With the holiday shopping season just around the corner, how are local advertisers feeling about advertising? Optimistic and flexible are the watchwords, according to the latest survey of local marketers by Borrell Associates.
Feeling seasonal in a bright red Christmas tie, Corey Elliott, Executive VP of Local Market Intelligence at Borrell, walked viewers of his “Corey’ Local Marketing Minute” through the mindset of local advertisers ahead of the Christmas, Hanukkah, Thanksgiving, and Cyber Monday holidays.
Asked how they thought U.S. retail sales would compare to 2020, about half of local advertisers said this year is going to be better than last year as far as retail sales go. “With all that optimism in the air, you’d think a lot of them would have already placed their ads [to] lock in on that optimism,” Elliott said. As it turns out 45% have placed some ads, 35% have planned ads but haven’t bought them, and 16% have nothing planned yet. Another 4% don't know. That means 55% haven't bought anything yet and 45% say they've only placed some ads. Looked at another way, 80% have at least planned something if not bought something.
With that much planning still up in the air, how flexible are local advertisers? Borrell gave survey respondents a flexibility scale of 1-100 where 1 is completely flexible and 100 indicates zero flexibility. When the responses were tabulated, the average score was 40.9 which leans toward more flexible. “So, they're optimistic and they're flexible,” Elliott surmised.
Borrell also asked local advertisers to look forward to 2022 and gauge whether they plan to decrease their ad spend, keep it the same, or increase it. Only 10% said a spending decrease is in the works for 2022 and bout half said they're going to keep their spending level the same. And over a third said they're going to increase ad spending in 2022.
From there, the survey asked advertisers how confident they were in that prediction. More than nine in ten (92%) said they were confident in those predictions. “So local businesses are optimistic about retail sales in Q4. Seems like they're doing a lot of last-minute marketing planning. And they're pretty flexible when it comes to those plans,” Elliott said, summing up the findings.“One third are pretty confident they're going to spend more money in 2022 when it comes to local marketing, so it looks like old Santa is going to deliver a pretty good Q4.”