In my previous blog, I covered how the current economic climate, including factors like inflation, labor shortages and geo-political blockers are impacting consumer behavior and spending, as well as leading business executives to place extra scrutiny on marketing spend. So what can marketers do to focus their efforts, prove their business value and progress in 2023?
Creative is king
A key way to stretch your recession marketing budget further is to ensure your creative is truly capturing attention and not just in-view. A 2008 study by Millward Brown found that creative had five times more impact on profit than budget allocation.
Similarly, using programmatic data to inform your creative messaging can help you ensure your message stays relevant to the fast-changing macro environment. With only 8% of consumers saying they thought brands should stop advertising during the pandemic disruption (data from Kantar), what is more important to consumers is trustworthy brand messaging that resonates with their daily struggles.
Use dynamic analytics to find your ideal audience and reduce waste
In volatile times, using static consumer profiles based on just demography or geography will no longer be effective in reaching the right audience, leading to waste of your marketing budget advertising to consumers who do not want your product. First-party data can help seed a better strategy by helping find new audiences with similar attributes to your paying customers. But even if you don’t have first-party data, using an Advanced Pixel to understand your website audience and their behavior can also be a great place to start.
Either way, it’s what you do with this data that matters. Having a partner who can help with data science expertise in augmenting your data with a wide range of additional third-party data such as geo-contextual, bidstream, supply-path and macro data such as weather or health can help you with a more strategic approach that will optimize your budget.
It’s time to rethink recession marketing. Discover how the right media strategy can ensure your desired outcomes are met and prove ROI, even during economic uncertainty.
Don’t turn off all brand activity
That same 2008 study by Millward Brown I already mentioned indicated that 60% of the brands that went ‘dark’ during an economic downturn (no TV ad spend for 6 months) saw ‘brand use’ decrease 24% and ‘brand image’ decrease 28%. Brands that cut their ad budget at a higher rate relative to their competitors were at a greater risk of share loss. In fact, our report ‘Unboxing the global retail consumer’ highlights how during times of turmoil, trust-focused brand messaging can be even more effective with increasingly nervous consumers who will spend more time assessing purchases.
The reality for many brands may be that their budgets just don’t stretch to big-budget brand commercials where the actual revenue or market share impact may not be felt for months, in a time when they’re likely to be under pressure from shareholders and executives to increase profits sooner.
However, brand advertising doesn’t have to mean a potentially wasteful mass market approach. An omnichannel approach to brand ads that includes more targeted digital formats like connected TV, online video and contextually-driven display will still allow you to impact brand recall and positive sentiment amongst a more targeted audience.
Measurement & optimization
With cookies on their way out, even without a global recession looming, marketers should already be thinking about adjusting their measurement framework. 2023 will be the last year when testing can take place in a controlled environment alongside cookie-based measurement.
Additionally, adopting a full-funnel approach to your measurement framework can help justify investments at all stages of the funnel to support brand activity, which in point three we just learned is super important. New, rich attention data is the ideal option for going beyond measuring viewability at the upper end of the marketing funnel. By driving incrementality in attention alongside recall as measured by brand surveys, you can start to understand shorter term leading indicators for previously tricky-to-measure longer term brand goals.
The most important consideration in creating your measurement framework and assessing partners is to ensure you can benchmark what good looks like. This is only possible with a truly agnostic view of the market – partners with only a limited dataset may end up skewing your results.
Rethink your digital strategy
Trends indicate that social media may not be the best place to advertise right now. Consumers are increasingly sceptical of what they see on social media, brand safety concerns are rife, and there is a decrease in trust that platforms are handling their data carefully.
In addition, seven out of ten consumers are taking a less click-happy approach to purchasing products (from our report Unboxing the Global Retail Consumer), which supports the need for a more sophisticated full-funnel, omnichannel strategy to planning and targeting.
Overall, there is no need to panic when it comes to marketing in 2023. By making some adjustments to your strategy you can still plan, activate and measure data-driven, agile and impactful campaigns that will build your brand and encourage consumers to take action.