Social media, M&A deals, customer service: 5 killer stats to start your week

We arm you with all the stats you need to prepare for the coming week and help you understand the big industry trends.

A third of marketers can’t show the impact of social media on their business

Marketers are forecast to spend $112bn (£85bn) on social media advertising in 2020 despite the fact that 31% of CMOs can’t show the impact of social media on their business.

The report argues that “social media stumps marketers”. This is because initially, marketers had “unrealistic expectations”, hoping it would unlock digital profits. When this did not work, they shifted to see its only use as for advertising.

However, rather than have a social media marketing strategy, marketers need to use social tactics and technology to achieve broader marketing goals.

Source: Forrester Research

M&A deals in marketing services industry fall 15%

Investment in mergers and acquisitions in the marketing services industry fell by 15% year on year in 2019 to $27.7bn as companies look to do smaller deals that will increase their regional presence and serviceability.

The agency holding companies, in particular, cut back, reducing the number of M&A deals by more than half. Publicis Groupe was the top buyer by spend (mostly due to its acquisition of Epsilon), with Dentsu Aegis top in terms of the number of transactions.

In terms of the type of deal, acquisitions of martech or adtech companies came top with a value of $14.6bn. That is way ahead of creative full service on $1.92bn and digital full service on $1.76bn.

Source: R3

Half of consumers think poor customer service is the norm

More than half (52%) of consumers polled across 14 countries think poor customer service is the norm rather than the exception.

This could in part be because 67% have higher expectations of brands now than they did in the past.

This might go some way to explaining why an average of two-thirds (69%) say poor customer service is more frustrating now than in the past. This is highest in Italy, at 75%, while the UK is 72% and the US 71%. Only China (48%) comes in below 50%.

Source: Ford and Harris Insights and Analysis

Instagram user growth slows

Instagram’s user growth in the US will drop to single digits for the first time in 2019 – falling to 6.7% compared to 10.1% in 2018.

Through the end of 2023, the platform is predicted to grow more slowly than previously expected because older age groups are not joining the platform as quickly as anticipated.

That means growth will be 4.5% in 2020, revised down from 5.4%, and in 2021 will be 3.2% instead of 4.1%. By 2023, growth will have slowed to 1.8%.

The figures mean that in 2023, Instagram will have 120.3 million users in the US, or 40.4% of internet users.

Despite the user growth slowdown, Instagram’s ad revenues will continue to grow at double-digit rates. The platform is expected to generate $9.45bn in 2019, with that figure rising to $13.86bn in 2020 – up 46.6%.

Source: eMarketer

New car sales fall for third consecutive year

The UK new car market declined in 2019, with annual registrations falling for the third consecutive year. A little more than 2.3 million cars were registered, down 2.4% year on year as the market reacted to weak business and consumer confidence, political and economic uncertainty and confusion over clean air zones.

The decline was primarily driven by falling private demand, with registrations among consumers down 3.2%. Fleet registrations, however, were up 0.8%.

There was a slight increase in demand for petrol cars, up 2.2%, however this was not enough to offset the 21.8% decline in diesel registrations. Sales of alternatively fuelled vehicles such as hybrid and battery electrics took a record 7.4% market share.

Source: Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders