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Marketing spend set to remain stable in 2019

80% of businesses plan to spend more or the same on PR in 2019 compared with 2018.

The findings are found in a new report, ‘Spotlight on Marketing,’ commissioned by marketing communications agency Voiceboxx.

100 communications professionals were asked a series of questions at the beginning of 2019 to help understand the nature of the marketing landscape for the year ahead, taking into consideration GDPR regulations and Brexit.

Out of those polled, 80% said that their budget for creative/branding would increase or stay the same for 2019, with creative design essential to direct mail, which all respondents were planning to invest in through 2019.

Digital tactics were also high on the agenda for marketeers, with 87% of businesses using video as a tool and the platform being the marketing tactic most respondents would like to utlise in 2019.

Other key points from the report revealed:

• 43% of respondents said their website needed improving in 2019
• 47% plan to spend more on their website in 2019, than they did in 2018
• Over half respondents said keeping up to date with social media trends was a challenge
• Most marketeers plan to invest more in strategy in 2019, than 2018
• 30% of respondents see new CRM system and staff training as essential for 2019
• 57% of businesses want to use social media advertising in 2019

Overall, the survey found that respondents saw 2019 as a year for improving communications across all channels, with analysis revealing marketeers already use a wide range of tactics, with new activity areas for 2019 being low priorities.

GUEST BLOG: Gauging the return on investment available from marketing

According to figures published by Google in its Car Purchasing UK Report in April 2018, £115.9 million was invested in direct mail and online display by UK car dealers during 2016 alone.

While automotive manufacturers often have a substantial marketing budget available to them though, this is not always a luxury to firms when they are looking at their marketing campaigns.

Due to digital visibility not usually coming cheap due to the increased interest in online platforms, VW service providers Vindis takes a look at whether such investments are indeed worth the cost…

The automotive industry

Within Google’s Drive To Decide Report, which was created in association with TNS, a discussion took place about how the auto shopper of today is more digitally savvy than previous generations. In fact, over 82% of the UK population aged 18 and over have access to the internet for personal reasons, 85% use smartphones and 65% choose a smartphone as their preferred device to access the internet. These figures show that for car dealers to keep their head in the game, a digital transition is vital.

Research online will also be carried out by 90% of auto shoppers, the same report goes on to reveal. 51% of buyers starting their auto research online, with 41% of those using a search engine. To capture those shoppers beginning their research online, car dealers must think in terms of the customer’s micro moments of influence, which could include online display ads – one marketing method that currently occupies a significant proportion of car dealers’ marketing budgets.

Of the entire UK Digital Ad Spending Growth throughout 2017, eMarketer claims that the automotive industry accounted for 11% of the total. This placed the industry in second place behind the retail sector. The automotive industry is forecast to see a further 9.5% increase in ad spending in 2018.

As many car purchases still occur on the forecourt though, what effect is online having on influencing the decisions of auto shoppers? 41% of shoppers who research online find their smartphone research ‘very valuable’. 60% said they were influenced by what they saw in the media, of which 22% were influenced by marketing promotions – proving online investment is working.

Across the automotive sector, traditional methods of TV and radio continue to be the most invested forms of marketing. In the last past five years though, it is digital that has made the biggest jump from fifth most popular method to third, seeing an increase of 10.6% in expenditure.

The healthcare industry

An entirely different set of rules are followed for marketing when it comes to the healthcare sector. This is generally because it is restricted by heavy regulations. The same ROI methods that have been adopted by other sectors simply don’t work for the healthcare market. Despite nearly 74% of all healthcare marketing emails remaining unopened, you’ll be surprised to learn that email marketing is essential for the healthcare industry’s marketing strategy.

Email is used by approximately 2.5 million people as a primary form of communication. The use of email has also increased in value and usage over the past few years. This means email marketing is targeting a large audience. For this reason, 62% of physicians and other healthcare providers prefer communication via email – and now that smartphone devices allow users to check their emails on their device, email marketing puts companies at the fingertips of their audience.

Those in the healthcare industry should see online marketing as another platform that will make for worthwhile investment as well. This is especially the case when you consider that one in 20 Google searches are for health-related content. This could be attributed to the fact that many people turn to a search engine for medical answer before calling the GP.

