If Zenith clients are any indication, most marketers believe there will be growth in their categories this year.
That’s one finding of a report that Zenith, part of Publicis Groupe, has just released, based on a survey of 158 major Zenith clients around the world.
But the report also found that while expanding data pools have helped to glean improved consumer insights, data has not helped much yet on the buying efficiency or brand growth fronts.
In the survey — conducted by the same Global Intelligence team that does the agency’s spending forecasts — clients were asked how confident they were that their business categories would experience growth this year. Each category was then ranked on a scale of 0 to 100, where 100 means everyone surveyed in their category expects substantial growth, and 0 means that all surveyed expect substantial decline.
A rank of 50 means the average expectation is for no growth.
The clients surveyed were grouped into 12 categories and just two — Food & Drink, with a score of 48.4, and Telecommunications with a 33.3 — scored rankings below 50 meaning the average expectation was for some category contraction.
The highest confidence appeared to be in the Media & Entertainment category, which indexed at 82.1, followed by Pharma/healthcare (70.3), Alcohol (70), Luxury (67.6) and Beauty (67.2).
Rounding out the top 10 were Automotive (63.6), Travel (61.4), Retail (60), Non-Food Fast Moving Consumer Goods (55.7) and Financial/Insurance (53.6).
Clients were also asked to rank seven drivers of business growth, ranking them from most important to least important. The results, from most to least important:
Data & Technology
New Competitive Positioning
Zenith reported the first three were ranked closely together leading it to conclude that “adapting to the challenges of a transforming economy is clearly the main priority for advertisers.”
Clients were also asked how the huge increase in data has affected three areas of business: buying efficiency, creating new insights into consumers and generating profitable brand growth.
The upshot was that most clients agreed that data has sharply improved their consumer insights, but that it has not yet transformed their buying efficiency or brand growth.
Achieving that efficiency and growth are areas where agencies can and should “step up” and help clients turn “theory into practice,” said Vittorio Bonori, Zenith’s global brand president. “Agencies must work in partnership with their clients to unlock the true potential of this revolution in communications.”