It’s been another busy week for marketers across the country, with Christmas campaigns getting into full swing. Here’s our roundup of the most interesting statistics we’ve seen this week.

Existing customers are twice as likely to respond to location-based communications as new ones

Media agency Mindshare’s 2018 report Location Matters provides a wide-ranging look at how location-based communications are changing, and consumer attitudes along with them. One of the most significant findings in this report is that 43% of consumers find location-based communications useful from stores they have already visited, but this number drops to just 24% when no prior relationship exists.

Part of this is the ‘creep factor’, with customers increasingly wary of data collection they feel they don’t control. By waiting until after an interaction to make use of consumers more sensitive data, brands can build a sense of trustworthiness and avoid seeming creepy. Marketers personalising their campaigns are therefore much better using location targeting for remarketing and loyalty campaigns.

3 in 5 people can’t tell paid ads from organic search on google

Given that Google’s further changes last year to their ‘ad’ icon make it even less conspicuous, we would expect a few consumers to be confused into thinking paid ads were really organic results. But recent research from SEM experts Varn shows that this number could be as high as 58.9%. This is a jump of around 9% from an earlier survey of UK consumers by Varn.

Why is this important? Of those who do recognise ads, only 21% reported that they click them – less than 9% of those surveyed – which means many of your ad clicks could be coming from users who believe they’re clicking a search result. We tend to think of clicks in terms of qualifying buyer intent, but with this revelation it’s less clear whether these users are there because they have responded to an ad, or through confusion, and how this affects your conversion rate. Either way, this is one to keep in mind when considering that…

Organic Search Clicks Grew 6% Year-on-year in Q3

Source: Merkele

If you haven’t read Merkele’s Q3 digital marketing report yet, you can get it here. The report is packed with great research and insight into the digital marketing landscape and is an absolute must read for brand and agency marketers. Among the many useful findings in there, we can see that Organic search was responsible for 6% more traffic than at this time in 2017.

This is despite continuing growth of Google Product and Showcase ads, plus a reduction in the average number of organic results on the first page. Heading into next year, its likely we’ll still see a lot of agencies prioritising PPC optimisation over SEO, but with fewer 1st page results and a resurgence of organic search, the latter could become an increasingly in-demand service.

Overall, ad spend Rose 7.2% during the first half of 2018 to £11.4bn

The Advertising Association’s expenditure report for Q2 this year showed a 7.2% year-on-year rise in UK advertising spending in the first half of 2018. The bulk of this growth is driven by an increase in online marketing, with newspaper and radio ads in decline. What’s more, the second quarter of this year was the 20th consecutive growth period for advertising in the UK! The AA have updated their forecast for 2018, with marketers now expected to shell out over £13bn on digital ads before the end of the year.