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How Advertising Agencies Can Add Value to Pitches and Campaigns

12/8/2022
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The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) advised that rising fees will be inevitable with the cost-of-living crisis and high-inflationary climate, resulting in significant pressure for agencies to retain existing clients.  

Likewise, new business proposals are under scrutiny as the selection criteria become more focused on the invoice rather than value. Yet, you also need to demonstrate strong ROI for your services. A conundrum, right?  

Tough economic times usually results in cost cuts. And your research budget could come into question. It might seem logical to reallocate that spend temporarily based on your business priorities. But that short-term move will end up being a long-term loss. Here’s why. 

Research is fundamental to maintain growth of any brand and company. And agencies are no exception. 

You need to be more informed than ever of your prospective and current clients’ industry landscapes to provide strategic support and help them stay ahead.  

Spotting trends to support ad campaigns  

Data can help you find relevant trends that your clients could capitalise on. Take healthy eating as an example.  

Current (and newer) laws across the globe—like Chile, Singapore and, more recently, the UK— challenge the advertising of products high in fat, sugar and salt. These brands face regulatory impacts to in-store and online promotions and restrictions around advertisements.  

The UK is one of the latest countries to put such regulations into effect. So, let’s home in on this market. 

In the UK, the HFSS regulation is expected to negatively impact consumption of certain in-scope categories, such as confectionery, sweet biscuits and salty snacks, leading sales to stagnate over the next few years. 

But this will likely benefit the performance of other snacking categories that are exempt from the restrictions and could be deemed healthier alternatives. For example, retail volume sales of the nuts, seeds and trail mix category are set to record 25% growth between 2022 and 2027.   

MRX Ad Agency Chart_new.svg

Source: Euromonitor International 

Plus, private label brand shares, which capture the majority of value sales for nuts, seeds and trail mixes, declined from 62% in 2017 to 51% in 2022. And a fragmented market results in fiercer competition and further pressure for you to help your clients stand out.  

But what is driving overall growth? That answer is critical.  

Our model deconstructs and indicates forecast drivers like changes in underlying market conditions and other relevant environmental factors. Soft drivers—legislation, competition, lifestyle trends and promotion, among others—are the main force behind growth. Essentially, a lot of the aspects that you as an agency can add value on. 

Forecast Model: Nuts, Seeds and Trail Mixes in the UK 

Retail Volume Sales, Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR), 2022-2027 

Soft Drivers 

1.8% 

Socioeconomic Trends 

1.3% 

Habit Persistence 

1.2% 

Market Environment 

0.3% 

Population 

0.3% 

Substitutes Price 

0.3% 

GDP Per Capita 

0.2% 

Product Price 

-0.9% 

Source: Euromonitor International, Snacks Forecast Model 

As you can see in the table, price is the only driver having a negative impact on category growth. Using our SKU pricing platform Via, we are able to identify that nuts, seeds and trail mix products now cost on average 11% more than November 2021.   

With this in mind, and global inflation hitting over 8% this year (9% in the UK), it is imperative for brands to deepen their connection with consumers to maintain a competitive edge.  

Connecting market, brand and consumer sentiment 

According to our 2022 Voice of the Consumer: Health and Nutrition Survey, only 11% of UK respondents were strongly satisfied with their current eating and drinking habits, and 51% want to eat less processed food. Yet 51% said a top barrier to improving their diets is the monetary expense.  

The perception of health has also shifted. Mental wellbeing was one of the highest responses from consumers when asked what being healthy means to them. In conjunction, permissible indulgence is on the rise. And consumers are looking for a balance between indulgent foods and healthy choices.  

Looking at these insights, you can see that brands in the UK should actively educate and promote the health benefits of products whilst focusing on campaigns tailored towards mental wellbeing and indulgence.  

All this considered, perhaps centring campaigns around taking time out of our busy work lives for a health-focused indulgent treat or promoting a healthy snack after a meditative walk in the park could boost sales in this current climate. 

Either way, this article only scratches the surface but shows why research is a critical resource for agencies to deliver effective campaigns. A data-driven strategy can help you identify new opportunities to boost your clients’ growth and win new pitches.  

Connect with us for more information on how we can partner with you.  

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