As we enter the second half of 2022, B2C marketers face tremendous changes in the market: supply chain challenges, economic uncertainty, and a marketing ecosystem in upheaval due to data deprecation. Recent headlines reveal an uneven response. There have been widespread layoffs in the tech sector. In early July, big tech companies such as Google, Meta, and Spotify reported softness in their ad businesses. CMOs impacted by supply chain issues are cutting back on advertising while others are increasing marketing spend to create brand value. Before you make any drastic marketing investment decisions, remember that growth can still happen during a systemic risk, including a recession (consider Airbnb and Uber, both founded during the 2008 recession). Forrester’s Planning Guide 2023: B2C Marketing Executives provides detailed guidance on where to invest, pull back, and where some experimentation might work well in 2023.

Invest In A Customer-First Marketing Strategy

According to Forrester’s Q3 B2C Marketing CMO Pulse Survey, 2022, 95% of respondents plan to increase their marketing budget in 2023, and of that, 52% plan to significantly increase their marketing budget. Keep in mind that not every marketing investment is the same — consider sustaining or investing in areas like paid media and authentic content development. Shift your paid media investments toward measurable, reliable touchpoints where you can increase customer engagement, such as in connected television and digital audio. For example, Outrigger Hospitality Group is focused on building a unified, authentic content strategy across touchpoints to build trust and a deeper connection directly with its customers.

Cut Wasteful Marketing Investments

Cut marketing investments that create hurdles for flexibility and authenticity. For example, rethink the “copy and paste” type of marketing programs by auditing your channels for anything that runs counter to your marketing objectives. This may include identifying which digital media assets are showing up on third-tier publisher sites. Identifying these weak points will help you cut back even more on wasteful targeting practices.

Experiment In Innovative Customer Connection Points

Experiments can identify emerging opportunities to connect with new audiences and better serve existing customers. As tempting as it may be, do not cut back on experiments — it will help your brand be on the cutting edge of new touchpoints and strategies to connect with your customers. Consider experimenting with emerging media channels, such as TikTok, to create a new type of experience that is more engaging and measurable.

For more details on what you should invest, divest, or continue experimentation with, read Forrester’s Planning Guide 2023: B2C Marketing Executives report. Consider setting up a guidance session if you have any 2023 planning questions!