Mid-week read, some fantastic social media stats in here.

Teleperformance UK

In my last blog I explored the increasing importance of the customer experience, particularly because customers are now also publishers – they can easily tell their friends how good or bad your service is at the push of a button.

Consumers have really become the driving force behind the adoption of social tools in the enterprise, changing many departments within companies to reflect this. 57% of companies are using social media to be more relevant to their customers, 54% are using it to build better customer relationships, and 50% are using it to build better product awareness.

In the past 8 months, the number of UK consumers using social media as a customer service channel has doubled to 18m. This is an enormous change to the entire customer service industry – just consider that 65% of people think that social media is preferable to ringing a call centre. 68% of…

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To spend or not to spend, that is the question?

Recently two articles caught my attention:

  1. Welsh disposable incomes rise at fastest rate in the UK
  2. Huge squeeze hits family budgets

In summary, the first article touched on recent figures released from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showing that disposable income in Wales rose 3.3% on the previous year. (UK average increased by 3%)

The second article went onto explain how consumer spending power fell further in March 2012, falling by 1.1% on a year earlier after inflation.  This equates to £113 less a year to spend on non-essential items.

It’s hard to make neither head nor tail of these statistics, particularly when you see the ONS reported retail sales jumped 3.3% in March 2012 compared to March 2011.

The increasing cost of essential spend such as food, fuel and utility bills to name a few, combined with average pay rises falling by 1.1% does mean the majority of households are feeling the pinch.

This doesn’t mean they aren’t spending or everyone is in financial difficulty.

It goes without saying that there are those out there that may not be in a position to indulge in life’s little luxuries, but 51% of the Welsh population sometimes treat themselves to something they don’t need.

Using TGI, I have selected some interesting nuggets on what our nation has spent their disposable income on over the last 12 months.

I’ve looked at a variety of secondary spend items/activities or it could be argued that they are considered ‘luxuries’ in the current climate. We are still shopping for the home which would coincide with some recent reports I have read detailing how entertaining in the home is on the rise. However 69% of Welsh adults have eaten out in a restaurant, so entertaining in the home may be on the up but we are still eating out! It’s clear that people are still spending, and the nuggets suggest that not everyone’s outgoings supersede their income as is often suggested in the media.

The economy has moved the goal posts, by this I mean consumers may not be shopping in the same places they were before the first recession. Back in 2008 let’s say someone was earning £35,000 and had £500 a month left over, they didn’t receive a pay rise and the cost of living has increased so now in 2012 they have £250 a month left.  This means if they want to continue to shop in the same stores they were in 2008 than they will do so less often, or start shopping in stores that are price competitive.

The increasing cost of living has in some way affected all of us, albeit varying in degrees of severity. Most of us can identify how our shopping habits have changed but we are still shopping, just in different places.

Please leave a comment below, or get in touch with me directly on, jodi.stuart@realradio.co.uk or @realradiojodi

An interesting article

Stand-Up Strategy

Even though advertising agencies should be the experts in branding, the own brand names of agencies are traditionally quite cryptic. The usual method of naming are the initials of the founders like with the law firms. Whether the reason is egoism, tradition or just plain unimaginativeness, this list proves that in order to succeed as an advertising head, you have to have a distinctive name. No matter whether you are planner from Paris or copywriter from Portland, it is crucial to get those initials to the door.

I have collected most of the current biggest networks here and added some now-defunct but historically important agencies. There are many agencies missing, but add your own in the comment section below. I started compiling the list when I started to get lost of all the different acronyms and holding companies. I think the most funniest/annoying names are when two companies have merged and…

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