According to data from the Pew Research Center, a search engine will be the starting point of 77% of all health enquiries. What’s more, 72% of total internet users say they’ve looked online for health information within the past year. Furthermore, 52% of smartphone users have used their device to look up the medical information they require. Statistics estimate that marketing spend for online marketing accounts for 35% of the overall budget.

Don’t forget the appeal of social media marketing either. Whilst the healthcare industry is restricted to how they market their services and products, that doesn’t mean social media should be neglected. In fact, an effective social media campaign could be a crucial investment for organisations, with 41% of people choosing a healthcare provider based on their social media reputation! And the reason? The success of social campaigns is usually attributed to the fact audiences can engage with the content on familiar platforms.

The fashion industry

The success of many fashion retailers will depend on their investment online. This point is underlined by the fact online sales in the fashion industry reached £16.2 billion in 2017! This figure is expected to continue to grow by a huge 79% by 2022. So where are fashion retailers investing their marketing budgets? Has online marketing become a priority?

Almost a quarter of all purchases in December 2017 were tied to ecommerce. This is according to the British Retail Consortium, as online brands such as ASOS and Boohoo continue to embrace the online shopping phenomenon. ASOS experienced an 18% UK sales growth in the final four months of 2017, whilst Boohoo saw a 31% increase in sales throughout the same period.

Next, Marks and Spencer, and John Lewis are just three of the well-known brands in the industry to have invested millions into their operations and marketing efforts online. Such tactics aimed to capture the online shopper and drive digital sales. John Lewis announced that 40% of its Christmas sales came from online shoppers, and whilst Next struggled to keep up with the sales growth of its competitors, it has announced it will invest £10 million into its online marketing and operations.

It also seems that many shoppers aren’t willing or interested to head to the high-street in order to shop. Instead, they like the idea of being able to conveniently shop from the comfort of their home, or via their smartphone devices whilst on the move.

In research carried out by the PMYB Influencer Marketing Agency, 59% of fashion marketers increased the budget they had available for influencer marketing last year. In fact, 75% of global fashion brands collaborate with social media influencers as part of their marketing strategy and more than a third of marketers believe influencer marketing to be more successful than traditional methods of advertising in 2017 – as 22% of customers are said to be acquired through influencer marketing.

The utilities industry

Comparison websites are now being used by so many consumers when they are trying to find the right utilities supplier for their needs. These websites could be the key to many suppliers acquiring and retaining customers.

Comparison websites often spend millions on TV marketing campaigns, which are then watched by so much of the nation. Therefore, it has become vital for many utility suppliers to be listed on comparison websites and offer a very competitive price, in order to stay in the game.

Compare the Market, MoneySupermarket, Go Compare and Confused.com are currently the four largest comparison websites. These companies are also among the top 100 highest spending advertisers in the UK, but does that marketing investment reflect on utility suppliers?

The difference between a high rate of customer retention for one supplier and a high rate of customer acquisition for another supplier can be determined through comparison websites. If you don’t beat your competitors, then what is to stop your existing and potential new customers choosing your competitors over you?

Instead of customer acquisition, British Gas has altered its marketing goals towards customer retention. Whilst the company recognise that this approach to marketing will be a slower process to yield measurable results, they firmly believe that retention will in turn lead to acquisition. The Gas company hope that by marketing a wider range of tailored products and services to their existing customers, they will be able to improve customer retention.

A loyalty scheme offering discounted energy and services has received a £100 million investment. This scheme focuses on the value of a customer, their behaviour and spending habits over time to discover what they are looking for in the company. The utilities sector is incredibly competitive, so it is vital that companies invest in their existing customers before looking for new customers.

Digital should be a key focus for those in the utilities sector too. 40% of all searches in Q3 2017 were carried out on mobile, and a further 45% of all ad impressions were via mobile too – according to Google’s Public Utilities Report in December 2017. As mobile usage continues to soar, companies need to consider content created specifically for mobile users as they account for a large proportion of the market now.

Concluding thoughts

Online marketing investment should be seen as very important for some industries, such as the fashion and automotive sectors. With a clear increase in online demand in both sectors that is changing the purchase process, some game players could find themselves out of the game before it has even begun if they neglect digital.

