Marketing’s importance, consumer pessimism, shopping plans: 5 interesting stats to start your week

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

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%).

Source: McKinsey

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%.

Source: Pamco

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.

Source: BRC/Opinium

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