Marketing spend starts to recover following pandemic drop

According to the most recent quarterly expenditure report by the Advertising Association and Warc advertising spend in the UK is expected to increase by 15.2 per cent to £27bn in 2021.

The report shows that the market shrunk by 7.2 per cent last year to £23.5bn, but according to the latest dataset spend recovered slightly in the last quarter, rising by 2.6 per cent. This growth is set to continue over the next eight months and if it follows the expected track it will recover the £1.8bn decline experienced as a result of the pandemic. However, full recovery is not expected until 2022.

Whilst digital channels are expected to lead the recovery and unsurprisingly performed well during lockdown, there are concerns over digital fatigue and diminishing effectiveness of online advertising as people spent more time on their screens and were therefore getting bombarded by digital messaging. As a result, more traditional channels such as direct mail have experienced a reassurance of interest with many organisations capitalising on the tangibility of the channel and the fact that it is an in-home media with staying power. The latest figures from JICMAIL show that direct mail is spending longer in the home than a year ago. The average mailshot is now live in the home for 8.1 days before being filed or recycled, representing growth of four per cent year on year. Importantly, the latest figures also revealed that between five and eight per cent of mail items prompted an action, which is a growth of 50 per cent since the same time last year, indicating the trust that consumers now associate with the mail.

As we continue to transition out of lockdown many organisations are wanting to reactivate their customers and direct mail has always been an effective way for brands to build and maintain strong relationships. However, for mail to be at its most effective it is critical that it is well targeted. A large part of targeting is ensuring that people that shouldn’t receive a mail shot don’t – for instance people that have passed away.

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