The picture grows even more for sectors such as the utilities industry. Whilst TV and digital appear to remain the main sales driving forces, it’s more than just creating your own marketing campaign when comparison sites need to be considered. Without the correct marketing, advertising or listing on comparison sites, you could fall behind.

The average firm is expected to allocate a minimum of 41% of their marketing budget to online strategies during 2018. This is according to webstrategies.com, with this figure expected to grow to 45% by 2020 too. Social media advertising investments is expected to represent 25% of total online spending and search engine banner ads are also expected to grow significantly too – all presumably as a result of more mobile and online usage.

Where do you stand when it comes to investment into marketing strategies? If mobile and online usage continues to grow year on year at the rate it has done in the past few years, we forecast the investment to be not only worthwhile but essential.

Sources

https://pmyb.co.uk/global-fashion-company-influencer-marketing-budget/

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-uk-clothing-market-2017-2022-300483862.html

http://uk.fashionnetwork.com/news/Online-is-key-focus-for-UK-fashion-retail-investment-in-2017,783787.html#.WrOjxOjFKUk

http://www.mobyaffiliates.com/blog/retail-accounts-for-14-2-of-digital-advertising-spending-in-the-uk-in-2017/

http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/bills/article-2933401/Energy-price-comparison-sites-spend-110m-annoying-adverts.html

http://www.thedrum.com/news/2017/03/28/british-gas-shifts-acquisition-retention-marketing-know-the-value-keeping-the-right

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/uk-companies-online-advertising-spend-10-billion-more-last-year-2016-pwc-a7678536.html

https://www.webstrategiesinc.com/blog/how-much-budget-for-online-marketing-in-2014

https://www.kunocreative.com/blog/healthcare-email-marketing

http://www.evariant.com/blog/10-campaign-best-practices-for-healthcare-marketers

https://getreferralmd.com/2015/02/7-medical-marketing-and-dental-media-strategies-that-really-work/

UK ad spend ends 2018 on £23.5bn high note

UK ad spend rose 5.1% year-on-year to reach £5.6bn in Q3 2018, marking the 21st consecutive quarter of market growth and the industry’s strongest third quarter of the year since 2015.

This record investment highlighted bu the Advertising Association/WARC Expenditure Report underpins the preliminary estimate for 2018 ad spend of £23.5bn – meaning the industry will have grown 6.0% year-on-year.

Key headlines from the report show:

* Q3 2018 was the 21st consecutive quarter of adspend market growth

* UK adspend rose 5.1% year-on-year to reach £5.6bn in Q3 2018

* The preliminary adspend estimate for 2018 remains at £23.5bn – meaning growth of +6.0% year-on-year

* Q3 2018 saw the strongest third quarter growth since 2015 – the first nine months of 2018 also saw the strongest growth since 2015

* Mobile saw a growth rate of 23.6% y-o-y in Q3, with overall internet growth at 12.3%

Overall market growth is being driven by increasing spend on online advertising, which is expected to grow 9.8% this year, following on from an estimated 13.4% rise in 2018.

In the individual formats, the positive story for digital was reflected across the board. Notably high growth was recorded for digital radio ad formats, with a year-on-year rise in Q3 of +25.1%, and in VoD TV at +11.5%. Regional digital newsbrands witnessed growth of +10.9%, with national digital newsbrands measuring +3.7% growth, and digital magazine brands +1.5%.

Discussing the findings from the report, Stephen Woodford, Chief Executive at the Advertising Association, said: “UK advertising continues to perform strongly, now delivering its twenty-first straight quarter of growth and demonstrating the commitment of British advertisers to investing in the growth and success of their businesses.

“As the clock ticks down to our departure from the EU, it is crucial the Government provides the certainty we are all seeking in business. We are predicting continued adspend growth of 4.6% in 2019 and an agreement with the EU that keeps disruption at a minimum and keeps trade and talent flowing will greatly help this growth. UK advertising is the best in the world and we need a deal that ensures we keep it that way.”

James McDonald, Data Editor at WARC, said: “Our projection of 4.6% growth in the UK’s ad market this year is firmly based on a business- favourable outcome from the EU withdrawal agreement, and would mark a decade of continuous expansion since the last advertising recession.

