Efficient Advertising in the Face of an Economic Slowdown

BY Rachel Cagle
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Investors check their stocks every morning with dread. Milliennials wait for the housing market to crash with bated breath. And marketers monitor budgets while we all await a could-​be recession. The future may seem confusing and worrisome, but now isn’t the time to let your client’s fears bring their advertising to a standstill. You need to help them make the best advertising choices for their organization, now more than ever. It's time to plan some efficient advertising strategies.

Efficient Advertising in the Face of an Economic Slowdown

The Facts

There is no proof at the moment that the economic slowdown will turn into a recession. Here are the facts presented by a report from Digiday:

  • Forecasted global growth is at 2.9% (down from 5.7% in 2021)
  • Growth is expected to increase slightly to 3% in 2023
  • Global ad spending is estimated to grow by 8% (that’s only a 1.9% decrease from the initial forecast)
  • In North America, specifically, ad spending is predicted to increase by 12%

Not too staggering when it’s laid out like that, right? “Few marketers are at the slash media dollars stage,” reports Digiday. “Instead, they’re holding on to as many media dollars as they can. CEOs from the four biggest agency holding groups – WPP, Omnicom, Publicis and IPG – said as much during the recent earnings window. Senior marketers, it seems, have one eye on being able to spend more during what could become a crucial holiday season.” But it can still be difficult for people not to worry in light of all the news and desire to participate in more efficient advertising.

The Second Half of 2022

Digiday says that agencies should expect marketers to be more cautious and practice efficient advertising as the year progresses. The article lists Google and Snapchat as companies that are preparing for declining profits in the second half of the year. “Expect those numbers to shift,” says Digiday, “especially as the privacy narrative continues to further dictate how and where marketers spend their dollars online.”

What You and Your Clients Need to Do

People are preparing for the worst, but that doesn’t always mean battening down the hatches on marketing budgets. Instead, quoting Neil Barrie, the cofounder and CEO of TwentyFirstCenturyBrand, you should ask your clients these questions:

  • Is your value proposition still relevant to heightened emotional needs and financial pressures?”
  • Is your purpose still playing an additive role in culture?”

If the answers are yes, your client won’t have as much to worry about during an economic slowdown as others. If the answers are no, then it’s time to review their value proposition and purpose, as well as how the company presents both.

Practicing Efficient Advertising

The key to efficient advertising is knowing which ad media types will get the largest percentage of your client’s target audience to take action. If you and they aren’t sure which media types those are, it’s time to turn to data. And if you don’t have that on hand, don’t worry. Check out the target audience’s profile on AudienceSCAN on AdMall by SalesFuel. There, you’ll be able to identify the ad media types that got the most consumers in that group to take action within the last year. Your client can then focus their ad dollars on those types of ads.

If your client answered no to either of the questions above, it may be time to consider creating some longer-​form content to add to their marketing strategy. Blogs, white papers, datasheets, etc. are low-​cost, efficient advertising mediums that provide customers with information on the spotlighted company’s values, culture, vision, and more. All of that can help sway potential customers to choose your client’s products and services over what their competitors are offering.

Photo by Elisa Ventur