Sustainability, SME priorities, agency evaluations: 5 interesting stats to start your week

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

Sustainability biggest concern for European CMOs, except in UK

Sustainability is classed as very or somewhat important by 85% of European CMOs, making it the top ranking marketing trend for the majority marketers. However, it is deemed slightly less important among UK CMOs compared to those from other European countries.

While over 90% of CMOs ranked it as an important priority in Switzerland (96.6%), France (94.4%), the Netherlands (90.9%), Austria (90.5%) and Italy (90%), in the UK just 70.7% deemed it a top concern.

The top ranked marketing trend for 2023 for UK marketers specifically is connected commerce/ecommerce, with 73.2% citing this as very or somewhat important for the year ahead.

The figures come from agency group Unlimited and its international partner Serviceplan Consulting Group, which surveyed 470 European CMOs, including 82 from the UK.

On the other hand, the metaverse, NFTs and gaming are generally considered a low priority for CMOs. Only 36% of CMOs class it as somewhat or very important. However, this figure is considerably higher in the UK, where 58.5% deem it as important.

Developing an excellent customer experience is the task which will most increase in importance going into 2023, according to the CMOs surveyed. However, this was ranked as a much lower priority for UK CMOs. The same was true of encouraging team spirit in a hybrid environment, this was ranked as the second-highest priority task overall, but again UK CMOs considered it a lower priority.

Other trends CMOs believe will increase in importance going into next year include emotional brand building and content creation, with 83% and 75%, respectively, agreeing these are important.

Source: Unlimited and Serviceplan Consulting Group

Customer acquisition top marketing priority for SMEs

Customer acquisition is the top marketing priority for small business owners (SBOs), with 45% citing it as essential. The second highest ranking priority is awareness building (27%), followed by getting customers to recommend their business (26%).

A majority of the 88 small businesses surveyed say their marketing spend, effort and time has increased in the last three months rather than decreased, suggesting a confidence in the power of marketing despite a difficult economic climate.

Word-of-mouth marketing is given the greatest importance by over four in 10 (43%) SBOs, while social media marketing is considered the most important by a third (33%).

Social media is also the most popular marketing channel among small businesses, used by 65%. Over half (56%) also use their website as a marketing channel, and almost half (49%) use in-person or face-to-face.

Source: Vista

Advertisers cite soft KPIs as number one concern around agency performance evaluations

A lack of “measurable or objective” key performance indicators (KPIs) is the number one concern for advertisers around agency performance evaluations, finds a study from the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA).

The study involved more than 90 respondents from 82 multinational organisations (49 clients and 33 agencies), with brand respondents responsible for more than $69bn (£57.7bn) in global ad spend.

While there is dissatisfaction with the current mix of KPIs, agencies and advertisers both consider client satisfaction to be the most important performance indicator. The research also finds advertisers are incorporating “nuance” into their evaluation processes. It notes that attributing success when multiple agencies collaborate on a campaign can be difficult. Over half (53%) of advertisers say they now test collaboration between agencies.

The WFA research also finds agencies are more comfortable with telling clients what is going wrong from their perspective. Almost seven in 10 (68%) agencies are now comfortable telling their clients what needs changing at their end most of the time, compared to 45% two years ago.

However, less than half of agencies believe they should be paid based on performance evaluation.

“Advertisers need to work harder to become the client of choice by actively nurturing agency relationships. Doing this means starting ‘at home’ and looking at their own performance before blaming their partners,” says WFA director of global marketing sourcing services Laura Forcetti.

Source: WFA

Food inflation hits 12.4% in November ahead of difficult Christmas

Christmas spending is set to be impacted by unprecedented price pressures as UK food inflation soared to 12.4% in November.

It marks the highest inflation rate on record for the food category, up from 11.6% in October, according to the latest figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and NielsenIQ.

Overall shop price annual inflation accelerated to 7.4% in November, up from 6.6% in October, marking another record for shop price inflation since the index started in 2005. Non-food inflation also rose to 4.8% in November, up from 4.1% in October.

Rocketing energy costs have been driving up the price of fresh food such as meat, eggs and dairy. Coffee prices also shot up last month as high input costs filtered through to customers.

The BRC expects Christmas gifting to become more expensive than in previous years, with sports and recreation equipment seeing particularly high price increases.

Despite the likelihood consumers will reduce their spending this Christmas compared to previous years, there was recognition that many retailers are responding by offering seasonal savings and price cuts, while also increasing their own workers’ pay.

“While there are signs that cost pressures and price rises might start to ease in 2023, Christmas cheer will be dampened this year as households cut back on seasonal spending in order to prioritise the essentials,” says BRC chief executive, Helen Dickinson.

Source: British Retail Consortium and NielsenIQ

November footfall drops below pre-pandemic levels

UK footfall decreased by 13.3% in November, compared with 2019 levels, according to SensorMatic IQ data.

High street footfall declined by 13.6%, a 2% drop on October’s footfall rate. Meanwhile, retail parks saw their footfall decrease by 4.2%, just 0.5% lower than last month.

Shopping centres faired the worst, with a decline of 23.3%, versus November 2019, which is 1.4% lower than last month.

Breaking it down by country, Northern Ireland witnessed the lowest decline at 7%, Scotland at 15% and England at 15.4 %, while Wales saw a drop of 16.2%.

Compared against 2021’s levels, total footfall increased by 3.7%, high streets by 8% and shopping centres by 7%. Year on year, retail park footfall fell by 4%.

Source: SensorMatic IQ