“Further, a preliminary estimate of 6% growth in advertising investment last year represents a faster rate of expansion than was recorded in 2017, and is therefore indicative of an industry in rude heath. This is particularly true in relation to digital ad formats, all of which are currently forecast to attract higher levels of investment in 2019.”

UK marketing spend stagnates as Brexit takes its toll

A six-year run of continuous overall UK marketing budget growth came to an end in Q4 2018, with a net balance of +0.0% of marketing executives signalling no change in budgets during the fourth quarter.

That’s according to the latest IPA Bellwether Report, which says that while some marketers reported growth (+16%), this was completely offset by others observing spending cuts (-16%).

In addition, roughly two-thirds of panel members reported no revision to their total marketing budgets. Evidence from some marketers highlighted some optimism for the coming year, with new product launches, expansion into overseas markets, digital transformation and technological development all expected to bring growth opportunities.

However, political and economic uncertainty caused by the ongoing Brexit negotiation process has dampened both business and consumer confidence, driving belt-tightening and restricting resources available to marketing executives.

The shift towards digital modes of advertising remained apparent during Q4, although growth moderated noticeably, as signalled by the net balance for internet falling to +2.1%, from +13.6% in the third quarter (within internet, search/SEO dropped from +5.8% in Q3 to -3.9% marking the first cut since Q2 2009; mobile advertising budgets were also revised down to -2.4% from +1.9% in Q3).

However, it was budgets for sales promotions that marketing executives enjoyed the greatest upward revisions for, with the net balance increasing to +3.8% from +0.6% in Q3. Events budgets also saw a slight increase (net balance of +2.6% from -1.1%), however panellists observed cuts to the remaining categories monitored by the Bellwether survey.

The first downward revision for two quarters was seen for main media advertising, which includes large-scale campaigns on TV and in newspapers. The net balance fell to -6.5% from +4.8%. Direct marketing (-5.6% from -7.4%), market research (-4.7% from – 3.7%), and PR budgets (-4.1% from +4.2%) were also areas of marketing that companies experienced a squeeze on spending.

Looking towards the 2019/20 financial year, preliminary data from the Bellwether panel indicated a near-neutral stance on overall marketing spend for the coming budget period. The proportion of marketers anticipating increased marketing expenditure (27%) was only marginally higher than that for those predicting cuts (26%), yielding a net balance of just +0.8%.

However, drilling down into the individual budget plans for each Bellwether category revealed a fairly negative outlook. A number of marketers expressed concern towards the adverse impact of Brexit-driven economic and political uncertainty on both consumer and business confidence. In some cases, there was evidence that the potential for a more challenging corporate environment was set to restrict financial resources available to marketing executives.

Paul Bainsfair, Director General at the IPA, said: “In uncertain political and economic times such as these, the understandable reaction for some advertisers is to lose confidence in brand building advertising and to think short term even to the point of heavily discounting their products and services. We’ve seen this on and offline in the run up to Christmas – and now see the impact in black and white in this latest Bellwether Report. We know from the research we have done into what builds and what destroys brands – and it is proven – that too much short-term sales promotion activity destroys brand value in the long term. Marketers need to weather this turbulent period and think ahead. Now is the time to be bold, to keep up their share of voice and, if they can, increase it to grow their share of market. Businesses that rely on the strength of their brands need to follow the general 60:40 (brand building vs activation spend) rule of thumb.”

Joe Hayes, Economist at IHS Markit and author of the Bellwether Report, said: “The slowdown in marketing budget growth seen in recent quarters culminated in Q4, as the six-year bullrun came to an end. Company-wide indecisiveness restricted the allocation of resources to marketers, as the wait-and-see approach to how the Brexit process will transpire appears to be the current strategy in place for many UK businesses. “The neutral stance on marketing budgets came in tandem with a first pessimistic outlook by businesses towards their own companies’ financial prospects for the first time since 2012, suggesting that top-level belt-tightening and plans to protect margins has seen marketing executives be given less discretion. Indeed, provisional data for budgets for the coming 2019/20 financial year indicate that downbeat stance seems likely to persist.”

