The Marketer’s Toolkit: what marketers need to know to succeed in 2023 | WARC | The Feed
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The Marketer’s Toolkit: what marketers need to know to succeed in 2023
Ninety-five percent of marketers globally expect to be affected by economic recession, according to a survey for WARC’s Marketer’s Toolkit 2023, an annual report that identifies the most important market trends that marketers should focus on to help drive their business in the year ahead.
End-of-pandemic optimism at the start of 2022 faded quickly as the war in Ukraine turned the world on its head. The invasion has had a transformative impact on energy prices, inflation and the cost of living around the world. The IMF is forecasting the weakest growth in twenty years, except for the global financial crisis and the worst phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Five themes for 2023
The following key themes emerged from WARC’s survey of 1,700 marketers worldwide for The Marketer’s Toolkit: Global Trends Report:
- Marketing in a cost of living crisis: While almost all marketers are concerned about the impact of the economic crisis, more respondents are planning to increase spend than last year, across both brand and performance. However, 36% are planning to cut marketing investment, despite evidence from prior downturns suggesting they should maintain spending levels.
- Price vs. planet: a false dichotomy: 37% of represented companies expect to continue with their sustainability objectives despite the economic situation, while 35% foresee only “some small compromises.” Brands are also challenging the idea that eco-credentials necessarily result in price increases, with examples of local sourcing and use of the circular economy potentially lowering costs.
- A reckoning for Big Tech: The majority of advertisers (62%) agree that a range of changing market dynamics are forcing strategic shifts from the tech giants, and respondents concerned about the dominance of the ‘duopoly’ have halved over the past two years. More respondents plan to decrease investment in Facebook than increase it for the first time in six years, which suggests that brands are resetting their relationships with Big Tech.
- The clash of demand, delivery and disruption: Supply chain disruptions are expected to hit brands in 2023, but not evenly. Sixty percent of marketers anticipate non-trivial supply chain disruptions, but just 26% expect they will be significant or severe. This rises to one in three amongst European respondents. And 52% felt challenger brands would be the hardest hit, as they struggle for profitability. Marketers have an important role to play in managing and minimizing supply chain disruption
- The era of ‘bubble up’ culture: Media and audience fragmentation was the second biggest concern in our survey, with 34% of respondents picking it. Among North American respondents, it was the highest ranked. Two-thirds of marketers expect to focus more on platforms that allow them to stitch together interest-based communities to create reach in a fragmented media world. Other channels with deeply embedded communities such as gaming and influencers/social media content are also set to attract more investment from advertisers next year.
A sample version of the global report featuring the first chapter, is available to read here.
The full series, available to WARC subscribers, will include the following reports:
- The Future of Digital Commerce (launching December 2022)
- The Future of Media Report (launching January 2023)
- The China Toolkit (launching January 2023)
The reports will be complemented by a series of podcasts.
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