News today from the IPA is that spend on advertising and marketing is starting to decline. This particular metric is one often seen as the vanguard to economic recession. Firms that are in some difficulty often slash marketing and advertising budgets first (along with training budgets), an historic trend that’s been observable for many decades.
For digital practitioners, things aren’t so difficult, because remaining budgets will need to be carefully used and the digital domain is one area that many regard as one that’s easy to measure in terms of accountability and performance. But it will still be a difficult environment to work in.
The ironic thing is that slashing these budgets is probably the last thing a firm should do. It’s probably a key activity to keep on. If buyer numbers and value are diminishing, then firms need to invest in 2 things – more marketing to entice buyers back (emphasizing the value of their products) and retraining to upskill workers for the next big thing they need to engage in. For marketing firms, this means investing in the reskilling of marketers to become accomplished integrated digital marketers. For other firms, it means investing in marketing and advertising initiatives designed to acquire and retain customers for the long-term.
The next 6 months are critical, because those firms that actually buck the trend will the ones who also buck the traditional response to recessive economic conditions.