- Nearly all marketers surveyed at the end of last year reported having adjusted their budgets amidst the current economic uncertainty, according to new research by Gartner.
- Only 5% of respondents reported decreasing their spend. Those that increased spending were two times more likely to grow profits.
- While most respondents are spending more, fewer have embraced a contingency plan, per Gartner. Only 21% of marketers said they follow a disruption contingency plan, despite 81% of marketers having created such a plan.
Gartner’s findings suggests marketers are more willing to spend to achieve their organizational objectives during an economic downturn. However, many still hold back on enacting a contingency plan, which could undermine efforts to reach goals during a period of disruption, per the report.
Gartner’s survey is the latest indication that increasing budgets amid economic disruption may help to stave off negative effects. Last year, Analytic Partners found that 60% of brands that increased media investment during the last recession saw ROI improvements.
However, contingency planning is also key for navigating economic and geopolitical turmoil, according to Gartner. The survey found that 44% of digital marketers who enacted a contingency plan exceeded year-over-year profit growth, even during an economically disruptive event. While most marketers create such plans, not even a quarter follow them.
The survey also found that marketers who increased spending relative to their contingency plans were nearly twice as likely to see year-over-year profit growth compared to those who decreased spending or did nothing.
The findings come as economic uncertainty continues to plague the U.S. marketplace, leading some advertisers to decrease spending in recent months out of fear that a recession is imminent. Still, the messaging around the economy isn’t always straightforward, which can be confusing for marketers. Any downturn may not be as dramatic as originally expected, according to a forecast by S&P Global Ratings. On the other hand, some economy watchers believe the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank could also accelerate an economic crisis.
Gartner’s “2023 Multichannel Marketing Survey,” was conducted between November and December 2022 and had nearly 400 respondents.
“With ongoing economic and geopolitical disruption, contingency plans are more important than ever,” said Greg Carlucci, senior director analyst in the Gartner Marketing practice, in a statement. “Having a plan is a good first step, but following through on that plan when disruption occurs is what really matters.”