Senior marketers set to revamp online engagement strategy in response to COVID, new study reveals

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A new study has revealed that priorities for senior marketers in the UK are shifting in response to COVID, with almost three quarters (74%) looking to change their online engagement strategy as a result of the pandemic. Of those, over one third (37%) said their plans are a radical overhaul, with those from the largest companies polled – 5,000 or more employees – planning the biggest change in response to COVID.

The research, released today by ​Criteo​, the global technology company powering the world’s marketers with trusted and impactful advertising, uncovered the challenges facing marketers in today’s landscape with 70% of respondents reporting either flat or falling budgets for the year ahead. So – as new challenges and priorities have emerged – the new study of senior marketing decision makers asked what their plans for the next 12 months are.

The results? Almost half (47%) of respondents said that Retail Media will take up a reasonable proportion of their budget, with a further 15% saying it’d play a significant role. So as marketers look to close the gap between advertising and the point of purchase, recognition for the impact of retail media is on the rise.

In fact, over half (59%) said that the impact on sales growth was higher from Retail Media advertising, with half (51%) also claiming a higher return on advertising spend from Retail Media campaigns. This is particularly important given that measurement was revealed to be the most valued output from any given marketing campaign among respondents.

Nicole Kivel, regional retail media managing director, Criteo, said: ​“We’re living in a new world for consumers and businesses alike, unlike anything we’ve seen for generations. In this context, marketers are quite simply looking for an opportunity to target the customer at the point where they can purchase and a majority of them don’t want to focus on a single retailer. Those surveyed indicate that they will split their RM budget between multiple partners (27%) or to be distributed via ad networks (21%). These findings are a clear indication that retail media can offer marketers an opportunity to reap the benefits of a safe, highly relevant home for digital ad investments.”

When asked about the reasons behind where they intend to invest their retail media budget, the possibility to measure and compare the impact on sales across different types of ad media came out on top (47%). That’s closely followed by reaching multiple potential customer groups (46%) and measuring impact on sales across different retailers (45%).

The research comes hot on the heels of Criteo’s Retail Media Platform launch earlier this month in EMEA. Designed to accelerate retail media to the next level, it provides retailers with one platform to scale their retail media businesses and enables brands and agencies to buy ad space across retailers using standardised workflows and metrics.