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Brands seek new markets for competitive edge: study

Oct '19
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
Despite the backdrop of Brexit, 53 per cent of European marketers have made expanding into new markets a top priority for 2020, says a new study by California-based Rakuten Marketing of the luxury fashion, mainstream fashion, retail, travel and finance industries. The study found 74 per cent of marketing budgets are set to rise amidst economic uncertainty.

For mid-size brands (between 101-500 employees) in the United Kingdom, this reflects an average budget increase of £275,000, the study commissioned among 610 brand marketers in the United Kingdom, France and Germany, found.

Driving this investment, 41 per cent of marketers surveyed said tougher competition from online retail giants poses the greatest threat to their work in 2020, according to a company press release. In the United Kingdom, this is felt most acutely by the marketers in mainstream fashion, of whom 57 per cent are feeling this particular pressure point.

“Marketers clearly see 2020 as a vital year to find solid international footing amid the rise of the digitally native retailers have rocked the UK high street. It’s positive to see that brands are looking to take advantage of globalised shopping habits that have emerged in recent years and establish their business in new and lucrative markets. Focusing on how they are going to reach these new markets, as well as reduce marketing spend wastage, will be key for those looking to expand internationally and continue to boost revenue,” Anthony Capano, managing director of international at Rakuten Marketing, said.

In the United Kingdom, marketers report 30 per cent of their marketing budget is still wasted on the wrong channels or strategies–representing a 10 per cent rise since the start of 2018. In particular, travel marketers express the highest level of known ad wastage (36 per cent), whereas mainstream fashion marketers report just 23 per cent.

With more traditional channels such as email marketing (31 per cent) identified as chief drivers of wasted ad spend, 45 per cent of the survey’s respondents said innovation in marketing would be a key challenge they tackle in 2020, alongside sourcing new customers.

As such, marketers are focused on investing fresh budget into channels such as affiliate marketing and social media advertising (both 40 per cent), reflecting the drive to work with the best partners capable of identifying relevant and valuable customers.

While the year ahead presents marketers with some tough decisions, 84 per cent of UK marketers are feeling optimistic about marketing in 2020, rising to 88 per cent in France and 89 per cent in Germany.

All businesses irrespective of industry are focused on upping return-on-investment and marketing efforts are no different. More than half (52 per cent) of UK marketers express that giving marketing a bigger voice at board level is a key marketing focus over the next year, making this goal more popular than driving efficiencies in spend (41 per cent).

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