The ongoing cost-of-living crisis has had a big impact on media spend, the latest IPA Bellwether report reveals.

Main media budgets encompassing TV, online, radio and press have tanked, whilst direct marketing, events and sales promotions have soared, reflecting reactive change by UK businesses in response to the economic climate.

Sales promotions achieved the highest growth rate (13.4 percent), its biggest uplift in more than two decades of survey data. This indicates that marketers are keen to support their customers by providing them value for money, through offers and deals.

Events also performed well, experiencing an increase of 9.3 percent. The growth is attributed to a desire from brands to have closer, more personal relationships with their customers. Underpinning this is the rise experienced by direct marketing, the only other channel to have measured growth. It achieved an increase of 7.3 percent, the fastest rate since Q3 of 2006.

This reinforces the continue uptick in popularity of direct mail (which you can read about in our previous blog by both brands and consumers alike.

Brands are increasingly attracted to direct mail due to the ability to send targeted, personal communications. Whilst consumers prefer the tangibility of direct mail and the novelty of receiving physical letters over digital communications.

With many brands now looking to their Christmas campaigns, there couldn’t be a better time to integrate mail due to the incentives being offered by Royal Mail. Existing users of mail can take advantage of the Advertising Growth and Advertising Volume Commitment Incentive provides savings up to 20 per cent on incremental mail. Existing users that want to test a new mailing or innovate an existing campaign can also apply for a 15 percent discount using the Mail Testing & innovation incentive. Whilst new users can earn up to 20 percent postage credits. You can find out more here:

Of course, mail is only effective when it gets into the hands of the right people. What the IPA report shows us is that brands want to provide their customers with relevant offers, therefore the underlying is absolutely critical. Sending someone an offer for patio weed killer when they live in a high rise flat with no garden access, or worse, to someone that has passed away will is not only a waste of marketing resource, but potentially very damaging to the brand. This is why we work with brands and agencies to make sure that campaign data is as clean and up-to-date as possible. For more info on the effectiveness of the mail or help with your data hygiene please get in touch!