Misinformation, media budgets, soft skills: 5 interesting stats to start your week

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

Majority of consumers will unsubscribe from brands that overdo comms

The vast majority (81%) of consumers say they unsubscribe from brands that bombard them with marketing communications.

Around a third (32%) say they have unsubscribed from three to five brands in the past three months. A further 22% have unsubscribed from six to 10 brands, while 12% have cut ties with more than 10.

Email is perceived to be the most irritating form of over-communication from brands, with 35% of consumers singling out the channel. Just over a quarter (26%) find text messages most intrusive, while 14% single out mobile and web push notifications, and mobile/web ads.

Overall, half of people (50%) say they would like to receive fewer marketing messages from brands this year. However, 34% say they’d be willing to receive more.

Relevance is hugely important though. Just over half (54%) say they must be interested in the product at the time the email is sent, while 19% want more personalised communication from brands that goes beyond including their name.

Source: Optimove

Spread of misinformation is one of the biggest threats to society, consumers say

The vast majority of consumers (81%) are concerned about the rise of misinformation spreading across social media, suggesting it is one of the biggest threats facing society.

More than three-quarters (76%) say they find it hard to verify whether digital content such as videos and images are genuine.

Given the level of misinformation being spread on social, one in three (29%) say they have cut their use of these platforms.

Brits are particularly concerned about the impact the spread of misinformation could have on upcoming elections, with 78% saying it’s a fear.

Source: Adobe

Soft skills trump functional marketing expertise, study finds

Soft skills around leadership and communication are more important than functional expertise to succeed in marketing, according to a study by Deloitte.

Leadership emerged as the most useful skill for both CMOs and senior marketing leaders, followed by communication, strategic thinking, interpersonal skills and problem solving.

Functional marketing knowledge is considered only the sixth most useful skill by the 38 UK CMOs and 34 senior marketing leaders/aspiring CMOs surveyed. Martech expertise came out as the least useful skill listed, followed by storytelling and data analysis and analytics.

Over half (58%) of the CMOs and senior marketing leaders (64%) surveyed say making the right connections and forging networks was the biggest challenge they experienced working up to their current role.

This is followed closely by balancing work with other commitments (57% CMO/50% senior leader) and a lack of opportunity to develop skills and experience (48% CMO/43% senior leader).

More than a third of CMOs surveyed (35%) say not possessing a formal marketing qualification has been their biggest challenge, compared to just 12% of senior leaders. Indeed, the Deloitte research finds 46% of CMO respondents do not hold a formal marketing qualification, compared to 35% of their more junior colleagues.

Source: Deloitte

Main media budgets down as brands ponder economic recovery

Main media advertising budgets have declined for the first time in three quarters, while overall marketing budgets have experienced an upturn amid an improving UK economy.

The latest quarterly IPA Bellwether report finds the net balance in main media budgets, which includes video, audio, published brands and out-of-home (OOH), shrunk -0.7%, down from 1.9% in the previous quarter.

Just 4.5% of companies registered an increase in main media marketing budgets, compared to the 15.1% recording a contraction.

At the same time, almost a quarter (24.4%) of businesses recorded an upward revision to their overall marketing budgets, signalling increased spend is not being committed to where it historically might – traditional media – but to sales promotions, events and direct marketing.

Sales promotions budgets grew for a second successive quarter, up 4.9% from 1.4% in January. Marketers anticipate sustained growth in this area for the year ahead, with a net balance of 6% forecasting an increase.

Since the last report in January, positive and improving business survey data indicates the UK recession will be short-lived, with growth expected to be confirmed by first quarter GDP data.

Principal economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence, Joe Hayes, points to “greenshoots” of recovery appearing across the UK economy, contributing to another strong round of marketing budget growth. The latest inflation figures, which fell to a 30-month low of 3.2% in March, reflect the positive outlook for the economy.

Source: IPA/S&P Global Market Intelligence

Most marketers support the EU’s AI Act

Nearly three-quarters (72%) of UK marketers say they support the European Union’s new AI Act, which was passed last month.

The majority (79%) believe it will help ensure AI is used ethically, which will protect both brands and customers.

While some have criticised the act for stifling AI-powered innovation, 84% of marketers don’t believe it will have a negative impact. A large chunk (71%) believe the introduction of the act will help to boost consumers’ trust in brands, while 69% think it will improve their reputation.

Meanwhile, 71% suggest the new regulation will improve customer loyalty for brands that use AI in marketing.

Some marketers do have concerns, though, with just over a third (38%) worried that the potential punishments for non-compliance could be too harsh.

Source: SAP Emarsys


Is your marketing plan a rabbit or a duck?

Secret Marketer

Marketers should borrow from the ‘duck-rabbit illusion’ when thinking about what their marketing plan is trying to achieve to ensure direct marketing activity isn’t compromised by an injection of emotion and brand-building campaigns aren’t undermined by focusing on product.