The world changed seemingly overnight 18 months ago. Since then, we’ve all had to readjust to a new normal and the marketing world was no different. No matter how tiresome the COVID-19 topic may seem, it’s essential to the future of marketing to understand how impactful the pandemic was on the industry. Thanks to an annual study from CMO, we now have insights into just how much of the marketing world was altered during COVID-19 and the level of marketers’ optimism heading into the new year.
How marketers’ optimism has changed
The CMO Survey found marketers’ optimism for the U.S. economy rebounded beyond mid-pandemic levels and started to stabilize around pre-pandemic levels during the August 2021 survey. CMO asked respondents how optimistic they were about the overall U.S. economy on a scale of 0–100. They found that marketers’ optimism is at 69.6%, up from the 66.3% value reported in February 2021 and up dramatically from 50.9 % at the height of COVID-19 in June 2020.
Consistent with this finding, only 37.2% of marketers reported being “less optimistic” compared to record-setting high of 85.3% in June 2020 and low of 22.0% in February 2021. This decline in optimism regarding next quarter aligns with the rise of the COVID-19 Delta variant and re-application of pandemic protocols, according to CMO. The industries with the most optimism are:
- Pharma/Biotech – 50%
- Retail/Wholesale – 44.4%
- Transportation – 44.4%
This should be no surprise to anyone watching the news, of course. Your clients should be tuned in to what’s happening around the COVID-19 pandemic, as the industries closest to it are expected to thrive.
To help your clients, you should turn to AdMall’s AudienceSCAN profiles, powered by SalesFuel. Here, you can use information we have on pharma ad responders, like 21.1% of US adults have asked a doctor or pharmacist about a specific medication after seeing an advertisement for it. Or for retail store shoppers, you can point out that 14.6% of U.S. adults shop at retail stores, malls or shopping centers at least twice a week.
So, marketers’ optimism is high heading into the next year, as overall spending is expected to grow by 13.4%. But where are companies needing to direct their marketing resources going forward? Simply put, digital. It’s well known at this point that digital marketing is not only the future, but the present and your clients need to be actively advertising digitally these days. It’s not too late, however, for those who haven’t made the jump.
“Digital marketing transformations have continued alongside the global pandemic,” writes CMO. “A majority of companies report moving past a nascent phase (31.1% in this phase a year ago to only 8.6% today) and into emerging (53.1%), integrated (26.9%), or institutionalized (11.4%) phases. Progress was less dependent on size and more dependent on percentage of sales on the Internet, with companies with >10% internet sales being almost 2.5 times more likely to have an established digital marketing transformation than companies with <10% internet sales.”
What does this mean for your clients?
With marketers’ optimism about economic conditions at such a high level for the next year, and advertising spending expected to increase, your clients shouldn’t be hesitant to spend money. While the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t over, living in a post-vaccine world has given back some sense of normalcy heading into 2022. And digital advertising is where they should be headed as well. Companies who weren’t interested, or knowledgeable, about digital are now trending that direction. It’s inevitable that everyone will be selling some sort of digital in the future, so now is the best time to teach them how to advertise in the virtual world.
Photo by Canva Studio from Pexels