With the economy exhibiting conflicting indicators, it comes as no surprise that companies are adopting a cautious approach and implementing cost-cutting measures. Regrettably, marketing budgets are frequently the initial casualty. In December 2022, we conducted a survey among nearly three dozen Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) from prominent consumer companies in North America. The findings revealed that, on average, these CMOs reported an 8 percent reduction in marketing expenditures over the preceding 12 months, as demanded by their company boards. In certain instances, marketing budgets were even subjected to more substantial cuts of 10 to 20 percent. Shockingly, one prominent public company went so far as to slash its marketing budget by over 20 percent. Finding a balance between cost management and maintaining a robust marketing presence is crucial to navigate the complexities of today’s business landscape.
Marketing should be at the table, but not be the meal
Over the past three years, marketers have faced an arduous journey due to the rapid shifts in consumer sentiment and the rising costs associated with their trade. In an era of economic uncertainty, shoppers have been compelled to prioritize value, leading to a trend of downgrading their purchases. In fact, our March 2023 survey revealed that a staggering 80 percent of consumers are modifying their shopping behavior by either adjusting the quantity or pack size of their purchases or opting to switch brands and retailers in search of more affordable options.
Simultaneously, marketing costs have experienced an upward trajectory. According to the insights gathered from our December survey of Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs), the average cost per click witnessed a substantial increase of 20 percentage points in 2022 compared to the previous year.