Your roundup this week includes stats about AI, YouTube ad spend, email strategy, and so much more.

Why not give the Internet Statistics Database a look-see too? It’s full of further stats and insight.

Let’s begin.

Retailers cut YouTube ad spend by 20% year on year

Retailers have cut YouTube ad spend by 20% year on year, according to new analysis by MediaRadar (when comparing January to May of 2018 to January to May of 2019). It found that, out of the 200 retailers advertising on YouTube, only 13% spent more this year.

Meanwhile, media and entertainment companies have increased YouTube ad spend; one of the top two industries during the same time period (Jan to May) of 2018. The other top performing industry in terms of revenue was tech.

Deep diving into both these categories, MediaRadar observed that the tech industry remained flat in terms of share of YouTube ad revenue year-over-year (26% in both 2018 and 2019, respectively). In comparison, media and entertainment increased advertising on the platform, accounting for 3% more of YouTube’s ad revenue in 2019 than 2018.

62% of consumers place higher trust in companies whose AI interactions are perceived as ethical

The ethical use of AI is now key to winning consumer trust, according to a new study from Capgemini.

The global study – surveying 1,580 executives and 4,400 global consumers – found that 62% of consumers would place higher trust in a company whose AI interactions they perceived as ethical. Sixty one percent of consumers said they would share positive experiences with friends and family, 59% said that they would have higher loyalty to the company, and 55% said that they would purchase more products and provide high ratings and positive feedback on social media. 

The report also found that both consumers and employees are worried about ethical concerns related to AI, and want some form of regulation. 47% of respondents believe they have experienced at least two types of uses of AI that resulted in ethical issues in the last two to three years, while 74% said they want more transparency when a service is powered by AI.

The good news is that organisations are starting to realise the importance of ethical AI. 53% of executives now consider that it is important to ensure that AI systems are ethical and transparent.

capgemini stat

Cart abandonment see the highest conversion rate of all triggered emails

As retailers gear up for major buying holidays like Prime Day, Bluecore’s ‘2019 Mid-Year Email Benchmark Report’ has revealed some interesting findings about the impact of personalisation on customer acquisition and retention.

From the analysis of over 3.26 billion emails sent by more than 400 retailers in the past year, Bluecore found that seasonality counts for far more than a one-time spike. Retailers saw a heightened level of customer acquisition in November and December, with nearly 25% of first-time purchases occurring in these two months alone.

Email Marketing Best Practice Guide

Meanwhile, it appears a sense of urgency gets shoppers moving. Cart abandonment emails continue to see the highest conversion rate (1.6%) of all triggered email types, followed closely by price decrease (0.5%) and low-inventory emails (0.4%). Price decrease emails also have the highest click-to-open rate (30%).

Finally, it appears the more shoppers spend, the more likely they are to engage with emails. Across verticals and spender types, high-spenders were found to have the highest open rates (up to 50%), click rates (up to 17%), and conversion rates (up to 94%).

triggered emails

Brands failing to build sales momentum in the long-term

A new report by Kantar – analysing the performance of 3,900 brands from the BrandZ database – suggests that long-term growth is proving tricky for brands (who are instead too focused on short-term gain).

Out of the brands analysed in the study, just 6% grew market share over one year, and only six in 10 managed to sustained that gain over three years. Less than one in 10 of the 6% of brands that grew market share over a year then went on to improve on their initial gain.

Kantar suggests that applying market pressure across three points in the buyer cycle – ‘Experience, Exposure, and Activation’ – is key for building sales momentum now and for the future. Furthermore, brands that adopt a growth strategy relevant to their market position grow 45% faster than those that only grow by penetration.

kantar stat

Businesses find Generation Z the hardest to market to

A new Awin survey (of 1,000 business owners in the UK) has found that nearly half of respondents find ‘Generation Z’ the hardest demographic to market to.

Forty-seven percent of businesses identified Gen Z as the most difficult, followed by 23% who said ’Baby Boomers’, and 16% who cited ‘Generation X’. When it comes to the reasons why, respondents said this was due to shorter attention spans, being less predictable, and being more adept at using ad-blocking technology. Despite this, however, three quarters of businesses admitted they were focusing their efforts on targeting Gen Z in the coming year.

When asked how they plan to market to this generation, 22% of respondents said they will ‘commit to a social cause’, 20% said ‘increase use of influencers’, and 15% said ’be more transparent’.

Why social proof works so well when engaging Gen Z

66% of UK brands view digital audio as an important part of media strategy

The value of digital audio advertising is being recognised by both brands and agencies in the UK, according to a new report by DAX. In a survey of 215 brand and media agency respondents, 86% of agencies and 66% of advertisers said they now see digital audio as an important part of most media strategies.

Eighty-five percent of survey respondents said they consider digital audio to be effective at reaching consumers ‘on the go’, while 81% agree the channel enables advertisers to be ‘contextually relevant’ with brand communications. As a result of this, on average, more than 40% of respondents’ advertising campaigns throughout the past 12 months has included digital audio – up from 33% in a previous study.

Lastly, survey respondents see digital audio as the best medium for developing innovative opportunities for advertisers. 53% said it did so, above 50% who said social media, and 39% who said digital video advertising.

Why Spotify is becoming the place to be for brands