Recession-​Proof Industries in 2023


Where to find recession-​proof industries?

With the end of the year quickly approaching, the economy is on everyone’s mind. There has been talk of a predicted recession. BIA Advisory Services and SalesFuel hosted a webinar, “Winning Local Media Strategies: Top Recession-​Proof Opportunities for 2023” to share their research and projections for next year. Unsurprisingly, few people agree on what the economy will do. Here are a few data points regarding recession-​proof industries and media sales from this webinar.

U.S. CEO Economic Outlook for 2023

According to BIA data, CEOs expect the following conditions next year.

  • 43% bracing for a slowdown
  • 29% anticipating conditions to start improving again
  • 28% expecting little change

Recession-​proof Businesses in 2023

Previously, small businesses were originally forecast to be exempt from the recession. New data suggests that 41% of small businesses owners predict the economy over the next 6 months to be somewhat worse. They also said that inflation was their biggest issue with employing quality personnel as second. However, there is an opportunity to help these local companies with their advertising by using market intelligence tools, such as AdMall. Check out this blog post to see what content marketing types local businesses are using.

If there is a recession, BIA analysts mentioned that it will be the first that many media salespeople will experience. Therefore, it is important to distinguish which media channels will reach target audiences and what content they will respond to.

You might think a recession is a reason for panic. Don’t worry.  Even in a slowdown, consumers will spend money. That means your clients should advertise to them in order to stay top of mind.

Local Market Ad Spending Projections for 2023

Total traditional media revenue is projected to be $84 billion. Close at hand, total digital media revenue is expected to reach $81 billion. Looking to the future with the effects of the digital revolution, digital media is expected to overtake traditional by 2025.

Top five projected media channels that businesses will spend advertising money on in 2023:

  1. Direct mail ($37 billion)
  2. Mobile ($33 billion)
  3. PC or Laptop ($29 billion)
  4. TV OTA ($16 billion)
  5. Radio OTA ($10 billion)

Additionally, media sales reps should run a digital audit in AdMall to show prospects what media formats competitors are using.

Recession-​proof Industries for Consumers in 2023

Consumer Behavior in 2023:

  • 35% delaying major purchases (homes/​cars)
  • 29% paying down debt
  • 28% intend on reducing holiday spending
  • 24% allocating more income to savings
  • 14% staying in a job they don’t enjoy

With these statistics, we must consider what consumers will be spending money on in 2023. 

Five recession-​proof verticals in 2023:

  1. Education — Experts predict that the education vertical market will spend $1.7 billion on local advertising in 2023. Here’s how that spending will break out by media format:
    • 31% going to digital advertising
    • 29% direct mail
    • 15% TV OTA
    • 11% OOH
    • 9% PC/​laptop
  2. Health — projected to spend $13 billion
    • 36% digital
    • 31% direct mail
    • 15% PC/​laptop
    • 14% TV OTA
    • 6% radio OTA
  3. Finance/​Insurance — expected to spend $24 billion
    • 50% digital
    • 25% direct mail
    • 24% mobile
    • 16% PC/​laptop
    • 9% radio OTA
  4. Auto Repair — predicted to spend $12 billion
    • 56% digital
    • 25% PC/​laptop
    • 18% TV OTA
    • 17% mobile
    • 8% radio OTA
  5. Technology — projected to spend $12 billion
    • 61% digital
    • 28% mobile
    • 23% PC/​laptop
    • 14% direct mail
    • 8% TV OTA

Three recession-​proof subverticals in 2023:

  1. Hobby & Toy Stores — This subvertical is expected to spend approximately $983 million with 56% going towards traditional ad spending.
  2. Pharmaceutical & Medicine Manufacturers — $2 billion with 71% being spent on traditional ads
  3. Performing Arts Companies — $1 billion with 51% on traditional ads

Further, BIA reports that the education subvertical including colleges and universities will be spending $938 million in local TV ads with 31% going towards digital advertising. 41% of college tuition buyers have responded to ads on a social network within the past 30 days. Online reviews from the past 3 months influence 44% of these buyers. 11% of this audience also plan to pay for tutoring services. 

Hospitals will be spending $4.76 billion in local TV ads, with 38% going to digital ads. 39% of their audience, health care patients, already have a name in mind when looking for a business online. 

Auto and direct property insurers will spend $2.6 billion on local TV ads, while 51% of their ad budgets will go towards digital formats. In addition, nearly 10% of the nation's adults want to switch to a better auto insurance provider within the next 12 months. 63% would like to work with an independent business. 43% get most of their TV programming from OTT/​streaming services.

It is crucial to use market intelligence tools, like AdMall to:

  • Run digital audits on clients
  • Know where their consumers will or won’t shop
  • Understand what channels consumers typically use
  • Learn which ads consumers will or won’t respond to
  • Access recent and relevant research/​data on industries

Photo by John Towner from Unsplash.


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Kyla Snodgrass

Kyla Snodgrass

Kyla Snodgrass is an industry trends analyst at SalesFuel. She is responsible for local account research and reports. Kyla is a Miami University alumna holding a Bachelor of Arts degree with co-​majors in strategic communication and fashion design.