Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Teads, Sourcepoint, Talon, The Kite Factory and A Million Ads discuss the IPA Bellwether

Following the latest IPA Bellwether Report that found UK marketing budgets increased for the first time since the end of 2019 in the second quarter of 2021, NDA is getting reaction from across the industry, this time from Teads, Sourcepoint, Talon, The Kite Factory and A Million Ads.

Silke Zetzsche, Commercial Director, A Million Ads:

“It is fantastic to see marketing budgets improving for the first time since Q4 2019 – a true sign of the progress and recovery our industry is making. However, brands shouldn’t get complacent – now is the time to bring a fresh take to advertising to recapture the attention of consumers through a personal approach.

“The report shows that within main media, video spend has increased by 0.9% from Q1, whilst audio spend has increased by a massive 10.1%. This should come as no surprise and as a result, we are increasingly seeing advertisers rolling their audio and video advertising approaches into one to create a unified AV strategy. Adding a dynamic element to this allows brands to instantly adjust elements such as voice-overs, script lines and visuals based on contextual clues and data signals, making the creative much more engaging and personalised to its target audience. 

Research we recently conducted has also shown that 55% of UK consumers are more likely to buy a product if an ad they have seen or heard is personalised. Therefore by adopting a unified dynamic AV strategy, brands are able to personalise audio and visual elements, making advertising an experience consumers can enjoy.”

James Smith, UK Managing Director at The Kite Factory.

“These findings are mirrored across a range of our clients, it’s clear that it’s been the biggest downturn since 09-10 and we’re using our learnings from this to advise our clients as to how best navigate their own road to recovery. Across the board, one thing that’s crucial in this period is the value of attribution, which explains why for the first time in 4 years direct marketing budgets have increased. Whilst the majority of this is search, we’re seeing CPC’s increasing alongside greater competition, our job in this space is to advise where they can replicate this performance in other channels, more traditionally used for brand building, such as video and social.

This approach will work for many clients, but the race to the bottom will inevitably increase the cost of acquisition. Where we’re seeing the greatest success is being able to link brand building activities through to acquisition, ensuring your business is in the consideration set when consumers come into market for your product/service means margins aren’t eroded as quickly, and understanding the effectiveness of the brand building ensures you can prove ROI back to budget holders”

Justin Taylor, UK MD at Teads

“As restrictions in England start to ease, it’s fantastic to see that confidence is returning with UK marketing budgets increasing to what we were seeing pre-pandemic. However, the industry can’t rest on its laurels and learnings from the pandemic should be carried forward for years to come. The principles of investing in premium publishers and taking a sensible approach to keyword blocking must remain. What’s more, brand safety and working with partners that respect the user experience will be key if we are to meet the strong rates of growth in ad spend in 2022 which are forecast. 

“As the latest IPA Bellwether report signals, brands expecting strong sales must remain on the edge of caution due to new strains of the virus. With online advertising up +11% from the previous quarter, it will be important for brands to continue to invest in quality digital partners to ensure they are communicating with consumers in a positive way if they are to see conversion rates come to fruition.” 

Nial Ferguson, Managing Director UK & Ireland, Sourcepoint:

“This latest IPA Bellwether report points towards 2021 as a year of strong growth for the advertising ecosystem, as we reach pre-pandemic levels of spend.  While Covid-19 has caused disruption to many marketers, issues such as increasing global privacy regulations and restrictions on browser identifiers still remain an important issue for those who don’t seek resolutions. Therefore, businesses must harness the increase in marketing budgets to future- proof themselves against changing regulations and privacy enhancements.

“Going forward, the industry must place data ethics front and centre to communicate the value exchange to consumers. We now have the opportunity to invest in compliant technologies that support the free and open internet, which can, in turn, create a privacy-first future.”

Barry Cupples, CEO of Talon Group:

“We’re seeing a really positive return to market from brands across the summer as the UK opens up and over 45m adults receive their vaccination. Out of Home – and particularly digital OOH – are projected to outgrow the ad market not just in 2021 but to continue the evolution in 2022, with forecasts expecting its value to increase by 57% in the UK this year. 

“Consumer sentiment and confidence for a return to the entertainment, retail and travel sectors gives huge opportunities for brands and the OOH channel. This reflects the incredible resilience, collaboration and agility shown by OOH over the pandemic. We are now brilliantly placed to deliver technology and data advances for integrated media targeting alongside online advertising and we are generating outcome-led campaigns, creativity and truly reaching audiences as they re-emerge from lockdown. A key factor for us in OOH is the ability and flexibility to deliver effective outcomes alongside TV and social media channels for brands hungry to reconnect with consumers coming out of the pandemic. Our core strengths of reach, engaging young audiences and delivering effective outcomes will pay dividends for the rest of the year, as reflected by the IPA analysis, with brand activity delivering more integrated campaigns across online and offline channels.

“If we’ve learned anything from our COVID experience, it is that understanding audiences by their location and mindset is paramount for brands to connect effectively. Digital OOH is back in positive growth with a real ability and benefit to use context to appeal to the new consumer. Powerful branding and activation messages can be made in the public space, supported by data and digital OOH’s fundamentals to ensure brands can easily deliver relevance to any audience.”

This piece includes, among others, comments from clients of Bluestripe Communications, owned by Bluestripe Group, the owner of NDA.