Despite concerns about the economy, 61 pc marketers expect business to improve next year as against the current year, according to WARC report The Voice of the Marketer 2024.
Global marketing investment is set to increase 8.2 pc in 2024 to top $1 trillion for the first time, according to WARC Media, and the report said the ongoing investment trend is towards digital channels. However, 22 pc of marketers employ no form of modelling in their evaluation processes, it noted.
Isabel Cleaver, Senior Analyst, WARC, said, “The aim of this report is to offer more insight into what is top of mind for marketers moving into 2024, particularly around investment, media channels and measurement. A significant finding from our survey analysis is that while marketers are concerned about the impact of an economic recession, there is also a sense of optimism regarding the business climate and marketing budgets for 2024.”
In all, over 1,400 marketers worldwide were surveyed for the report. Key findings include:
A total of 64 pc of marketers indicated that economic recession may have the biggest impact on marketing strategies in 2024, with 41 pc highlighting inflation and the cost-of-living crisis as the biggest challenges they face over the next 12 months. Despite this, 61 pc expect business to improve in 2024 and 41 pc believe that marketing budgets will increase next year. In Europe and North America, just over a third expect budgets to be higher in 2024 (37 pc and 35 pc, respectively. In contrast, 50 pc of marketers in APAC expect budgets to grow next year.
Grant McKenzie, Chief Marketing Officer – Europe and International, Asahi, said, “Having been through a couple of these economically challenging times, you have to be very careful not to try to cut costs to the detriment of value… Marketers at these times have to be very careful not to change the strategy where it doesn’t need to change.”
The survey also found that the migration to digital channels for spends continues, and marketers are planning to increase investments in social media, online video and mobile, with the spend expected to mostly stay the same or decrease in traditional channels like print, cinema and TV.
TikTok and YouTube are expected to receive the biggest increases in marketing spend in 2024. By contrast, the controversies surrounding X (formerly Twitter) have impacted its perception among marketers and 31 pc of marketers expect to decrease investments in X in 2024. While 47 pc of marketers said they expected to increase investment in the metaverse in 2023, only a tenth 11 pc expect to do so next year.
Brands struggle to keep pace with evolving measurement: 39% of marketers say measurement is a top concern for 2024, and 22% admit to not using any form of modelling. While measurement appears to be a key priority for marketers to assess the impact of their marketing, its implementation remains complex, patchy and inconsistent.
39 pc of marketers globally have identified measurement as a top concern for 2024, increasing to 48 pc among those based in North America. Yet fewer than one in ten marketers, or 4 pc use available marketing measurement methods in combination and one-fifth — 22 pc — admitted to not utilising any form of modelling.
Over 54 pc of marketers view brand metrics – awareness, consideration, purchase intent – as having the greatest impact on their marketing strategy.
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