James Goddard, Chief Executive, JJ Marketing, said: “This early part of 2019 is inevitably a time when uncertainty reigns but it’s no good standing still and weeping into your spreadsheets. For one thing, there remain areas of optimism, including digital transformation and the opportunities provided by technology. And, it’s now more important than ever for agencies to be able to react quickly to change. In the coming 12 months, expecting the unexpected will be crucial. Therefore, we need to focus on being flexible and innovative. Add strategy, creativity and accountability on top and taking advantage of a changing landscape will be more achievable than you might expect.”

Tom George, CEO, GroupM and Chair of the IPA Media Futures Group, said: “By the time the latest Bellwether report is published, we will know the outcome of parliament’s vote on the government’s Brexit proposal. Whether this provides any further clarity on a resolution is highly doubtful however. What is clear is that uncertainty is not the friend of economic optimism and the latest Bellwether sentiment reflects this.

“Advertising is also not immune to uncertainty and this is highlighted by a net balance of -6.5% for main media (a scale of decline not seen since 2009) and a softening in the positive sentiment for internet, search & mobile of +2.1%. The good news for the sector is that all commentators still report growth in ad expenditure for 2019 on the back of 6% growth in 2018 – our own GroupM forecasts predicts growth to 4.6% for 2019. Of course, what plays out over the course of the next few months may supress this relative optimism. To continue on a ‘glass half full’ theme, even the most pessimistic estimates I’ve seen for the impact of a no-deal Brexit scenario, don’t approach anywhere near the levels of decline for we witnessed in 2009. Watch this space.’’

Patrick Reid, CEO EMEA, Imagination, said: “As the expectation for brands to create more imaginative experiences grows, the current climate highlights the need for clients to work with a creative partner who can deliver effective, efficient and agile creative solutions. With exciting developments in technology, collaborative ways of working and more rigorous measurement, you can produce powerful experiences which deliver meaningful results despite the constantly evolving landscape.”

Pete Robins, Managing Partner, Agenda21 and Chair of the IPA Digital Media Group, said: “For once in a very long time, overall market pressures have even dented the growth rate of internet reacted spends. However, also worth noting that the prominence of businesses looking to continue or advance their digital transformation, could mean that once these initiatives are sufficiently progressed that growth in connected media channels will be at the forefront of their plans once the uncertainty in the market has acerbated.”

James Pais, IPA Scotland Chair and Creative Services Director at Frame, said: “Last year I commented that the Q4 Bellwether report would make for some interesting reading. I was trying to be optimistic here.

“Alas the uncertainty of Brexit has generated grave concerns and a lack of confidence which as a result meant that the findings in this Bellwether report have a rather pessimistic and downbeat outlook. The predicted reaction for advertisers to reduce their adspend in the later part of 2018 is evident in this report and to misquote D:Ream, things don’t look like they’re going to get better. There is a rather negative outlook to budgeting in 2019/20 with still further concern towards the adverse impact of Brexit on the economy and the effect it will have on both consumer and business confidence.

“So again, the 2019 Q1 Bellwether report will make for some interesting reading, by then hopefully we will have some clarity as to our new relations with the EU. As an optimist I want to be encouraged by the Office for Budget Responsibility projection of a bounceback in business investment, and the Bellwether prediction of an upward revision to adspend forecast for 2019, but I guess we will see in a few months, right?”

Recession predicted for UK ad market in event of ‘no deal’ Brexit

UK ad spend will fall by nearly £1.4bn in 2019 in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, according to latest predictions.

Enders Analysis says it will be the first time the country’s £23bn ad market has contracted in more than 10 years – down 3% to £22.54bn.

However, the firm also modelled a ‘deal’ scenario, in which the market would still grow in 2019 (up 2.7% to £23.9bn) but would still be down on 2018 growth (4.7%).

A no deal scenario, meanwhile, would see a stagnation in online display ad spend, which has seen robust growth over the last decade.

The last time the UK ad market contracted was in 2009, when it slumped 13% in the wake of the global financial crisis.

However, Enders has cautioned against brands rolling back ad spend too drastically:

“The advertiser response will be to become more tactical in allocating advertising spend, but evidence from the last recession suggests that ‘going dark’ with brand display spend can be a long-lasting mistake.”

