Trends & Insights

Slashing Marketing Budgets to Survive the Recession? We Have A Better Alternative

Published On: 28 Jun 2023


Recession marketing lessons from advertising measurement experts.jpg
Recession marketing advice: Don't slash budgets! Learn how holistic ad measurement can transform the game

Recession fears are rolling like thunder, and brands are bracing themselves.

Recession marketing is a whole different animal.

But is cutting ad spend the only way out?

Statistics show that 30% of brands plan to cut their marketing budgets in 2023. Will other companies follow suit? Probably, but they don't have to if they use tools that make a case for advertising ROI.

Stronger measurements and attribution frameworks help. Brands who understand this see the recession marketing as a marathon, not a sprint. They want to optimize ad spend instead of pulling back.

Our customers are using Lifesight Measurements to spend wisely, not less, this recession season. Why not take some inspiration from them?

Recession marketing strategy #1: Assess, tweak, and economize - Spend only where it matters

Brands recognize that old-school, instinct-led media plans are no longer pulling their weight. Take social ads, for example. An increasing number of key consumer demographics are shifting away from social platforms like Facebook for various reasons.

Putting all your ad budgets on Meta properties is like shooting in the dark, especially as you build your recession marketing strategy. Its time to reassess your media mix and tweak your budget allocations.

Sure, 83% of Gen Z uses social media for shopping. But, within social media, there are delineations brands need to make for robust recession marketing strategies. For example, gen-Z is hanging out on Instagram and TikTok to look up what they need.

So should brands targeting them spend all their money on TikTok, Meta and Google properties? Perhaps not.

Recently, a popular channel called FitnessBlender posted a letter to all its subscribers about price hikes in their fitness subscriptions. They noted that revenue from YouTube ads has plummeted due to free ad blockers. It made their content creation a loss rather than a revenue stream. This is not to say you shouldn't include YouTube or Facebook Ads as a part of your strategy. But knowing how to use these channels, when and for whom, is vital.

Then, we have Connected TV or CTV advertising.

In 2023, it is being touted as the next best thing since sliced bread. There are87 million ad-supported households for CTV in the US alone. CTV ads are unskippable, creating higher ad completion rates, which could be an inviting metric in the times of recession marketing.

Increased subscription rates and more rigid password-sharing rules are causing a ripple effect. SVOD fatigue and cord-cutting are transforming how brands look at their prime TV ad spends. Subscribers are pushing for ads rather than higher subscription fees. Statistics drive home the argument for CTV ads decreasing CPM. CTV is far-reaching across all age groups with precise household-level targeting. Especially for brands focusing on affluent audiences in emerging economies, CTV sounds like an excellent proposition in their recession marketing strategy.

It may seem like a great time to maximize ad budgets to CTV then - all internet advisory is telling you that!

But recession marketing doesn't work like that. Deep diving into which channels work for which demographics, personas and behavioral attributes and optimizing budget allocations with real-time streaming measurement insights is more crucial than ever.

And that's precisely what Lifesight customers are doing with Measurements. They are making ROI-backed choices, not trusting just instinct or internet advice!

Lifesight Measurements is informing advertisers, in real time, specifically which channels in their media mix drive footfalls and how. And in 2023, that knowledge is power

Real-time tracking of ad spends (across CTV, social, and OOH, among others) can help evaluate ad ROI and enable cross-channel spend optimization. In addition, it directly impacts store footfall, as was seen in the case of a global eyewear brand - a Lifesight customer - targeting affluent demographics.

By measuring Visit Lift in real-time, the brand observed a direct link between their advertising efforts and store visits. Directing more budgets to high-performing channels with concentrated affluent audience cohorts resulted in a 125% increase in-store footfalls. Isn't that the dream?

What's better than slashing recession marketing budgets

  • Reassess your ad spend not to slash marketing budgets but to divert budget allocation to channels contributing to store visits.
  • Optimize budget allocation on the fly with real-time streaming measurements data and prevent ad waste.

Recession marketing strategy #2: A/B testing for creatives with a twist

Marketers and agencies work hard to deliver the most aesthetic creatives and persuasive copy for targeted ads. But that's not enough in recession marketing. You need to A/B test every part of your creative execution. Typically, performance measurement timelines are based on campaign goals: brand awareness campaigns have longer timelines and performance campaigns much shorter. Whatever be your campaign goal, recession marketing demands agility.

Elaborate testing timelines can hinder advertising ROI by contributing tremendously to ad waste. Marketing teams need sprint projects with shorter A/B tests.

Real-time A/B testing of creative execution is the way to go during a recession.

But it doesn't just stop there. The results of these tests must be incorporated into advertising strategy, channels, audience segments, and creative execution. Most important, these sprint tests must be tied to metrics that mean business like store visit lift, cost per visit, and so on.

Lifesight customers reinventing their recession marketing strategies are using Measurements to run real-time A/B tests across their creative execution lifecycle. Examples include:

  • Classic, real-time testing of ad CTAs, creatives, copy and audience segments.
  • Referral program CTA testing to evaluate which copies and offers drive new customer acquisition.
  • Real-time A/B testing for festival campaigns and seasonal sales to evaluate and double down on the ones bringing most footfalls.

What's better than slashing recession marketing budgets

  • Test your creatives on the fly. Use more of those that bring visits, not just clicks.

Get closer to recession friendly marketing with Lifesight Measurements

The addition of new channels like CTV in typical media plans and the need to garner quick ROI with a brand new recession marketing playbook are driving increased attention to holistic marketing attribution frameworks.

Brands and agencies are using Lifesight Measurements for precise media mix modeling in 2023. All with one intention: measuring the impact of ads on store visits, reducing ad waste and improving marketing-led revenue. That's what a good recession marketing playbook looks like.

An economic downturn is an excellent opportunity to hone in on measurable marketing beyond vanity metrics.

Deliberately focus on reshuffling your ad spend to more profitable channels.

Use always-on campaign and creative testing and optimization. Get closer to recession-friendly advertising.

Take your learnings beyond the downturn. The lessons are here to stay.

Get there faster with Lifesight Measurements request a demo.

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