Direct to Consumer (DTC) brands have had to widen their pool in recent years. A couple of years ago, a successful DTC brand could afford to simply focus on Facebook, Instagram and Google. Now, more players enter the game with TikTok, Amazon and more requiring attention. Additionally amidst a looming recession, brands are also trying to find cheaper alternatives to digital platforms altogether, including earned media, affiliates and more branding-based campaigns.

Only yesterday, Adweek released research from a survey on six brands. Four of the sources interviewed do not plan to grow their budget allocated to Meta in 2023, with some decreasing spending by up to 30%, and one slightly increasing spend (after clients decreased spending in 2022).

The study also found that in 2022, Meta and Google made up less than 50% of digital ad spend for the first time since 2014, according to Insider Intelligence. The two companies’ share of advertising budgets is expected to shrink further to 44.9% in 2023.

Having said this, Meta still continues to take a large chunk of DTC budgets. Some marketers have recently found increased efficiency in the platform, especially with a new AI-powered ad product, Advantage+. A recent test of 31 advertisers found Advantage+ shopping campaigns improved cost per acquisition by 17% and return on ad spend by 32%, according to a Meta spokesperson, and the majority of the company’s investment has been directed toward improving the company’s apps and advertising services.

While TikTok occupies a smaller slice of budgets we cannot underestimate its impact in the space. One example would be portable blender company, BlendJet, who  is planning to increase its TikTok budget by around 35% in 2023, compared to 2022, slightly increasing TikTok’s share of total budget up from 12% to 13%, said CEO Ryan Pamplin.

Additionally, CPMs on TikTok are still cheaper than other video channels like Meta or TV, however, making it a worthwhile investment during recessionary times. It is also worth noting that Amazon is also becoming an increased area of investment in 2023 according to Duane Brown, founder of agency Take Some Risk who said Amazon’s spend could increase by as much as 30% among its DTC brands.

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