China ad spend to surge in 2019, driven by digital

Dentsu Aegis Network has forecast advertising spend in China will rise by as much as 7% in 2019, driven by the middle classes’ purchasing habits and a greater amount of disposable income.

Digital’s ongoing growth within the market, up 15.8% in the first three quarters of the year to RMB 717bn, and digital out of home (OOH) increased 14.2% over the same period.

However, declines across traditional media recorded falls from newspapers (28%), magazines (9%), and television (5.5%).

At more than RMB 125bn, pharmaceutical companies led the way for ad spend. Fastest growing sectors include Entertainment and Web services. The largest decline, Real Estate, showed a drop of -34.93% drop year-on-year.

The forecast, part of a global ad report, predicts growth around the world will increase 3.8% in 2019 to reach a total of $625bn, with Asia Pacific and North America continuing to be the strongest growth market, contributing 42% and 30% respectively.

Western Europe will account for 15% of the global increase, along with Latin America (10%) and Central and Eastern Europe (4%).

“China’s digital economy continues to lead the globe, both in terms of scale and advancements made. It is therefore unsurprising that China remains a core driving force in the year ahead, with further positive growth forecast,” said Susana Tsui, group CEO, Dentsu Aegis Network China.

Tim Andree, global CEO & chairman of Dentsu Aegis Network, added: “As the world transitions to a digital economy, advertising is at the leading edge of change. Digital connectedness – driven not only by advances in technology, but the speed of consumer adoption – has fundamentally changed the shape of our business and will continue to do so. Even where digital penetration is highest – such as China and the UK – the trend shows little sign of slowing down.”

Marketers ‘must solve data fragmentation’ in 2019

Marketers need to reevaluate how they convert audiences throughout each stage of the purchasing journey, according to a new report.

Criteo surveyed 901 direct response marketers in partnership with Euromonitor International to better understand the challenges of converting customers in today’s digital ecosystem.

The results underscore how fragmented ad budgets have become as marketers look for results across so many different channels.

From paid display and social media marketing to content and SEO, marketers were asked where they spend their money and which channels are most effective.

Key findings include:

  • Conversion Metrics are Different Across Different Companies: Marketers have a lot of different ways of defining what makes effective conversion. New revenue (35%), new customer rate (33%), and cost per action (30%) proved to be most popular.
  • Data Availability and Quality Represent Key Challenges in the Conversion Phase: Nearly half (40%) of marketers struggle to find data on the online/offline shopper connection. This negatively impacts brand conversion given the prevalence of omnishopping. In addition, fragmented data makes it difficult for marketers to gain a true understanding of customers and to optimize future campaigns.
  • Reengagement Across Web and App Grows in Importance: Existing retailer customers spend more on average than new shoppers (51%) and shopping app customers have high loyalty tendencies (41%). Compelling discounts, personalization, innovative ad formats and engaging designs were reported to be three of the most successful tactics for reengagement campaigns.

The Criteo State of Ad Tech Report surveyed over 900 digital marketing managers and executives working in retailing, brands, travel companies, and other services companies with online sales channels.

“Marketers understand that conversion can happen at any point in the shopper journey,” said Jaysen Gillespie, Vice President, Head of Analytics & Insights, Criteo. “We found that fragmented data, tech giants, and personalization are all top-of-mind for marketers going into 2019.”

View the full findings at: https://www.criteo.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/StateOfAdTechReport_Global.pdf.

GDPR still causing small business owners problems

GDPR is still causing small business owners problems, with many admitting that they are ‘clueless’ when it comes to the do’s and don’ts of data privacy regulations.

Aon commissioned researchers to poll 1,000 small business owners and found that many have procedures in place which could result in multi-million pound fines through ignorance of the new law, brought in from 25th May 2018.

More than a quarter of those polled allow staff to use their own computers, tablets and phones for work purposes which contravene rules as personal data could be stored unencrypted at home.

One in 10 also revealed they have visitors books in their HQ – where visitors can freely see details of others who have been there previously.

Paper diaries were still used by 26 per cent of businesses – which could contain private information or customer details and be easily misplaced.

And ten per cent said the circulation of printed out sponsorship forms – which often contain names and addresses – is common at their place of work, which is another contravention of GDPR rules.

Chris Mallett, a cyber security specialist at Aon said: “As the results show, many businesses could be in breach of GDPR – most likely without even realising it.

