Less than one in 10 marketing leaders feel fully equipped for success
Less than one in 10 CMOs and senior marketing decision makers feel fully equipped for success across the three pillars of ‘impact’, ‘alignment’ and ‘investment’, finds research from GfK.
Impact refers to the capability of a marketing leader’s teams and its ability to demonstrate ROI; alignment means leveraging the brand’s commercial value and purpose; and investment refers to the leadership’s commitment to brand and marketing investment. While four in 10 of the marketers surveyed feel they have all the necessary resources in at least one of these areas, just 7% feel properly equipped across all three.
Looking more closely at the ‘alignment’ area, one in four marketing leaders feel their company has a purpose beyond commercial goals and also that brand plays a meaningful role in driving commercial success at their company. The research finds that in companies where marketers identify a strong purpose, marketing is more likely to play a bigger role.
In those companies where marketing leaders identify a strong purpose, more than eight in 10 include product development as the responsibility of marketing, compared to a 69% average across all respondents.
In the ‘investment’ pillar, marketing decision makers are prioritising brand investment, even in tough economic times. Over half (52%) of the respondents report spending more than seven in 10 of their marketing dollars on long-term brand-building. Around one in five marketers report they are optimally invested in both short-term sales and long-term brand building. Of those marketers, those that spend over 70% of their marketing budget on brand building increases to 60%.
Brand awareness is top metric for marketers
Brand awareness is the metric which matters most to marketers, according to research from LiveRamp, which finds almost six in 10 (58%) are prioritising the metric.
This suggests brand marketing is top of the priority list for many marketers, even during times of inflation. However, the second most valued metric, according to the study, is return on ad spend, with 45% of marketers listing it as a priority, suggesting many are also focused on short-term returns. The third most valued metric is category reach, with 39% classing this as important.
The survey of 250 brand-side marketers finds there is also a shift towards optimising consumers’ whole experience, with 42% of marketers most concerned about “understanding the whole customer journey”, rising from 26% in Q4 2022.
The research also looks at marketers’ attitudes to retail media. Almost three in five (59%) marketers now class retail media as an “important part” of their media plan, with a further 34% stating it is something they are “increasingly beginning to adopt”.
While nine in 10 respondents describe their data strategy as “mature”, nearly half (49%) say they cannot find audiences to match data-led customer insights “all of the time”.
Vast majority of consumers receive irrelevant messages from brands
Almost seven in 10 (69%) consumers report receiving irrelevant messages from brands, with almost half (49%) saying they are frustrated as their inboxes are being bombarded by companies.
As well as being overwhelmed by messages, almost a third (31%) report being annoyed by brands communicating with them on channels they don’t want to use. Over a third (36%) of UK shoppers also report being “extremely frustrated” when companies use incorrect information when communicating with customers.
This has left over four in 10 (41%) UK shoppers feeling unvalued when it comes to the personalised service offered by brands.
The research from CM.com does show some mixed views towards personalisation. While 42% of consumers say companies are not meeting expectations on personalisation, less than one third (31%) are comfortable with brands accessing their shopping behaviour.
Speed and simplicity most important for online experiences
Over three-quarters of Brits say accomplishing what they set out to do quickly is their most important priority when online, emphasising the importance of speedy and simple online experiences.
Slow loading pages are ranked as British consumers’ number one frustration with digital experiences, with 73% citing this as a source of friction. The second-most annoying issue is page loading errors (63%), followed by dead links which do not go anywhere (44%).
As well speed and simplicity, data privacy is also a high priority for British web-users (70%), as is the ability to avoid contacting customer service (52%).
However, the research suggests many companies are falling short of these expectations, with almost half (49%) of Brits stating they are frustrated by the digital experiences they receive across websites and apps.
Addressing consumer bugbears in digital experiences is crucial to retaining customers, the research suggests, with seven in 10 stating they will walk away from a website or app after a bad experience.
Loyalty programmes used by around seven in 10 UK consumers
Consumers are looking for online vouchers, coupons and other money-saving initiatives to cut back spend during the cost of living crisis.
Around seven in 10 households are currently using some kind of loyalty scheme, with 38% reporting they are participating more in these schemes since the beginning of the economic crisis.
Shoppers are looking to online platforms including discount and coupon apps (24%), comparison websites and apps (24%) and second-hand platforms (22%).
The vast majority (88%) report changing their spending habits in some way since the beginning of the cost of living crisis. The research suggests significant cuts are being made on clothes (72%), groceries (66%), and bars and restaurants (66%).
Of those who have changed their spending habits since the beginning of the cost of living crisis, over half (55%) report buying more own-brand products, with a similar proportion (53%) delaying big purchases, or indeed stopping them all together.
Almost half (49%) are also taking more time to research and compare products before making purchase decisions.