Given the uncertain economic climate caused by factors such as high inflation, conflict, rising interest rates, and other uncontrollable variables, we thought it would be useful to see how other marketers are responding.
We wanted to understand the marketing approaches and practices of businesses of all sizes, across all major industries, and targeting both B2B and B2C customers, on a global level.
Therefore, our advertising agency, Salient Smart Marketing, decided to utilize the traffic on our website to conduct a comprehensive survey to learn about other marketers' marketing strategies and tactics and understand the reasons behind their decisions.
Here is what we discovered.
Let's examine each earned media channel in detail to determine how budgets are being redistributed.
According to the survey, 68% of the companies reported that they are increasing their budget for search engine optimization (SEO). The main reason cited for this shift was that they believe SEO delivers a higher return on investment (ROI) compared to paid advertising. This is generally true, although it may take longer to see results from SEO compared to paid advertising.
11% of the companies said that they will maintain their budget for search engine optimization (SEO) in 2023. The main reason cited for this decision was that they did not have much flexibility with their overall marketing expenditure due to economic constraints.
Among the 21% of companies that said they are decreasing their budget for search engine optimization (SEO), there were two main reasons cited. The first reason was that SEO was not producing desired results, and the second reason was that the marketing team had to make cuts to meet a reduced budget.
Organic Social Media
32% of the companies surveyed said that they are planning to increase their budget for organic social media marketing. The main reason cited for this decision was the changes to the Apple iOS operating system, which has limited their ability to spend as much as they would like on paid social media.
26% of the companies said that they will maintain their current budget for organic social media marketing, with the main reason being the need to have a presence on major platforms to reach and communicate with customers and potential customers
42% of the companies said that they will decrease their budget for organic social media marketing due to declining organic reach and a lower return on investment compared to the past.
83% of companies are planning to increase their content production budget because they need to create content in various formats, including video, and the cost of doing so is a factor.
Around 8% of companies stated that they would keep their budget the same, with the main reason being that economic conditions are restricting their ability to spend more on content production.
Approximately 9% of companies indicated that they are reducing their content creation budget because AI tools are helping them create content more inexpensively.
About 56% of companies reported that they intend to increase their email marketing budget. The reasons given by marketers for this increase were varied, with no clear dominant factor.
1- One reason given by marketers for increasing their email marketing budget was the growth of their email list size, which has resulted in increased costs for storing email addresses.
2- Some companies are increasing their email marketing budget in response to privacy laws, to ensure compliance with regulations related to personal data. These companies are spending more on email marketing to meet these requirements.
3-Companies are increasing their email marketing budget and investing more in marketing automation to improve efficiency and effectiveness.
Approximately 38% of companies intend to keep their email marketing budget the same, with the main reason being that they view email as a vital communication channel for reaching both current and potential customers.
About 6% of companies stated that they plan to decrease their email marketing budget, with two main reasons given for this decision. It is unclear what these reasons are without further context. Please provide more information or specify what you would like to know.
One reason given by some companies for decreasing their email marketing budget is the decision to remove inactive subscribers from their email list, which can help save money. Another reason cited by some companies for decreasing their email marketing budget is the decision to switch to a different email marketing software provider to reduce costs. Only a small number of companies indicated that they plan to reduce the number of employees working on email marketing.
There are various paid advertising channels available, and for this category, we focused on the main leaders. Let's begin with search ads.
For Google and Bing ads, the majority of companies (59% and 47%, respectively) plan to increase their budgets. The main reason given for this is that these ad platforms offer a clear return on investment compared to other marketing channels.
Approximately 18% of companies using Google ads and 19% of those using Bing ads plan to maintain their current budget. The main reason given for this decision is the challenge of scaling while still maintaining profit margins.
Regarding the percentage of companies that plan to decrease their ad budget for Google (23%) and Bing (34%), the main reasons given for this decision were not specified.
1- One reason cited by some companies for decreasing their ad budget was the decreasing average cost per click in their industry.
2- Another reason given by some companies for reducing their ad budget was the decline in the number of people searching for the keywords they were targeting, which has led to a decrease in overall spending
The data shown in the graph appears to be scattered, but the overall trend or pattern in the responses remains unchanged when examined.
Marketers are either maintaining or decreasing their spending on Facebook, Instagram, and Snap due to the impact of the Apple IOS privacy changes on their ability to generate a good return on investment (ROI). In other words, these platforms are no longer as effective at generating revenue as they previously were.
Some companies were fortunate enough to be able to maintain their spending levels and generate a similar ROI, while others had to decrease their spending to maintain profitability in their advertising efforts. This was largely due to the impact of the IOS privacy changes.
A smaller percentage of companies using Facebook, Instagram, and Snap were able to increase their budgets. The main reason cited for increasing their budgets was the profitability of their campaigns, which led them to plan on expanding their efforts.
Approximately 28% of companies using YouTube and 35% of those using Pinterest indicated that they plan to increase their budgets. The primary reason given for this was the profitability of their ads, leading them to want to expand their efforts on these platforms.
33% of YouTube advertisers and 29% of Pinterest advertisers plan to keep their existing advertising budgets because their ads are profitable. The second most popular reason for not boosting ad expenditure on these platforms was that doing so would render the advertising unprofitable.
The main reason for the decrease in ad spending on YouTube and Pinterest was cited as economic factors affecting the business and resulting in budget cuts in marketing.
The vast majority (84%) of marketers using Tiktok plan to increase their overall spending on the platform because they view it as an untapped opportunity for reaching their target audience.
Of the companies who responded about their LinkedIn ad spending, the majority were in the B2B category. 57% of these companies plan to increase their budget on LinkedIn, with the top reason being that they feel it is the best platform for targeting their ideal customer.
35% of companies plan to maintain their LinkedIn ad spending, with the main reason being that their current campaigns are effective but they are unable to scale due to a lack of inventory for their target demographic.
8% of companies plan to decrease their LinkedIn ad spending, with the main reason being economic factors leading to a slowdown in their business.
Twitter appears to have garnered some unexpected results, according to the information provided. It is not clear what specific data or results are being referred to.
28% of companies plan to increase their ad spending on Twitter, citing the opportunity to acquire customers at a lower cost on the platform as the main reason. This opportunity is believed to have arisen due to other companies withdrawing their presence on the platform after it was acquired by Elon Musk.
34% of companies plan to decrease their ad spending on Twitter, with the main reason being that they disagree with the way Elon Musk is running the platform and the changes he has implemented.
Despite concerns about the economy and the need to make adjustments to their marketing efforts, the majority of marketers are either increasing their spending or maintaining it rather than reducing it.
From the perspective of earned media, most companies are looking to increase their budget due to the higher return on investment (ROI) it provides. The exception is organic social media, where the primary reason for decreasing budget is the ongoing decline in organic reach.
From the perspective of paid advertising, most companies are planning to either increase or maintain their search ad spending. However, many companies are planning to decrease their social ad spending, not by choice but due to the impact of IOS privacy changes on the performance of their ads and the inability to scale their social ads as profitably as they were previously able to.
There appears to be a degree of polarization when it comes to ad spending on Twitter, with 28% of companies planning to increase their spending while 34% are planning to decrease or stop their ads due to their views on Elon Musk and the decisions he has made.
So, now that you know what others are doing, the real question is: what are you going to do with your marketing budgets in 2023?