Adspend fails to reflect growing consumer spend on passions

16 Jul 2018  |  Michaela Jefferson 
Adspend fails to reflect growing consumer spend on passions

According to ongoing research by Enders Analysis, understanding consumer passions should be increasingly important to advertisers and media planners as 90+% of new discretionary spend has come from "identity categories".

"Identity categories" encompass more than just hobbies, covering spend on fashion, lifestyle, travel, sport and wellbeing, home, dining and entertainment, gadgets and charities.

Thus far the research, conducted in collaboration with the magazine marketing body Magnetic, reveals that consumer spend on identity categories grew £60 per household per week between 2012 and 2017 - up to an average weekly household spend of £258. Meanwhile, spending on other categories has flatlined.

Furthermore, whilst half of UK leisure time is reportedly spent using mass media, almost half is spent on expressing identity.

With this in mind, Enders Analysis has suggested that planners and advertisers should be investing adspend in media that strongly reflects social identity. Magazines, sponsorships, some TV inventory and influencer posts are all rated highly - though the latter are considered expensive, poorly understood and badly measured.

Meanwhile, media low in social identity includes out-of-home, most social media in-feed ads, direct mail, search and some newspaper inventory.

However, speaking to Mediatel, Magnetic's CEO Sue Todd points out that these findings do not reflect how advertising money is presently spent, with adspend in magazines declining and much of the "missing money" going to online direct response.

“There seems to be a disconnect between what consumers are doing and where advertisers are investing,” she says.

“Obviously consumers are spending more time and money with content [about their passions] – so why is ad revenue not following the same trajectory?”

“Demand for our content is going up, not down.”

The full report by Enders Analysis and Magnetic will be published in the autumn.

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10 Dec 2018 

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