1. Marketing budgets plateau after six years of growth

There were no changes in marketing budgets in the fourth quarter, with 16.4% of marketers reporting they plan to increase spend and 16.4% saying they plan to cut it, leading to a net balance of 0% and marking the end of six consecutive years of growth.

When looking ahead to the 2019/20 financial year, 27% of those surveyed anticipate growth compared to the 26% predicting cuts, giving a net balance of just 1%.

Additionally, the underlying pessimism is predicted to impact every media channel.

For instance, main media advertising was expected to fall in the fourth quarter, with a net balance of 6.5% expecting to cut budgets, compared to the 4.8% that anticipated increasing them in the previous quarter.

Internet, search and mobile budgets have also been affected. While they remain in growth, a net balance of just 2.1% of marketers saw rises in the fourth quarter, down from 13.6% in Q3 and 22.7% in Q2.

Source: IPA Bellwether

2. Amazon named consumers’ favourite retailer

Amazon has been named consumers’ favourite brand, with 14% naming the online retailer ahead of Marks and Spencer (4%), John Lewis (4%), Sainsbury’s (4%) and Tesco (3%).

However, some 33% of respondents say they don’t have a favourite brand.

Among the most mentioned brands, the majority of customers are loyal to them because they genuinely like them. For example, 89% say they feel their loyalty to John Lewis is genuine, followed by Marks and Spencer (88%), Sainsbury’s (71%), Tesco (71%) and Amazon (67%). Amazon ranks highest for customers who ‘feel their loyalty is habitual’ to the brand (33%).

Amazon’s dominance filters…