Halfway through 2023, marketers are in a reflective mood.
What should you focus on for the second half of the year?
From a market perspective, the economy presents a frustrating challenge as job growth seems strong as summer approaches. But some economists are still predicting economic headwinds in the fall, while many say those headwinds will turn into headwinds by the end of 2023.
What should a marketer do?
CMI’s Chief Strategic Advisor, Robert Rose, shares his thoughts in this week’s CMI News video. Watch it below or keep reading for the highlights:
Robert views marketing budgets as a leading indicator of economic temperature. “If brands are putting more money into this pool, the general sense of growth is usually in play,” he says.
Budgets were cut at the end of 2022 and the beginning of this year. Forecasts point to a mixed bag for the second half of the year.
Some predict more marked slowdown in the growth of advertising budgets, which, like the recession that never comes, seems to be a cost perpetually on the chopping block. Some signal that advertising spending will increase more than planned.
Can all of these things be true?
Confessions of a CMO, a study published this week by Optimizely, indicates that hidden costs are causing marketers to rethink where they are spending their budget. When it comes to technology spend, 72% of marketers agree that their tech stacks don’t work as seamlessly as they should. More than half (55%) say it remains difficult to make wise investments in technology because they have too many options to choose from. A similar number (52%) cite staff abilities to implement and use these solutions as a contributing factor.
These results perfectly follow the thoughts expressed at last week’s ContentTECH event, where Robert talked about the missing link of a cross-functional process – governance and workflow in marketing and content operations.
“Whenever we see technology not working as well as it should, that’s not a comment on the technology. It’s a symptom of an absent or poorly formed process. This second most challenging popular in the Optimizely survey – the ability to implement and use the solution – is all you need to understand that technology implementation is a process challenge.
So what should marketers focus on in the last half of 2023?
Spend more on quality content and media that differentiate your business in the noisy marketplace of ideas.
“You have to move,” Robert said. “We need to be more efficient. Solve the governance, workflow and processes of your content operations. Get smarter about where you put your ad dollars as AI and search fundamentally change, and social media transforms before your eyes.
Treat the next six months as if you were sailing. Tack upwind to your destination, which is the most exhilarating part. Remember that it also takes the most focus and hard work.
“It’s easy when the winds change to point your boat too close to the wind to try to balance your original direction too much. You slow down your progress,” says Robert.
“The smart move in sailing and marketing is to loosen your sails and increase boat speed at the expense of the original perfect steering. The boat becomes easier to steer and it’s more comfortable for everyone .
It’s July, folks. Let’s get this boat moving.
This is our point of view. What are your plans for the second half of 2023? Let us know in the comments.
SELECTED RELATED CONTENT:
Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute