UK Firms Urged to Optimise Marketing Spend to Aid Recovery

A recently published study by Ebiquity has suggested that UK firms could claw back £550 million in lost profits by reoptimising their marketing strategies. The marketing and media consultancy group stated that failure to do this could see the return on marketing spend fall by 30%.

The report was delivered after Ebiquity carried out a series of simulations that looked at the effects of advertising costs, reach and different economic conditions could affect a brand’s advertising profitability during the pandemic.

This comes at a time when the coronavirus pandemic is continuing to devastate UK businesses. The Office for Budget Responsibility has suggested that government spending could hit £298 billion for the financial year as a result of supporting businesses and public services in the crisis.

Such figures make for grim reading for the UK economy, but Ebiquity’s advice on ‘rapid reoptimisation’ provides a glimmer of hope for firms based in Belfast and beyond. The consultancy group suggested that UK firms cut marketing spend on traditional advertising routes such as cinema and print, and increase marketing investment on new media such as digital media.

The effects of the coronavirus pandemic have affected different industries in markedly different ways. UK shop prices have fallen for the fastest rate since 2006, with clothing and footwear retailers being particularly hard hit.

However, some UK businesses in the digital domain have already seized the initiative to optimise their marketing spends in ways that mirror the advice given by Ebiquity. This is especially the case with iGaming companies. Many UK-based brands listed on such as 888 Holdings have implemented marketing strategies that embrace new media on the internet without relying on the standard 30-second television advertisement.

In fact a recent report by Marketing Week showed how UK brands like Betfair have moved their marketing spends from television to digital in the past year. Much of this is due to the fact that a ban on gambling advertisement has come into effect, but the reoptimisation aligns with the guidance given in the Ebiquity report.

The issue of television advertising was addressed in the report. It was felt that some brands in certain industries could benefit from an increase in TV advertising spend, whereas other firms may benefit from a cut in costs in this area.

The Financial Times reported ITV’s advertising revenues were down by 42% in April 2020. This is due to the fact that certain products simply aren’t being sold at the normal levels, with the likes of car sales dropping by a staggering 97% during the month of April. It’s a similar figure that struck the travel industry that saw an advertising spend dropping by 90% in March.

But with the UK lockdown starting to ease, and traditional high street retailers beginning to reopen, there remain big questions about how marketers can take advantage of the radically different situation. A report by ChannelAdvisor and Dynata stated that two in five UK shoppers would make more frequent online purchases when the lockdown has ended.

It’s this shift into the digital domain that is a key feature of the marketing advice given by Ebiquity. Nic Pietesma, the business director of the brand said, ‘Inaction is not an option. Your marketing plan may have been perfectly optimised at the start of the year, but it will not be now.’

As local businesses like the Galgorm Spa and Golf resort start to reopen in the summer months, it is evident that increasing marketing spend is now an essential investment in the future, rather than a cost in dealing with the current health crisis. With the report suggesting that the increase of marketing spend could help firms earn back over half a million pounds in revenues, it seems that all is not lost for UK businesses.

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