Marketing’s share of company spending hits record high
Marketing budgets as a percentage of company revenues and spend have risen to a record high during the coronavirus pandemic as brands turn to marketing to retain customers and build brand value.
Spend on marketing as a percentage of US companies’ overall budgets rose to 12.6% in May, up from 11.3% in January 2020 and the highest it has been in the 10 years. The previous high was in January 2016, when it reached 12.1%.
Similarly, spend on marketing as a percentage of a company’s revenues increased to 11.4% in May, well above the 8.6% recorded in January and the previous high of 9.3% in January 2014.
The increases come as marketers’ views on the importance of marketing have increased during the pandemic. Just one in 10 (11.1%) believe marketing has decreased in importance, 26.5% believe there has been no change, while 62.3% believe it has increased in importance.
Source: CMO Survey
Pessimism grows over economic recovery
UK consumers are becoming more pessimistic about the likelihood of a quick economy recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
Just 15% of people now think the economy will rebound within two to three months, down from 23% on March 21, before lockdown. And 35% now think the crisis will have a lasting impact on the economy, up from 24%.
The percentage of people saying their income has been negatively impacted by coronavirus is up five points to 31%, while those saying their job feels less secure is up four points to -28%.
The UK economy is now the biggest concern among UK adults, cited by 62%, followed by not knowing how long the situation will last (56%) and health of vulnerable relatives (53%).
Newspaper brands experience record daily audiences
National newspaper brands added 6.6 million daily digital readers in the UK in the first quarter of this year, a period that falls mostly before full lockdown in the UK.
That is up 35% year on year to 25 million daily readers in total – a record for the industry. The numbers reading on a monthly basis reached 49 million – more than Facebook and Google
The Sun was the most read UK newspaper brand with 39.8 million monthly readers, up 7% year on year, followed by The Mail on 36 million and The Guardian on 35.6 million. The Guardian was the fastest growing national news brand, with monthly reach up 47%.
A third of consumers ‘avoiding going to shops if possible’
More than a third (38%) of shoppers so they are avoiding going to the shops if possible, while a further 44% say they will only go if necessary. Just 13% plan to visit shops to browse or purchase.
Nevertheless, people do feel more comfortable going to shops, with 63% saying they feel comfortable visiting grocery stores, up from 51% at the start of May. For non-grocery stores, only 41% say they feel comfortable but this is up from 25% at the start of May.
Thing that would make people feel more comfortable visiting physical retail stores include regular cleaning during opening hours (34%), compulsory sanitising of hands on entry (33%) and one-way systems with barriers in place (30%). However, 19% say nothing would make them feel comfortable shopping in stores, while 11% say they are already comfortable.
People feeling more positive about tech during pandemic
People are feeling more positive about the impact of technology on their life during the Covid-19 pandemic, with 29% saying tech has enabled them to feel more engaged with friends and family, and 29% that is helped them relax and unwind.
A further 29% say they have used technology to learn new skills and knowledge, while 16% say they have used it to monitor health.
However, 13% say they feel more mentally stressed by technology and find it hard to switch off, 12% are suffering health impacts such as eyesight problems or poor posture and 8% say their relationships with others have deteriorated.
Nevertheless, 54% of people globally now say they are optimistic that digital technology will help solve the world’s most pressing problems, up from 45% in 2019 and 42% in 2018.
Source: Dentsu Aegis