Everyday pickups


The ‘everyday pickups’ super-category covers low cost items we buy very frequently, out of habit. It includes impulse treats, such as crisps, magazines and chocolate bars that we buy from a shortlist of favourite brands. It also includes routine household essentials, such as loo paper, where we don’t usually spend time pondering each purchase. It comprises confectionary and snacks, media and household supplies.

Clients in this category invested around £554 million in media in 2017. Traditionally heavy TV spenders, with other established mass media as secondary support, ‘everyday pickups’ brands allocated over a third of adspend into digital media in 2017.

Benchmarketing’s analysis shows that low spending in these channels is harming the profit return from the campaign. This results in lower payback for the entire campaign and diminishing returns from over investment in digital media.

To maximise campaign PROI for brands in the ‘everyday pickups’ super-category, Benchmarketing recommend that an average 7% of the total media budget is allocated to print newsbrands and 1.4% to digital newsbrands.

Analysis shows that TV-led multimedia campaigns using a wide variety of media are most successful at generating maximum profit return on investment.

However, ‘everyday pickups’ clients are losing out on £15.8 million potential profit through underinvesting in newsbrands, particularly print.

Print newsbrands' minimum recommended share of budget
Digital newsbrands' minimum recommended share of budget

Adspend patterns

The total spend allocated to digital display, video and search in the ‘everyday pickups’ super-category was 36% in 2017 and the trend towards online spend is accelerating. TV has been most affected by the move to online media, losing 16 share points since 2013. Of the established media, only out of home and cinema have maintained share during this period.

Print newsbrands’ share of advertising expenditure has stabilised since 2014, albeit spend levels have always been relatively low at around 3%. Spend in digital newsbrands has hovered around 1% of total media spend over the last five years.

With a daily audience of 15.2 million in 2017 and weekly coverage of 31 million, according to latest PAMCo data, digital newsbrands build mass reach very quickly in a quality environment and achieve high frequency, so it is surprising that they do not take a higher share of digital spend.

Campaign PROI: print

Low cost, frequently purchased brands such as those typically found in the ‘everyday pickups’ super-category need to be particularly alert to maximising profit returns on media spend, as both margins and absolute monetary profit levels are lower than for more expensive goods. Benchmarketing’s profit return on investment analysis shows that for every £1 spent, the likely total short to medium-term campaign profit after costs is likely to be under £0.50 in this category. So even the smallest variation in campaign PROI will assist longer-term profitability.

Average print spend currently sits at 2.9% of overall media budgets, so it falls into the lowest third (tertile) of cases analysed. Multimedia campaigns in this tertile generate a PROI of just 0.12. Considerably higher campaign profitability is discovered when print newsbrand spend is between 3% and 17% of the total campaign investment. When print newsbrands are included at this level, the PROI multiplier for the campaign more than trebles to 0.41.

This still means that campaigns only pay back about 40% of the media investment in the short to medium-term. Remember that profit calculations have already accounted for all media and cost of goods, so any PROI figure of over 1.00 is paying back on top of the initial investment in the short-term. However there is a long-term multiplier effect of between two and three times, particularly when established media channels are used, meaning profit follows at a later time.

PROI is 0.41
when print newsbrands are at optimum level

Campaign PROI: digital

For the first time, the profitability of adding digital newsbrands to campaigns specifically can be quantified.

It is still early days, as the vast majority of campaigns allocate just a few percentage points of budget to newsbrand sites. It is also evident that campaigns using any form of online media are also subject to low PROI. The cost saving in buying these new media does not result in higher profit returns, even in the short to medium-term.

There are indications that adjusting digital newsbrands’ share upwards helps increase overall campaign profits. Campaigns that allocate between 0.7% and 2.1% of overall media budget to digital newsbrands generate the highest profit levels, with a PROI of 0.37.

PROI is 0.37
when digital newsbrands are at optimum level

The profit gap

The current average 2.9% investment in print newsbrands elicits a campaign profit of £1.9 million. If the average rose to the recommended 7% minimum share of media spend to optimise overall short to medium-term campaign profit levels, the additional profit released could be as much as £14 million.

For digital newsbrands, the recommendation is to earmark a slightly higher share of overall media spend, at 1.4%. This would elicit potential additional profit of £1.8 million.



  Missing profit
  £2.9m - £1.1m = £1.8m 
Missing profit
 £15.9m - £1.9m = £14m
Potential campaign profit
£7.8m x £0.37= £2.9m
Potential campaign profit
£38.8m x £0.41 = £15.9m
Recommended average
investment in online newsbrands

1.4% = £7.8m
Recommended average
investment in print newsbrands

7.0% = £38.8m
Campaign profit
£3.3m x £0.32 = £1.1m
Campaign profit
£16.1m x £0.2 = £3.2m
Current investment in online newsbrands
0.6% = £3.3m
Current investment in print newsbrands
2.9% = £16.1m

Current 'everyday pickups'  super-category spend = £554m

Total missing profit =

Where should the money come from?

To understand how budgets in the ‘everyday pickups ’ super-category can be effectively realigned, Benchmarketing looked at two separate pieces of further analysis in addition to PROI calculations – adstock and response curves.

Adstock is strongest for audio-visual channels in the ‘everyday pickups’ super-category. Adstock of 80% or so is typically associated with a long-term branding message. Print newsbrands have an acceptable carry-over, which is probably reflective of the way that they are used in this category. There are few branding campaigns and more one-off, tactical ads.

Response curve analysis indicates that TV should not be cut to fund other media – it is the most scaleable medium, delivering incremental profits far longer than any other channel. Digital display is currently receiving a disproportionate level of spend in light of its response curve. This suggests that the 26.5% of ‘everyday pickups’ media expenditure currently invested in digital display is subject to diminishing returns.

The recommendation is therefore to adjust online budgets to allow for a greater proportion of digital newsbrands display (and potentially video) and to increase print newsbrands to 7% minimum as a secondary medium.