Consumers feel ‘uncomfortable’ returning to shops
As non-essential shops begin to re-open, half of consumers say they feel ‘uncomfortable’ returning despite social distancing guidelines being in place.
A third (32%) of UK adults describe themselves as ‘fairly uncomfortable’ visiting indoor shopping centres, while 18% say they would be ‘very uncomfortable’.
Some 31% say they would feel ‘fairly comfortable’, while only 9% are ‘very comfortable’.
BAME marcomms professionals put under greater strain by Covid-19
Some 42% of marketing professionals from black and minority ethnic backgrounds (BAME) feel their ethnicity is negatively impacting their career prospects during the Covid-19 crisis, compared to 20% of their white counterparts.
The survey of 219 respondents employed in PR, marketing, advertising and journalism, found BAME employees are having to take deeper pay cuts than average (18%), which threatens to widen the ethnicity pay gap that already stands at 20% in London according to ONS figures.
The research reveals BAME marcomms professionals think diversity and inclusion are now less of a priority due to Covid-19 (37% vs 26% industry average). However, respondents who do think diversity and inclusion are a higher priority for their company since the onset of the pandemic are more likely to work in-house rather than agency side (23% vs 15%).
Some 41% of BAME respondents feel they do not have a good work-life balance in the current environment, compared to 32% of their white peers. Close to half (45%) of in-house BAME marcomms professionals say they don’t feel equipped for the pandemic or have someone to consult at this time, compared to 29% of those working agency side.
Source: People Like Us
Businesses concerned about impact of ‘track and trace’ on data
Almost half (42%) of businesses are concerned about the negative impact the UK government’s ‘Test, track and trace’ programme could have on consumers’ general willingness to share personal data in the future.
Many are concerned about the impact government strategy could have on long-term consumer trust – specifically trust in how institutions (59%) and brands (43%) use personal data. However, a third (32%) believe this could become a positive outcome if handled correctly.
Half of businesses (49%) believe consumer trust in how brands handle their data has improved since the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) came into force. If consumer concerns around data protection and privacy increase as a result of the government’s strategy, it could have severe implications for the data and marketing industry, and the wider digital economy.
UK supermarkets ‘returning to normal’ as promotion levels bounce back
The UK’s biggest supermarket chains are returning to levels of promotion seen before the coronavirus pandemic, suggesting things are returning to normal in grocery shopping.
Sainsbury’s increased its promotions by 18% in the week ending 7 June, meaning its promotional levels are 13% higher than in January. Morrisons increased its promotional levels by 7% and Waitrose by 8% – both matching levels last seen prior to Covid-19.
Tesco, meanwhile, increased promotional levels by 11%, still 20% below January levels.
Source: Edge by Ascential
SMEs see digital advertising as crucial to their recovery post-coronavirus
Almost two-thirds of SMEs are concerned about the future of their business and half believe digital advertising will be crucial to support their business and recovery post-coronavirus.
Currently, 60% of SMEs use paid digital advertising, while 67% use free digital tools. Of those that use it, 63% say digital activity provides a good return on investment, with reaching new customers, generating sales, and its speed and flexibility cited as digital’s main strengths.
However, there is opportunity for SMEs to get more value from digital channels. Some 70% believe communicating with customers is more important than ever at the moment and 58% are keen to diversify their communication strategy during the pandemic. Yet, 40% are not using paid digital advertising and among those that do, the average number of digital channels used is just 1.3.
Among those not using digital advertising, the main reasons are cost, relevance or lack of knowledge and understanding. One in seven SMEs describe their knowledge of and ability to use digital as ‘not good’.
Source: IAB UK