon and Etsy is hurting their sales.
The research also looked at the attitudes of UK and US consumers. Just 16% of UK consumers say they will spend more this festive season versus the last. In the US, 32% of consumers said the same.
Deals are a priority for consumers when shopping for Christmas gifts, the research finds, something which may be influencing retailers’ decision-making towards Christmas. Close to four in 10 (38%) consumers are prioritising deals in their festive shopping.
Consumer anticipation for Christmas ads reaches three-year high
With retailers and brands beginning to release their Christmas campaigns, consumer anticipation for these ads is at a three-year high, finds research from Bynder.
The research is based on an analysis of Google Search terms. It finds that there has been a 6% increase in Google searches for “Christmas advert” so far in 2023 compared to 2022. Based on this, Bynder analysis forecasts there will be 67,840 such searches for the term in the UK this November.
This is significantly down on 2016 levels, when the search term peaked, with over 120,000 searches. However, it is up against last year and versus 2021 levels, which saw searches for “Christmas advert” drop to 54,000.
The research also provides insight into the most highly anticipated Christmas ads. John Lewis, which has become well-known for its festive ads, is the most searched. In second place is Asda, which last year topped effectiveness rankings with its ad featuring Buddy the Elf.
Aldi is in third place, as its series of festive ads featuring brand character ‘Kevin the Carrot’ continue this year.
Less than one in 10 women think brands are doing ‘very well’ at catering to menopause
Just 7% of women aged 35 to 60 think brands and retailers are doing “very well” at catering to people experiencing menopause. While a further 45% think they are doing it “fairly well” the figures suggest there is significant room for improvement in the area.
Fewer than one fifth (19%) of those surveyed say they have noticed advertising or marketing specifically for menopause-related products. This is up 10 percentage points versus 2000 levels.
For the women surveyed who were aware of this advertising, a significant proportion (26%) find it “uninspiring”. Meanwhile, just under half (45%) describe it as “informative”.
Taking a broader look, nearly half (46%) of the women surveyed feel that advertising targeted at their age group is unreflective of their own life or that of their friends. Similar proportions feel the advertising is uninspiring (45%), outdated (43%) or not relatable (41%).
In terms of product areas where the women surveyed believe brands could do better in, nutrition and supplements (63%) and feminine care (58%) rank the highest.
Source: IPA and GenM
Mail attracts ‘undivided attention’ say almost two-thirds of recipients
Nearly two-thirds (63%) of recipients say mail attracts their undivided attention, finds a study from WARC and Royal Mail Marketreach.
Mail marketing appears to have a high engagement rate, with 80% of mail in envelopes opened by recipients. The average piece of mail is viewed just over twice during the week of receipt, and almost three-fifths (58%) is retained for future reference.
In terms of attention, recent analysis from JICMAIL (Joint Industry Committee for Mail) shows that business mail holds recipients’ attention for the most amount of time (150 seconds), followed by direct mail (108 seconds) and partially addressed mail (65 seconds).
In terms of mail’s impact on the funnel, the research finds that the average piece of mail persuaded 16% of recipients to consider the brand. Almost one in 10 report being prompted to carry out an action such as visiting a shop or website as a result of mail. On average, 5% of mail leads to a transaction.
Source: WARC and Royal Mail Marketreach