Podcasts, hybrid working, shopping habits: 5 interesting stats to start your week

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

Podcasts set to be biggest growth channel in 2022

Podcasts are expected to see the highest level of growth over the next 12 months, with 20% of UK consumers planning to listen to more in 2022.

Streaming video is the second biggest growth driver at 18%, followed by streaming music (15%), watching non-live TV (13%) and listening to the radio (12%).

Visiting websites or apps (11%) and interacting with social media (10%) show lower growth scores, as do reading newspapers or magazines (10%) and watching live TV (8%).

Nearly all types of media have a ‘stickiness’ score of 90% or above, which suggests British consumers who increased of maintained with engagement with certain channels over the past 12 months will do more of or maintain the same level over the next year. The only two channels that fall short of the 90% mark are streaming video (89%) and interacting with social media (84%).

Source: YouGov

Consumer confidence plummets amid ‘perfect storm of worries’

Consumer confidence has fallen to its lowest score in 13 months, as concerns over the impact of price rises, taxes and interest rates continue to mount.

GfK’s latest Consumer Confidence Barometer reveals a seven-point drop to an overall index score of -26 for February. A lower score hasn’t been seen since January 2021, which at -28 was one of the worst points in the Covid-19 crisis.

In January the cost of living hit a 30-year high, according to the Office of National Statistics, as prices surged by 5.5% over the previous 12 months. Inflation is expected to climb over 7% this year.

All five measures that contribute towards the overall index were also down compared to last month, with people’s expectations for their personal finances over the next 12 months taking a particularly notable 12 point knock. At -14, this score is 18 points lower than February last year.

The index measuring changes in personal finances over the last 12 months also tumbled, down five points to -11.

The measure for the general economic situation of the country over the last 12 months fell three points to -50, while expectations for the next 12 months have plummeted by 11 points to -43.

Meanwhile, the major purchase index, a measure of whether respondents believe now is a good time to make a significant purchase, has decreased by five points to -15. However, this is four points higher than this time last year.

Source: GfK

Hybrid working important to more than 80% of marketers

Companies will need to offer hybrid and flexible working arrangements to attract the best marketers, according to the 2022 Marketing Week Career and Salary Survey.

Some 82.6% of the 4,463 marketers surveyed say hybrid or flexible working is either important or very important to them. When looking solely at a comparison of ‘very important’ job characteristics, hybrid working comes in fourth (49.6%) behind a good working environment (70.4%), fair financial rewards (60.7%) and the opportunity to advance your career (55.6%).

Nearly half of the respondents (49.8%) are currently working in a hybrid manner, mixing days in the office with days at home. This number rises to 52.3% of marketers in large businesses (250 employees and over) and dips slightly in SMEs to 47.3%.

However, nearly one in 10 (9.3%) marketers report having had a request to working flexibly turned down by their employer.

Among this group, reasons for flexibility being rejected range from brands wanting marketers to be in the office full-time (34.2%), companies not believing remote working is effective (26.5%), or operating a ‘one size fits all’ approach (24.5%).

The exclusive analysis shows demand for flexibility differs according to gender and age demographics, although the overall trend makes a compelling case for brands to get to grips with hybrid working or risk losing marketing talent for good.

Source: Marketing Week

Family optimism dips as cost of living bites

Cost of living concerns driven by rising fuel and energy prices have led to a 7% drop in optimism for family prospects to 40%, according to Marks & Spencer’s Family Matters data. By contrast, during the national lockdown in March 2021 optimism stood at 51%.

The Family Matters index score this quarter is 53, down from 55 in August 2021. The index score is based on a scale of 0-100, with 100 being highest, with a mid-point score of 50 or above representing a positive, optimistic perspective.

Some 65% of families cite the environment as a key concern, compared to 64% in August and 61% in March 2021. More than half (60%) of consumers surveyed say they are educating themselves about their environmental impact, while 72% agree shoppers should make their clothes last longer. A further 41% have made changes to the food they buy, and 36% the clothing they purchase, due to climate change.

The research suggests consumers expect retailers to make similar changes, with 58% of respondents saying it’s important the shops they buy from make their products as sustainable as possible.

Family health has emerged as the fastest-growing concern since August among 56% of respondents, up 5% on the summer. However, less than a third (31%) of people are now concerned about their children’s education, down from 37% in March 2021 and 33% in August last year.

Furthermore, 53% of respondents are planning a lifestyle change this year, with two thirds (66%) of people aged 18 to 34 hoping to try something new in 2022. For 63% of 18- to 24-year-olds, the priority is doing more exercise, while for 57% of 25- to 34-year-olds exercise, as well as prioritising mental health, are top of their lists.

Source: Marks & Spencer

UK shoppers’ Black Friday spend doubled in 2021

Nearly half of all shoppers (47%) say they were disappointed by Black Friday offers last year. However, despite this, the average spend by UK consumers across the Black Friday window doubled from £86 in 2020 to £168 in 2021.

Two thirds of shoppers used Amazon to make a purchase on Black Friday, with 33% of all spend passing through the marketplace. But this is a slight decrease compared to 2020 when it was 35%.

Nearly three-quarters (73%) of all Black Friday shopping was done online, with 62% of shoppers saying Christmas celebrations would have been impossible without ecommerce.

The average spend by UK shoppers for Christmas increased by 33% to £452.

Source: Wunderman Thompson Commerce