How does inflation affect your marketing efforts?

Tina Mailhot-Roberge  |  February 1, 2023

Looking at the big picture 

These are strange times for many businesses contending with the repercussions of a post-pandemic world, including consumer behavior shifts and the economic impacts of rising inflation. The pandemic caused significant disruptions, not just in the domains of health, supply chains and the economy at large, but also in the realm of marketing.  

Many businesses shifted their operations from face-to-face to digital during the pandemic. The slice of marketing budgets going towards digital channels increased notably, while online product and service sales reached an all-time high, and many offices shifted to a remote work model.   

Now that most of the western world has reached a semblance of stability, some sectors have chosen to remain digital—both in their workplaces and marketing. In contrast, others have begun reintegrating traditional channels and working modalities.  

In the post-pandemic economy, rising inflation and interest rates are influencing consumer behaviors. Marketing teams and companies must take note of these changes and adapt their messaging and tactics. One of the surest ways to understand what is happening in the marketing world is to look at data. 

The CMO Survey (Sept 2022 – 29th Edition) 

The CMO Survey is conducted biannually by Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. It takes the pulse of the marketing industry by interviewing hundreds of senior marketing executives across many sectors about top-of-mind issues for marketing leaders and stakeholders.  

The most recent survey released in September 2022 reveals important information about the transition from pre-Covid to post-Covid marketing strategies and their perceived efficacy.

Let us dive in and look at the highlights …

Companies are diversifying their marketing channels

Over the last three years, the majority (65.1%) of companies that were surveyed reported having to increase the number of different channels they use to market their offering, and half (50.0%) of them are opening or returning to face-to-face channels as part of their strategy. 41.4% of businesses actively use social channels to sell products and services, and 30.9% added a new direct-to-consumer channel to their marketing outreach efforts.

Why this is relevant

The pandemic forced consumers to shop online for both services and products, so many B2C companies are choosing to stick to digital strategies. Marketers are also increasingly using social channels, especially in the sector of B2C product sales. The pandemic shook things up for many industries, forcing businesses to diversify if they wanted to survive, grow and thrive. Yet face-to-face channels are also making a comeback post-pandemic—especially true for B2B.

Tips to succeed

Since digital shopping is now permanently cemented in consumers' lives, businesses must be prepared to meet their customers where they are by deploying smart digital marketing strategies. The digital marketing landscape is innovative and always shifting. Companies must question whether they are using the most effective and efficient marketing channels for reaching their target markets. Creative Noggin stays abreast of marketing innovations to keep their clients ahead of the digital learning curve.

Digital marketing investments are growing 

In 2022, digital marketing spending accounted for 57.9% of marketing budgets, and overall marketing investment in surveyed companies grew 10.4% during the same period. And while these companies’ revenue of these companies saw a 12.3% growth over the previous year, marketing experts predict that company spending, once inflation settles, will slow down and stabilize to pre-pandemic levels. 

Why this is relevant 

Industry leaders and decision-makers are confident that digital marketing is both the present and future of marketing. While marketing leaders report being concerned about the state of the economy, the majority of companies are either maintaining or increasing marketing spend overall. Medium and large-sized companies surveyed are not afraid to invest in their marketing department or outsourced teams as they see their revenue increasing, even in the face of rising inflation.

Tips to succeed 

Simply pouring more money into marketing does not guarantee success. When increasing marketing spend, it is crucial to be strategic about how the funds are being allocated and deployed. Make certain your marketing team or partners have a strategic plan and a timely, result-driven execution in place. This will be key to your success in times of high (and low) inflation! Discover how Creative Noggin handles large and small marketing campaigns and projects. 

The path to success 

Digital marketing has proven to be an efficient way to promote services and products across a multitude of online channels. Companies that make smart investments in their marketing by diversifying advertising channels and using digital marketing statistics to make data-driven decisions are seeing the largest gains, even during these uncertain times.

Knowing which channels are best suited for your business can be daunting. Trial and error are sometimes necessary but can be time-consuming and costly. The good news is that you don’t need to go it alone.  

If you are considering a partnership with an agency for your marketing, advertising and analytics efforts, we’d love to talk. Creative Noggin serves as an extension of your existing marketing department, whether you have an internal team of 1 or 100. We want you to feel like we are part of your team, not a vendor. We delve deep into your business, so you don’t miss a beat.

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