“Visitors books, allowing staff to use their own mobiles for work purposes and even seemingly minor things like distributing sponsorship forms around the office carry risk.

“Yet these sorts of things are commonplace among businesses big and small across the UK.”

TOP 10 MOST COMMON WAYS SMALL BUSINESSES ARE, OR COULD BE BREAKING GDPR RULES:

1. Allowing staff to use their own computers, tablets or phones for work purposes – if personal data isn’t encrypted
2. Staff using papers diaries used for work purposes and containing personal information – major risk of them being misplaced or falling into the wrong hands
3. Using training materials which feature full details of real life case studies
4. Using images which feature customers to promote your business
5. Storing files which potentially contain personal data outside of a defined structure/naming system
6. Using images to promote your business which feature members of staff wearing nametags
7. Holding unencrypted CCTV footage where individuals are recognisable
8. Recording customer calls which capture customer card details
9. Visitors books where visitors can see other people’s information when signing in – such as names, company they work for, their vehicle registration number etc
10. Staff members circulating sponsorship/charity donation sheets

Survey highlights creative sector’s ‘astonishing’ gender pay gap

Research conducted by one of the UK’s largest contractor accountants has revealed that men in the creative industry earn up to 26% more than women in the same roles.

Hemel Hempstead-based SJD analysed salaries of both male and females in the creative sector revealing some astonishing pay differences.

Copywriters and graphic designers, for example, see pay differences of upwards of 25% between males and females.

However, the IT and Engineering sectors have the largest pay gaps, a 30% difference, which has seen males earning a huge £15,000 more than females.

The gender pay gap has been an increasingly important and developing conversation for a number of years within the media and government.

Increasing pressure has been put on businesses to disclose their gender pay gaps and redress the balance to aim for more equal pay.

The survey by SJD Accountancy saw more than a 1,000 contractors questioned, and data gathered on their salaries to create a better picture of which sectors are closing the gap and which are still struggling to find parity.

Derek Kelly, CEO of Optionis Group which owns SJD Accountancy said: “The gender pay gap has been a topic of increasing conversation, putting the difference in salary into real terms has been shocking.

“This information now highlights the genuine impact that this can have not only on employees but their families and long-term prospects.”

To find out more details about your industry and the gender pay gaps SJD has launched an interactive tool, visit www.sjdaccountancy.com/gender-pay-gap-tool for more information.

Mr Kelly added: The tool helps to give workers, whether in permanent or temporary roles, more of an insight into the pay gap within their industry. This improves understanding of the pay issues within certain sectors.”

Online sellers ‘not using own data to improve business performance’

Online sellers are using e-commerce solutions to gather better data insights, yet many are failing to use it to make better business decisions, according to new research.

Whilst 42% are using data to improve customer service, only 24% are using data for buying behaviour analysis and two thirds are not using it to improve the user experience.

The survey of 559 global B2B organisations by Sana Commerce found that many are still only focused on using e-commerce for sales and improving online shopping for customers – traits associated with e-commerce 1.0 and 2.0.

48% identified driving sales as the top priority for their e-commerce solution and 38% said it was to improve the user experience.

Despite having data available at their fingertips, online sellers are not using their data to achieve desired business performance outcomes. The main response to tackling competition is competing on price (47%) and increasing the online customer experience (38%) rather than enhancing the proposition.

Only a third said they would use data to improve personalisation and 26% said they would use data to improve targeting and account-based marketing.

Sana says many online sellers seem to be overlooking the true value of e-commerce 3.0 and improving integration with key business systems such as the ERP to drive broader business benefits.

Michiel Schipperus, CEO and managing partner at Sana Commerce, said: “It’s encouraging to see online sellers building on their digital transformation strategies and considering the implementation of these advanced technologies, but it’s important to first establish how they can be implemented strategically. E-commerce 3.0 has enabled better integration between internal systems as a growth strategy and way to improve businesses agility. M2M and other forms of automation represent a significant investment, so e-commerce businesses need to ensure they’re being used to their full potential and improving key business drivers.”

The survey of B2B organisations in Europe and the US was undertaken by independent market research company Sapio on behalf on Sana Commerce. You can download the report here.