What Marketers Think About the Economy and How They Will React to Market Uncertainty

According to Insider Intelligence’s report, senior marketing leaders are pretty optimistic about the economy and their fortunes in 2023. At the same time, they have realized the need to make specific changes in their priorities by accepting the swiftness of the economy.

If you look at the economic outlook of the USA in 2023, 43.5% of the marketing leaders (whereas the survey included 117 leaders in total) expect the GDP (Gross Domestic Production) to jump up. On the other hand, 27% think there won’t be any changes in the GDP, and 22.6% claimed that it would get slower but still be able to avoid the recession. The number of leaders who think there will be a mild or massive recession is relatively low (only 7%).

Another search result shows that almost half of the marketing leaders (45.3%) think inflation will continue rising. Meanwhile, 33.1% of the marketing leaders in the research expect the inflation rate to remain the same, and 20.1% believe there will be a slight decrease in inflation.

Because of the ill-defined economic outlook and uncertainty, marketing leaders have become spryer than ever. They are trying to adjust their strategic plans to effectively tackle the situation.

Changes to Be Implemented as a Result of the US Economic Outlook

It’s an “Adapt or Die” kind of situation. The signs indicate the economy’s ineptness, further forcing the marketers to make specific changes in the coming 6 months.

According to Insider Intelligence’s results, the changes implemented as a result of the US economic outlook are as follows:

  • 52.0% will change their marketing messages.
  • 49.7% will change their marketing channels.
  • 46.9% will revise some or all of their technology implementation plans.
  • 46.3% will reduce the number of open positions.
  • 44.6% will change some or all of the market expansion plans.
  • 44.1% will fix some or all of their product launch plans.
  • 43.5% will reduce spending on ad hoc programs.
  • 39.5% will shift spending from outside agencies or services to in-house.
  • 38.4% will go spending from in-house to outside agencies or services.
  • 35.0% have already reduced spending with outside agencies or services.

Priority Functional Areas for Marketing Leaders

As regards priority functional areas, the most often cited ones include marketing systems/technology, digital transformation, advertising and customer insights/data, and customer loyalty.

The breakdown is as follows:

  • 38.4% of respondents consider “Marketing Systems/Technology” the priority functional area.
  • 36.2% of respondents think of “Digital Transformation” as the priority functional area.
  • 33.9% of respondents think of “Advertising and Customer Insights/Data” as the priority functional area.
  • 33.3% of respondents believe “Customer Loyalty” is the priority functional area.

These disciplines are selected by comparing them with the priority functional areas in 2022. However, “Digital Transformation” was the only one cited as a priority by 22.6% of marketing leaders this year.

Channel Investments Marketing Leaders Are Considering in 2023        

The five channels that will become the most vital for marketing leaders in 2023 are the same as last year. It includes “Social and Media Advertising,” “Display and Online Video Advertising,” “Mobile Apps,” “Website,” and “Email.”

Here are a few critical points mentioned regarding channel investments:

  • “Website” shows the most significant shift compared to 2022. It emerged as one of the top five marketing touchpoints of 2022, as 53.1% of respondents chose it. In 2023, 40.7% of the respondents will consider it an investment channel.
  • Traditional TV is another investment channel showing a considerable decline. In 2022, 27.1% of the respondents considered it a priority, but now, only 17.5% think the same about it.
  • 9 in 10 respondents (9%) consider “Metaverse” a priority in 2022. Now, the results are different as more than 1 in 5 (22%) claim it will be a center of attention for marketing leaders in 2023. Given that budgets are still under critical observation, it has yet to be decided whether anything like this will happen. However, marketers are optimistic about trying different channels and learning something new from them in the coming year.

US Market Developments Marketers Think Would Affect Their Businesses

US market developments that marketers think would affect their businesses in 2023 include the following:

  • US inflation as 23.9% of marketers believe that it will be the most impactful one.
  • US GDP growth is another development that 15.9% of marketers consider impactful for their businesses.
  • 15.4% have claimed the US unemployment rate will impact businesses.
  • 13.1% said Global supply chain, 9.6% said War in Ukraine, 7.7% said Domestic competition, 6.3% said Midterm elections, 4.2% said International competition, and 4.0% said regulation would impact the businesses.

The Takeaway

The final take of Insider Intelligence on this overall survey is that marketers are forced to act acrobatically based on the idea of uncertainty in the economy. However, they are willing to experience what will work for them.

Social media players showed weak revenue growth in 2022, but marketers still think these campaigns are going nowhere soon. According to Dave Frankland, the Insider Intelligence Analyst, social media still works for many brands, so marketers are planning to continue spending on it.

The significant decline in the website as an investment channel is quite surprising. However, it might be happening because brands already have official sites and don’t have to make another one or refresh their existing websites every year. On the other hand, they can’t do the same regarding marketing campaigns on display, social, or email.

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