Global recession and cost-of-living crisis on marketers’ agenda

By our News Team | 2022

Almost all marketing respondents to a Warc survey say the impact of the recession is affecting their planning.

Global recession and the cost-of-living crisis will, unsurprisingly, be among the key factors impacting marketing in 2023, according to research from data and analytics organisation Warc.

The Marketer’s Toolkit 2023: Global Trends Report lists several key factors that will inform planning and decision-making by marketers. Among them:

Marketing Trends

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Most marketers expect to be impacted by the economic recession

The combination of inflation and a probable recession makes this an atypical downturn, and 95% of survey respondents say the impact of the recession is affecting their planning.

Long-standing advice to marketers to maintain ad spend and build share of voice is even more important as consumers are more likely to seek out less expensive brands. While 36% of Toolkit respondents say they plan on reducing marketing spend, importantly and up from 23% last year, 31% now say they are increasing spend.

Big Tech giants will be changing their strategies

Sixty-two percent of marketers agree that Big Tech companies are being forced to shift strategies in the face of a range of changing market factors

Growth is slowing in Big Tech’s core sectors, including digital advertising and e-commerce, and Alphabet and Meta’s ‘duopoly’ is being challenged. For the first time in six years, there is a negative investment sentiment towards Facebook, with 30% of survey respondents planning on decreasing their investment, versus 23% who are planning to increase.

As Big Tech companies seek new sources of revenue, from digital healthcare to the Metaverse, they could do well to prioritise artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities. For a third consecutive year, survey respondents have named AI as the most important emerging technology for their brands.

Media and audience fragmentation will increase

Thirty-four percent of marketers are concerned about media and audience fragmentation, which is now influencing budgets

Culture formation is increasingly a ‘bubble up’ phenomenon that is shaped by communities, ‘tribes’ and fandoms across a decentralised media ecosystem.

For marketers, this means a rethink of the traditional notions of ‘mainstream’. Taking part in the bubble-up culture will require brands to find authentic ways of engaging with numerous different communities while remaining true to a clear, overarching brand proposition.

Creators are especially popular with Gen Z. For marketers and media owners, these influencers are a route to cultural relevance and authentic partnerships can yield significant benefits for all parties.

Two-thirds (66%) of respondents expect a rise in investment in targeting interest-based communities. Sixty-three percent said the same for gaming – a space where the community is deeply embedded – and 52% plan to increase their budgets with influencers and other social media content.

“We began the year hoping to put the economic havoc of the pandemic behind us. Instead, within weeks the war in Ukraine has had a transformative impact on energy prices, inflation and the cost of living around the world,” says Aditya Kishore, insight director at Warc.

Find out more about The Marketer’s Toolkit 2023: Global Trends report here.

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