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Marketers Are Optimistic Heading Into 2024.

Despite ongoing concerns about the economy, the majority of marketers are optimistic and expect business to be better in 2024 than in 2023, according to WARC’s “The Voice of the Marketer 2024” report.

According to WARC Media, global marketing investment is set to increase 8.2% in 2024 to top $1trillion for the first time.

“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,” Senior Analyst Isabel Cleaver said in a release.

For the second consecutive year, two-thirds (64%) of marketers indicated that a possible economic recession would have the biggest impact on marketing strategies in the new year. Additionally, 41% cite inflation and the cost-of-living crisis as the biggest challenges ahead in 2024.

Even so, 61% of marketers expect business to improve next year, and 41% feel budgets will increase next year. In North America and Europe, just over a third expect budgets to be higher in 2024, 37% and 35%, respectively. In the Asian-Pacific region, 50% expect budgets to grow in 2024.

The report found that marketers are planning to increase investments in social media, online video, and mobile, with spending expected to remain steady or decrease in traditional channels like print, cinema, and TV. The truncated version of the report supplied to the press contained no data on radio/audio ad spend.

TikTok and YouTube will receive the biggest increases in marketing spend in 2024, while the controversies attached to X (formerly Twitter) will result in one-third of marketers (31%) expecting to decrease investments in the social platform – the highest decrease in the past three years.

The metaverse appears to have lost its sheen for marketers. Heading into 2023, 47% of marketers expected to increase their investment in the metaverse. In the latest report, only 11% expect to do so in 2024.

WARC’s advice to marketers is to diversify media investments and monitor new opportunities while safeguarding a brand’s reputation.

Measurement is also a priority for marketers, with 48% of North American marketers saying it’s a top concern, and 39% globally feeling the same way. Yet fewer than one in ten marketers (4%) use all available marketing measurement methods in combination (brand lift studies, econometrics/MMM, experiments, and attribution), and one-fifth (22%) admitted to not utilizing any form of modeling, WARC notes.

More than half (54%) of marketers view brand metrics as having the greatest impact on their marketing strategy, above ROI, sales, and market penetration.

WARC says marketers should evaluate the different measurement tools available and incorporate different measurement techniques for a holistic view of marketing activities.

The “Voice of the Marketer 2024” is based on a survey analysis of 1,400+ marketers worldwide.

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