CMOs expect DTC to grow rapidly over next five years
Most UK CMOs expect direct to consumer (DTC) channels to drive at least 20% of their sales across the next five years.
The vast majority (97%) say DTC channels have become a higher priority since the onset of the pandemic, while 47% of brands are selling more products via their own channels than they were pre-Covid.
As a result, 90% believe their brand is now in a stronger negotiating position with retail partners.
Brits plan to go ‘all out’ this Christmas but will be more careful with money
Consumers are keen to make up for the lack of celebration last Christmas, with 83% of Gen Z and 67% of millennials planning to go ‘all out’ this holiday season.
More than half (51%) have more savings set aside as a result of decreased spending over the past year, but 73% say they will think more carefully about how they spend their money now.
The pandemic has made 86% of respondents value time at home with their family more, and 48% say they plan to buy fewer gifts but make bigger and more considerate purchases for loved ones.
When it comes to gifts, 58% of people across all generations would prefer experience-based presents over ‘more stuff’, while two-thirds of Gen Z (68%) and millennial (64%) consumers would prefer gifts they’ve asked for rather than a surprise this Christmas.
Almost half (48%) of Brits are planning to start Christmas shopping by October, with nearly a third (28%) already Christmas shopping. With concerns over labour shortages impacting supply chains, the research suggests marketers and consumers need to plan ahead to ensure they don’t miss the mark this Christmas.
Culture of effectiveness rises when value of marketing understood by C-suite
While the effectiveness culture of UK brands and agencies is “encouraging”, there is still “significant” work to be done in marketing to boost business performance, according to the inaugural IPA Effectiveness Culture Monitor.
The study finds that securing buy-in from senior leaders for an effectiveness approach is a “key driver” of culture score improvement across brands.
Brand effectiveness culture scores rise from 5.7 on average when there is no senior buy-in, to 7.4 when those values are shared by leadership, the monitor reveals.
The study received some 178 responses from 91 different brands and agencies, including 37 brands across all major categories.
When asked to rate their own marketing effectiveness culture out of 10, brands on average achieved a “healthy” score of 6.9. Agencies ranked slightly higher at a score of 7.3, although the spectrum across each set of respondents ranges from two to 10.
With participants in the study self-selecting, the favourable skew towards marketing effectiveness is unsurprising. Interestingly, however, those organisations and agencies which claim to have an effectiveness ‘roadmap’ in place scored 26% higher (7.7) than those which did not (6.2).
In particular, implementing a roadmap provides a notable boost to an organisation’s ‘focus’ score – having a clear vision which understands the levers to impact and value – from 5.4 to 7.8.
The IPA defines an effectiveness roadmap as a “coherent strategy and plan for continual improvement to business value” across four key effectiveness pillars: people, process, focus and data, tools and measurement. The roadmap has to be understood by the organisation as a whole.
While nearly half (49%) of respondents state that their organisation has a marketing effectiveness roadmap, rising to 54% among brands alone, 22% do not and the rest are unsure.
Internal politics prevents joined up thinking on CX
While 86% of companies agree customer experience directly equates to commercial value (49% strongly agree), two in five decision makers say the pandemic has seriously impacted their efforts.
The lack of face-to-face meetings is highlighted as a major challenge to CX collaboration by 44% of respondents, while 33% say the pandemic has resulted in less cross department CX collaboration.
The key barriers preventing internal collaboration are lack of time (32%), internal politics (31%), silos (29%), data not being joined up (24%) and poor internal communication (24%).
Source: Paragon DCX
Grocery sales fall as pre-Covid behaviours return
With “big lifestyle changes” on the horizon, take-home grocery sales fell by 1.9% year-on-year during the 12 weeks to 5 September, according to the latest data from Kantar.
Sales remain 8.7% higher than pre-Covid levels, reflecting the pandemic’s continued impact on the market. However, with commuters due to head back into offices and children returning to school this month, Kantar’s head of retail and consumer insight, Fraser McKevitt, expects further changes to the way in which people shop.
Already, the first week of September produced the highest supermarket footfall all year outside of Easter.
“That suggests a hint of change, and could see shoppers shun the ‘big shop’ in favour of more frequent top up buying,” McKevitt says. “But we shouldn’t expect to shift from habits learning in lockdown straight back to pre-Covid patterns overnight. It’s most likely that the needle will settle somewhere in between.”
According to McKevitt, Kantar has already seen “signs of fatigue” around home cooking, with sales of chilled ready meals up 11%.
Online, the average shop is now worth nearly £17 less than at its peak at the start of the pandemic at a total of £78.28. Online grocery’s market share has fallen from 13% four weeks ago to 12.2% this month, the lowest level since May 2020.
Waitrose and Tesco were the only major supermarkets to record year-on-year sales growth, at 2.2% and 0.2% respectively. As a result, Waitrose increased its market share to 5.1%, a fifth consecutive increase for the grocer. Tesco also won share, gaining 0.5 percentage points to account for 27.3% of all sales.
Sainsbury’s claims the next highest share at 15%, while Asda takes 14.3%, Aldi takes 8.1% and Lidl takes 6.1%.
Meanwhile, like-for-like grocery prices rose by 1.3% year-on-year in the past four weeks. According to McKevitt, this comes as supermarkets begin to focus on providing everyday low prices rather than sales promotions.