SAN FRANCISCO — October 27, 2022— A survey conducted by Propeller Insights of 600 marketers reveals that 61% of marketing professionals nationwide believe the economy is now in a recession or will be by year’s end. These marketers believe companies must be bullish on communications during uncertain economic times and resist the temptation to “go dark.” With the road ahead projected to be rocky, what better time for a webinar that shares best practices and offers support to marketing and communications professionals?
Produced by Bospar and PRWeek, featured speakers include CVS Health’s Kathryn Metcalfe; Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s Randy Cairns; and Bospar’s Curtis Sparrer, principal, and Eric Chemi, in-house economy expert and former CNBC reporter. PRWeek’s Gideon Fidelzeid will serve as moderator.
“An uncertain economy: Thrive while others just survive” will be held Nov. 15, from 2-3 p.m. EST. The free event will discuss:
- The opposite of “going dark” and how to wisely and efficiently maintain and build brand awareness and market share
- Modifying your social media content to be bear-market appropriate
- Tapping even more liberally into the power of collaboration
- Adjusting your marketing mix to best prepare for a recession
The webinar will also address these key survey findings:
Budget cuts are coming
Around a quarter of respondents cut budgets for 2022, and 18% are being asked to cut spending for 2022 and 2023. More than a third of marketing pros are concerned about cutting budgets because they won’t be able to deliver the expected results.
Half of the respondents note that economic uncertainty is the external factor causing leadership to cut spending. Asked what they fear most about the recession, respondents cited rising costs on everything (57%), budget cuts (37%) and company downsizing (36%).
Additional signs of the times: 41% of buyers are taking more time to make purchase decisions, 55% of marketing pros were asked to take on more responsibilities, and 75% would consider doing part-time marketing contract/consulting work for extra income.
Bullish in a bear economy
The possibility of economic headwinds, however, is not causing widespread panic. Most companies aren’t halting their marketing initiatives and are doubling down on their priorities. More than a third say strengthening their brand and building trust are priorities, while just under a third say awareness-generating programs, expanding to new target audiences, and building credibility are priorities.
Recommended strategies by marketers include bolstering brand health, collaborating with external partners, focusing on “what works,” and shifting the marketing mix.
Three-quarters of marketing executives believe that companies need to be bullish on communications, social media, content marketing, and social media marketing in a bear economy.
Consistent with “softer, more human” post-Covid sentiments, 53% said they would modify their social media content to be sensitive to uncertain economic times.
Risking your competitive advantage
The question before marketers in today’s economic roller coaster: how can organizations cut budgets and remain competitive? According to the marketing pros surveyed, most say that “going dark” has long-term consequences and will harm a company. Close to half of respondents (49%) say that going dark costs a company more in the long run to get back on the radar; 47% say it enables competitors to gain share of voice and be perceived as leaders; and 46% say it creates fear, uncertainty and doubt about a company’s future.
Brand ‘bubble wrap’ for bumpy times
Whether the recession is here or on its way, marketers agree on important strategies to buoy brands during this era of uncertainty.
- Bolster brand health – Most respondents say brand-building, such as storytelling in PR and marketing, along with building trust with customers, can help companies stay healthy during uncertain economic times; in fact, 38% had already reallocated their budget to build their brand.
- Collaboration – 49% agree that collaborating more closely with valued marketing partners helps a company weather rocky times. For example, a closely aligned distributor, vendor or agency has a vested interest in both organizations’ success, providing shared collaboration advantages.
- Focus on “what works” – Most marketing professionals are not expecting to cut marketing budgets. Maintaining a steady course and doing what works is a solution for 42%; only 14% support layoffs as a solution in the recession era.
- Shift the marketing mix – To prepare for the recession, 46% of respondents are revising their marketing plans to focus on demand and revenue generation; the same percentage are planning to bring all marketing functions in-house.
Propeller Insights conducted a national online survey of 610 marketing professionals between July 29 and August 24, 2022. Respondents opted into an online database; from there, they were targeted based on demographics. To further confirm qualifications, respondents were asked to verify their information in the survey, self-identifying their qualifications. The maximum margin of sampling error was +/- 4 percentage points for a 95% confidence level.
Register here for the Nov. 15 webinar, “An uncertain economy: Thrive while others just survive.”