Last year’s record inflation and the ongoing economic uncertainty have led to speculations of a possible recession. As such, many industries and business leaders are moving ahead with caution. But how do marketers look at this scenario? RRD recently conducted a study to gain some insights.
Among the events that affected the world last year, record inflation and economic uncertainties have been notable, leading to speculations and concerns about a possible recession. While this economic uncertainty has affected different sectors and job functions across geographies in different ways, most businesses and business leaders are moving ahead with caution.
Amid these concerns, how are marketers looking at this economic downturn, and how are they approaching print and digital strategies this year? R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company (RRD) recently surveyed 300 in-house marketing decision-makers to gain insights. A key finding is that marketers are viewing this economic uncertainty as a catalyst for growth. The following are the key findings in detail.
Marketers See Economic Uncertainty as an Opportunity for Growth
About 73% of surveyed marketers said their companies looked at the economic downturn or recession as a strategic opportunity to grow their market share by increasing marketing spending.
There have been significant discussions about marketing budget cuts due to economic uncertainty. According to a study by Integrate and Demand Metric, 57% of B2B marketers said their budgets were the same or lesser than that of 2021. Further, about 20% said they were hit with mid-year budget cuts. Despite all these talks, about 54% of respondents expect their companies’ overall marketing budgets to grow this year.
Marketers Believe Optichannel Path Offers Better Engagement
About 66% of respondents said their companies employ optichannel marketing. Optichannel, in simple words, can be referred to as marketing communication and outreach using multiple channels where the intended audiences will most likely engage. Optichannel is often supported by real-time data.
About 58% of respondents also said that one of the benefits of combining digital and print channels is keeping the audiences engaged across platforms. However, decision-makers do face a few challenges to optichannel marketing. The biggest challenges to the effective execution of optichannel marketing are budget constraints and insufficient expertise.
See more: How SMBs Can Improve Revenue Marketing By Leveraging Strategic Marketing Risks
Marketers Have Renewed Their Focus on Print Marketing
About 68% of the survey respondents reported that large-scale digital and social platforms changes over the last six months had influenced their marketing strategies. About 71% of marketers have reallocated their budgets from digital channels to direct mail, signage, brochures, and other print channels due to the changes. Further, 62% said that their departments’ utilization of print materials either remained the same or increased in the last two years. According to respondents, print marketing has certain benefits.
The top benefits include:
- Being able to share physical copies of the information
- Acting as an offline channel for consumers to consider product purchases, and
- Delivering interactive and memorable experiences.
Top benefits of print marketing over digital
Source: The Optichannel Opportunity Report
Despite an increased focus on print marketing, about 38% of marketers find it challenging to track response rates effectively.
Technologies Fostering a Seamless CX Gain Importance
According to the study, campaign performance (46%) overtook cost (25%) as an element that matters most when marketers determine which channels to use for specific marketing campaigns. Marketers are also employing innovative strategies to supplement the versatility of print materials. These strategies include using QR codes, automated trigger messages, and RFIDs.
Innovative strategies marketers are using augment print channel’s versatility
Source: The Optichannel Opportunity Report
About 85% of marketers have access to sufficient customer data to support effective decision-making, which means adopting new tools and technologies has become more impactful than ever before.
Use the Economic Downturn as a Catalyst
Economic uncertainty will undoubtedly continue to impact the world and businesses. However, it is not an excuse to cut marketing budgets as it is counterproductive. Instead, the solution is to develop smart strategies to reallocate budgets to the right marketing channels and platforms and create impactful campaigns that engage the audience across the various stages of their buyer’s journey. To achieve this, marketers should invest in the right technology and leverage data smartly.
As can be seen from the study, the ongoing economic downturn can be used as a catalyst to gain customers and more market share while leveraging the right technology, channels, and data.
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