Surviving the Storm: Creative Ways Brands Can Weather the Recession of 2023

Recessions can be difficult for companies but can also present opportunities for those ready to pivot. One key consideration for brands is how to meet their customers’ changing needs and behaviors. The COVID-19 pandemic, for instance, saw a shift toward online shopping, so brands may want to focus on digital marketing channels. Businesses must stay agile and responsive to changing economic and market conditions and shifts in consumer behavior. By doing so, they can weather the recession’s storm and come out even stronger on the other side.

With COVID slowly fizzling out, we’re faced with higher inflation and a looming recession. As brands and advertisers enter 2023, there is an inclination to tighten the belt, but this is not the time to cut budgets and stop advertising. We’ve seen this before—business is cyclical. When things look bleak, companies stop spending. But hindsight is 20/20. Looking back, successful companies are planning and pivoting, not panicking. Brands must stay focused on their long-term goals and continue investing in marketing and advertising, even in a recession. By being proactive and adaptable, businesses can position themselves for success in the long run. Plus, if you are intelligent and diligent about your spending, you can buy up traffic much more cost-effectively.

Brand identity and relevancy are of utmost importance. 

Consumers may be more cautious about spending during economic uncertainty, which can challenge brands trying to reach and engage with them. However, cutting ad budgets altogether is not necessarily the right approach. Instead, brands may want to focus on maximizing the efficiency and effectiveness of their ad spend by being strategic and targeted in their marketing efforts and testing different approaches.

The Wall Street Journal recently highlighted AirBnB and its focus on brand marketing instead of search marketing. This includes additional public relations practices to drive news coverage of its business and advertising campaigns on channels such as television1. In this case, unaided web traffic is off the charts, so buying new customers is not as important as concentrating marketing spending on other brands and segments.

Not all brands have the resources or scale of large companies like Airbnb, and businesses must identify appropriate strategies for their size and goals. However, there are still ways that smaller brands can be proactive and adapt to changes in the market.

What’s your 2023 resolution for continued success?

Resolutions are not just personal. Companies need them too. Here are some ideas to help kickstart your 2023 strategic planning.

Minimize broad-reach media 

Broad-reach platforms like TV & Radio produce mass awareness and extend brand relevance, which is excellent. However, the expense and lack of targeting/tracking can burn through the pocketbook quickly.  Shifting some funds to streaming TV (Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, etc.) and audio (Pandora, Spotify, iHeart, Soundcloud) allows brands to more accurately target specific audiences and use retargeting capabilities, potentially reaching people who might not have been exposed to their ads through traditional media. By focusing on streaming platforms, brands may also reduce their overall advertising expenses while maintaining a solid presence and reaching their target audience.

As of 2021, 82% of US TV households have at least one connected TV device, and 82.1 million Americans are paid subscribers to on-demand music streaming2

Add more digital platforms

Optimize for additional digital platforms that target consumers outside the home or office with a data-driven approach. Consider digital OOH with programmatic technology to target specific audience segments more precisely.

There are many advantages to a pDOOH approach that traditional OOH does not have. pDOOH reach is extremely large, with thousands of screens where data is used to identify the exact locations and times of day when your target is most likely to be present. Targeting is endless—making it very efficient and allowing a marketing budget to spread out 3, 4, or 5 months that would otherwise be spent in 4 weeks. 

Unlike most other programmatic platforms, OOH is big, bold, non-intrusive, and non-skippable. Did we mention it’s safe too? Brands know precisely where their ads are running in real time. It’s no wonder brands are shifting—with 50% of digital billboard viewers noticing them “all” or “most” of the time3 and 65% of views engaged in actions such as web visitation, social media visits, and verified foot traffic4.

Utilize dynamic ads

By utilizing dynamic ads with organic or user-generated social media content on platforms like CTV or pDOOH, businesses can effectively target ads to the right audience, increasing the chances of conversion. Undoubtedly, this will help budget while regularly A/B testing creative to optimize and increase ROI.

These fresh tactics are just a few ideas to grease the wheels. There are many other ways to accelerate marketing and sales as we begin 2023. Like anything else in business, it’s being proactive and thinking outside the box to find new ways to accelerate marketing and sales. With the right strategic approach, you will find more revenue despite the current economic factors. 

At Rareview, these discussions and brainstorming sessions started with our clients in 2022. Identifying market conditions early and adjusting strategies proactively yield the best results. However, it’s not too late. If you need help, give us a call.

 

Resources:

  1. Graham, Megan, and Brian Chesky. “Airbnb Says Its Focus on Brand Marketing Instead of Search Is Working.” The Wall Street Journal, 3 November 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/airbnb-says-its-focus-on-brand-marketing-instead-of-search-is-working-11667506438. Accessed 22 December 2022.
  2. Leichtman Research Group Press Release “Actionable Research on the Broadband, Media and Entertainment Industries” https://www.leichtmanresearch.com/39-of-adults-watch-video-via-a-connected-tv-device-daily/
  3. 18 latest DOOH statistics you just cannot ignore https://fs.hubspotusercontent00.net/hubfs/14496305/The%20Neuron%20Infographic%20Stats%20FINAL.pdf
  4. 18 latest DOOH statistics you just cannot ignore https://fs.hubspotusercontent00.net/hubfs/14496305/The%20Neuron%20Infographic%20Stats%20FINAL.pdf