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Why brands are spending more in ads when customers are buying less

The economy is giving us major anxiety right now. With a new Prime Minister and a new King, many of us are outraged at how the taxpayer’s money will leave the UK in debt post the Queen’s funeral and in a time of such rising energy bill costs this leaves the country in somewhat of an economic turmoil.

It may surprise you, then, as it did us, that ad budgets are increasing in a time when the consumer’s spending abilities are decreasing. 85% of advertisers are highly concerned about the effect inflation will have on their business performance. For enterprises (with a revenue of $500 million-plus), that number jumps as high as 91%.

Furthermore, 71% of marketers struggle to maintain an accurate, useful consumer ID throughout changes over time, and nearly half of marketers feel that the information they are trying to access (when building the best audiences and powering effective marketing campaigns) is hard to find.

If there’s anything that we learnt from Covid it’s that unprecedented circumstances often force change, and force that change to happen quickly. Now is the time to address your blockers to enable capabilities to power true customer-centricity. Now, post pandemic, brands face a trifecta of hurdles: the rise of inflation, continuing supply chain issues and the end of third-party cookies—all overlapping. As many as 86% of brands even feel that the way they interact with customers has permanently changed due to the pandemic.

Brands are therefore spending more money in an attempt to overcome this hurdle by investing in the tools needed to gain a deep and meaningful understanding of their customers will be more likely to see success when it comes to meeting those customers where they are, meaning brands can serve them with the right messages, on the right channel, at the right time.

The answer lies in operating with a mindset focused on delivering the best experience for your customers, that can also deliver on your bottom line. Customer-centricity isn’t just about mastering the basics of personalization against traditional segmentation (which is built around third-party demographic data). It’s about thinking beyond that.

When brands use consented first-party data to resolve customer identities, they can merge behavioural history onto those profiles, thus becoming equipped with both reliable, cookieless customer identifiers, and a foundational data set that enables audience segments to be created to activate in their downstream tools.

What’s promising is that brands aren’t shying away from the right investments, even in the face of economic uncertainty. As many as 57% of advertisers are boosting paid search spend. Others are investing in technology or in processes that will move the needle closer to their goal. 


Illustration by Lewis Osborne

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