Let’s marvel at some wondrous stats from the world of digital marketing, shall we?

This week’s roundup is complete with news about online ads, supermarket emails, and everyone’s favourite festive topic – GDPR. 

Before we get on with the show, remember there’s always time to take a look at the Internet Statistics Compendium. It’s regularly updated with facts and figures to keep you in-the-know.

Study proves ROI of online ads 

An IAB study involving Unilever and Nestlé has revealed the extent to which online display ads drive sales of brands both in-store and online.

Ads for nine brands were tested across mainstream desktop and mobile sites, including the likes of Guardian and eBay. The study analysed the purchasing behaviour of those who received ads compared to those who didn’t. Results found that every £1 spent on online display, ads delivered an average of £1.94 in sales across all supermarkets, with one brand in particular generating a £3.38 return.

The biggest takeaway from the study was that the vast majority of the sales attributable to the online ads happened in-stores, highlighting the power online ads can have on offline shopping behaviour. With reports earlier this year suggesting that ad-blocking usage had increased 30% - the study gives publishers and brands even more cause to persuade consumers about the value of ads.

More on online ads:

Bing’s share of search on the rise

According to MediaVision, Bing is proving to be a vital channel for paid search, seeing 896m monthly searches and a 43% year on year market share growth.

The study also found that when Bing Ads were compared alongside Google AdWords, Bing not only offered 29% lower costs per lead, but also boasted 30% higher ROI as well as a 97% increase in revenue.

While there are vast differences between the two – with some Paid Search accounts failing to optimise according to Bing’s performance and specific features - this suggests Bing Ads could be both more cost-effective and scalable than AdWords overall. 

Asda wins the battle of the supermarket email campaigns

A study by Mailjet has revealed that Asda has performed the best in its Christmas email campaign out of all UK supermarkets. In the analysis of emails sent by eight of the leading UK supermarkets – ranked according to a range of metrics including design best practices, personalisation, subject line, cross-channel marketing, and creativity of  content – Asda scored 19.12 points out of an available 29.0.

In contrast, Waitrose's average performance dropped by 53% year-on-year, making it the lowest scoring supermarket.

Budget supermarket Aldi has also been named the consumer favourite for Christmas email marketing, particularly utilising strong design with a clean user interface that’s consistent across desktop, mobile and tablet devices. You can read more on email marketing strategy in Econsultancy's Best Practice Guide.

Meanwhile, in terms of traditional advertising, 4C has also revealed that Aldi’s 2017 television advert has generated the most positive reaction online. When measuring this year’s Christmas ads in terms of social media engagement, Aldi’s was found to generate a 152% lift in social noise in the immediate five minutes after it aired. Meanwhile, M&S’s Paddington advert generated the most positive sentiment score of 87.5%.

More on supermarkets:

10 of the best ad campaigns from the UK’s top supermarkets

42% of brand websites are still not GDPR compliant

An Ensighten survey of 100 UK brand marketers has revealed that 42% of brand websites are still not GDPR compliant, with just 28% of marketers expecting their websites to be compliant by the May 25th deadline next year. 

It seems that many marketers are also shifting accountability - 46% of respondents stated that they don’t believe they’re responsible for the data across all of their digital properties. Additionally, only a quarter of marketers think they hold responsibility for all channels except those managed by marketing suppliers. In reality, they are in fact accountable for all digital channels (regardless of who runs them).

Interestingly, while there are still big challenges ahead, the survey also found that marketers do see GDPR as an opportunity to better harness big data, with 75% of marketers believing it will modernise the approach to customer interaction and engagement.

Much more on GDPR:

GDPR for marketers: best practice, tips and case studies

Biometric tech on track to replace traditional passwords

Research by Deloitte has revealed that 15m consumers in the UK now own a smartphone with biometric technology (i.e. fingerprint scanners), and 79% are now making use of the tech. 

This news comes from a survey of 4,150 UK consumers on their mobile phone habits. The survey also revealed that 35% of respondents now use biometric technology to authorise financial payments and transactions – the equivalent to one in 10 smartphone owners in the UK.

Perhaps as a result of this shifting consumer behaviour, some brands are choosing to switch to cashless payments-only in restaurants and stores. But could this put off some consumers - and even harm small businesses? You can read more about the potential positives and negatives here.

Despite the growing acceptance of fingerprint scanning, it appears users are still reluctant to adopt other types of biometric technology. Just 3% of the survey respondents said they currently use voice, facial and iris recognition. That being said, Deloitte also predicts that 3D facial recognition will be the preferred form of biometrics in smartphones by the end of 2018.

Find out what else could be hot in the year ahead in our prediction roundups:

Nikki Gilliland

Published 15 December, 2017 by Nikki Gilliland @ Econsultancy

Nikki is a Writer at Econsultancy. You can follow her on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn.

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