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Up Ad Spend During Economic Downtown? 7 In 10 Marketers Say Yes.

Although the current uncertainty about the U.S. economy may tempt advertisers to cut spending, just-released results of a study from R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company suggests just the opposite.

The survey of 300 in-house marketing decision-makers in the U.S., commissioned by RRD and conducted by FINN Partners during November 2022, shows that 73% see an economic downturn or recession as a strategic opportunity to gain market share through increasing marketing spend. In addition, even with talk of budget cuts, more than half (54%) expect their organization’s marketing budget to increase in 2023.

“For 2023, marketers see economic uncertainty as their catalyst for growth,” says the report from RRD, which provides marketing, packaging, print and supply chain services.

Two out of three marketers surveyed report using opti channel marketing – as in marketing outreach on two or more channels where specific customers are most likely to engage, often through real-time data – for higher engagement. More than half (58%) say a benefit of combining print and digital marketing channels is keeping customers engaged across platforms. “In a time of economic volatility, marketers are embracing programs that reach customers via optimal channels to improve response rates,” RRD Head of Operations John Pecaric says.

Not surprisingly, others in the industry have chimed in when it comes to cutting ad spend during inflationary or recessionary conditions. A recent analysis from consultancy Gain Theory suggested that consumer packaged goods companies doing so risk sacrificing revenue and profit, while ECI's annual media inflation report argued that reduced ad spend would “create a drop in demand for media, which could in turn reduce media pricing, thereby reversing the increased media inflation we are seeing this year.”

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