Despite the economic uncertainty and backdrop of Brexit, 2020 is looking to be an important year ahead for fashion, retail, travel and finance marketers, with 53% highlighting expansion into new markets as a top priority.

According to Rakuten Marketing’s international study commissioned among 610 brand marketers in the UK, France and Germany, 74% of companies are set to increase marketing budgets in the next 12 months, despite concerns of economic uncertainty. 

Although marketers are increasing budgets, 30% are still wasting funds towards the wrong channels – a 10% increase since last year. Breaking this down, 36% of travel marketers expressed the highest level of known ad wastage, whereas this was the case for 23% of fashion marketers. 

With more traditional channels such as email marketing (31%) identified as chief drivers of wasted ad spend, 45% of the survey’s respondents said innovation in marketing would be a key challenge they tackle in 2020, alongside sourcing new customers. As such, marketers are focused on investing fresh budget into channels such as affiliate marketing and social media advertising (both 40%), reflecting the drive to work with the best partners capable of identifying relevant and valuable customers.

“Marketers clearly see 2020 as a vital year to find solid international footing amid the rise of the digitally native retailers have rocked the UK high street. It’s positive to see that brands are looking to take advantage of globalised shopping habits that have emerged in recent years and establish their business in new and lucrative markets,” said Rakuten Marketing managing director, international, Anthony Capano.

“Focusing on how they are going to reach these new markets, as well as reduce marketing spend wastage, will be key for those looking to expand internationally and continue to boost revenue,” added Capano.