Marketers expected to deliver more for less this year
Almost two-thirds (63%) of marketing and communications professionals say they are being expected to deliver more for less versus last year.
Most (55%) of the 250 marketing and PR professionals surveyed also feel more stressed compared to 12 months ago. However, despite inflation putting increased pressure on marketers, more than half (58%) report having more budget than last year.
Around one in five (18%) marketers describe times as difficult, with 17% stating their companies are currently in “boom mode”. However, almost two-thirds describe their companies as ‘ticking over but could use more investment or new business’.
There is optimism about the role AI could play in strengthening marketing budgets. Almost half (45%) say AI will drive more investment in marketing, while a third (34%) believe it may lead to reductions. Two-thirds (66%) are confident AI will drive productivity, with just 13% nervous about the tool.
Despite all the challenges, the vast majority (98%) of marketers are optimistic about 2024 overall. Almost seven in 10 (69%) think business will pick up next year.
Source: CommsCo PR
Product launches declined in 2022
Brands launched fewer innovations in 2022, as inflation hit and consumer spending tightened amid the ongoing cost of living crisis.
Across Europe, 144,432 new products were launched in 2022 compared to 172,997 in 2021, this represents a decline of 16.5%.
Big brands were more reticent to launch new products versus smaller companies. SMEs were responsible for 75% of innovations in 2022. While just one in four new product launches came from large brands, these did represent 32% of new product value sales in the year, with these brands able to deliver more market share due to their advantages in distribution and supply chain.
The research from Circana suggests it is crucial for brands to get the product experience right when they launch innovations, with nearly two-thirds of consumers (64%) saying they would not buy a new product again if it did not deliver on expectations.
While there is risk involved with launching innovation, there is also potential rewards, with product innovations now making up 6% of FMCG value sales.
“New product launches can feel like a gamble when there is increasing competition for shelf space, especially at a time when the industry is experiencing declines in sales volumes of FMCG products. However there is no doubt that it can add immense value too, giving brands the opportunity to expand an existing portfolio or even create an entirely new one,” says Circana global SVP, strategic growth insights, Ananda Roy.
Consumers already planning Christmas cutbacks
Around two-thirds of UK consumers expect to cut back spending over the 2023 Christmas season, due to the cost of living crisis.
These cutbacks will be particularly widespread among younger adults, finds the research from the IPA, with 82% of 18- to 24-year-olds planning to make savings. The expectation that cuts will need to be made over the festive season is more prevalent among women (68%) than men.
Hospitality looks set to be the sector most impacted by consumers’ planned festive savings. Around one in four (24%) consumers plan to reduce the money spent on meals out, while one fifth say they will be reducing their visits to bars and clubs.
Other areas for planned cutbacks include new clothes (23%), presents for extended family (21%) and premium groceries and drinks (20%).
Almost half (48%) of UK adults say they will be diving into their savings to fund Christmas 2023, while 13% intend to use credit. One in 10 say they will use ‘buy now, pay later’ schemes to finance festive spending, a figure which almost doubles for 25- to 34-year-olds.
Less than one in 20 Twitter users feel positive about X rebrand
Just 4% of Twitter users feel positive about owner Elon Musk rebranding the platform to X.
Two-thirds of all Twitter users either feel fairly (26%) or very (41%) negative about the change. This figure is even higher for daily Twitter users, with 45% of those surveyed feeling very negative about the change.
The research from YouGov also finds Musk is becoming increasingly well-known among UK adults but at the same time increasingly disliked.
In April 2022, when Musk first began his mission to acquire Twitter, 63% of British adults had an opinion on the billionaire. That figure has grown significantly to 79%.
Back in April 2022, four in 10 Britons had a negative opinion on Musk. That figure has now grown to 61%. It is even higher among Twitter users, with 67% now having a negative opinion of the platform’s owner, up from 49% in April 2022.
Nike and Dove named as most inclusive brands
Nike and Dove are viewed as the most inclusive brands by British consumers, according to research from Kantar.
When asked to name a brand which should be recognised for its diversity and inclusion efforts, half of the 1,000 British consumers surveyed were unable to do so unprompted. Of those who were able to name a brand unprompted, Nike was the most named. Respondents praised its inclusive advertising and product range.
Kantar also presented respondents with a list of 71 brands, including brands known for being inclusive, as well as their direct competitor. Dove was most frequently selected by respondents from this list.
Many respondents who selected the brand highlighted its inclusive advertising, which it started doing “before it was popular”.
Over half (53%) say a brand’s diversity and inclusion efforts influence their purchasing decisions.