Marketing salaries, SME budgets, social commerce: 5 interesting stats to start your week

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

Two-thirds of SMEs plan to increase marketing budgets in 2023

Over two-thirds (68%) of SMEs plan to increase their overall marketing budget in 2023, with more than half planning to invest most of that budget into brand awareness activity.

According to Impression’s survey of 1,000 UK-based senior marketers, the majority of whom were from businesses with headcounts of 200 or less, 63% expect to grow their internal marketing team this year as budgets increase. Some 43% predict SEO will be their biggest revenue driver.

Over six in 10 say the rising cost of living was the biggest challenge their business faced in 2022, and this remains a top concern in 2023, alongside increased operational costs and supply chain issues.

However, 63% say their biggest challenge this year is knowing the correct budget split per channel. A quarter say it is understanding how to measure the performance of each channel.

Meanwhile, 61% believe having a clear marketing strategy is the key to success. Yet, 10% don’t have a clear strategy in place.

Source: Impression

Marketing salaries fail to keep pace with inflation

Advertised salaries in the UK’s marketing and sales sector rose 3.6% on average in 2022, considerably behind the national inflation rate. Prices rose at an annual rate of 10.1% in January, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

A survey of 5,000 UK workers by jobs platform Reed reveals marketing and sales salaries grew the most in the East Midlands (up 6.8%) and the North West of England (up 6.5%) over the year. Scotland showed the weakest growth, with wages decreasing by 3.9%.

In London, where marketing jobs are most concentrated, salaries grew 2.8%. The average advertised salary for marketing directors grew from £100,700 in 2021 to £115,900 last year, however Reed is anticipating a 13.5% decline in 2023, down to £100,300. This is expected to rise to £105,300 in 2024.

The engineering and manufacturing sector saw the biggest pay increase in the past year, up 5.2% nationwide and 6.3% in London. Meanwhile, the hospitality and leisure industry suffered the biggest average decline in pay, down 3.5% nationwide and 7.8% in London.

Of the 5,000 workers surveyed, over a quarter say they are unhappy with their current salary, and 7% say they are very unhappy. Some 61% say this is because their salary has not risen in line with the cost of living.

Source: Reed

Majority of UK consumers have changed shopping habits amid cost of living crisis

More than half (56%) of UK consumers say they are in a worse financial position this year compared to a year ago.

A survey by NielsenIQ has found that since the cost of living crisis kicked in last year, 89% of consumers have changed the way they shop. Of the 600 UK consumers surveyed, just 12% say they would stay loyal to their regular brands, irrespective of price.

Around a third (34%) of UK consumers say they’ll be monitoring the cost of their overall shopping basket in 2023 to manage expenses, while the same proportion will also be making use of their loyalty points.

Some 31% will be turning to private label and store brands to mitigate costs.

While the UK economy narrowly avoided falling into a recession in 2022, 84% of UK consumers say they feel they’re already living in one. NielsenIQ carried out the survey globally with nearly 16,000 consumers and found 62% worldwide felt they were living in a recession, putting the UK ahead of the average.

Utilities (67%) is the category most UK consumers expect to spend more on in 2023, followed by the grocery and household category (40%) and transport costs (34%).

Source: NielsenIQ

Social commerce spending grew in the final quarter of 2022

More than half (56%) of consumers reported using social media to make a purchase in the three months to 31 December 2022.

This number is an increase compared to the third quarter of the year, when 48% of consumers used social media to make a purchase, according to data from media agency Spark Foundry based on insight from its social listening and semantic analysis tools, as well as an external panel.

It’s younger consumers who are driving social commerce use, with 61% of those aged under 35 reporting purchases, which drops to around four in 10 for over 35s.

Almost half (44%) of consumers surveyed haven’t used a social platform to shop, with the main reason for this being that they prefer to shop through online channels or ‘other means’ (41%).

The social media platforms consumers are using to shop are diversifying, according to Spark Foundry, which found the percentage of people using Twitter, Snapchat and Pinterest to shop doubled between Q3 and Q4 last year.

However, Facebook (44%) and Instagram (39%) are still the most commonly used platforms.

Source: Spark Foundry 

Gen Z’s interest in environmental issues drops as ‘crisis fatigue’ sets in

In the last year, interest in environmental issues has dropped by almost a fifth (19%) among the UK’s Gen Z (16 to 25-year-olds), as the “near-constant cycle” of negative news causes “crisis fatigue”.

Some 23% say their interest in news and current events has also declined, according to data from market research company GWI, which surveyed a global sample of 246,761 Gen Z respondents.

With the last few years taking a toll on consumers, four in 10 respondents say they’re prone to anxiety, with 22% citing social media as having an impact on this.

The UK’s Gen Z population are also less interested in other countries and cultures this year, down 16% year-on-year.

“Like everyone, Gen Z have had a lot to contend with in the past few years, with multiple, overlapping global crises. But Gen Z have felt more impacted by many of these crises, especially covid and cost of living,” explains GWI’s vice-president of trends, Chase Buckle.

“These are some of the most formative years of their lives, in which much of their world views are being formed. The usual anxieties of being a young person teamed with a near-constant cycle of alarming news has meant they’re experiencing crisis fatigue.”

Source: GWI