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Don’t Let Economic Predictions Stop Your Marketing in the Months Ahead

Halfway through 2023 and marketers are in a reflective mood.

What should your focus be for the second half of the year?

From a market perspective, the economy presents a frustrating challenge as job growth seems strong coming into summer. But some economists still predict economic headwinds in the fall, while many say those headwinds turn into tailwinds in late 2023.

What’s a marketer to do?

CMI’s chief strategy advisor Robert Rose shares his thoughts in this week’s CMI News video. Watch it below, or keep reading for the highlights:

Robert sees marketing budgets as a leading indicator of the economic temperature. “If brands put more money into that pool, general growth sentiment is typically at play,” he says.

Budgets got crunched in late 2022 and early this year. The forecast indicates a mixed bag for the second half of the year.

#Marketing budgets act as a leading indicator of the economic temperature, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Share on X

Some predict more slowing of budget growth in advertising, which like the never-arriving recession, seems to be a cost perennially on the chopping block. Some report ad spend will grow more than expected.

As for marketing, Gartner’s CMO spend survey found budgets remaining flat. CMI’s annual B2B research reported that 50% of marketers expect their content marketing budgets to increase.

Can all of these things be true?

Confessions of a CMO, a study released this week by Optimizely, indicates hidden costs prompt marketers to rethink where they spend their budgets. In tech spending, 72% of marketing leaders acknowledge their tech stacks don’t function as seamlessly as they should. Over half (55%) say making sound investments in tech remains challenging because they have too many options from which to choose. A similar number (52%) cite the staff’s abilities to implement and use those solutions as a contributing factor.

52% of CMOs confess the staff’s abilities to implement and use tech affect their investments, according to a study released by @Optimizely via @CMIContent. Share on X

These findings 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 tech isn’t working as seamlessly as it should, that’s not a commentary on the technology. It’s a symptom of an absent or an ill-formed process. That second most popular challenge in the Optimizely survey – the ability to implement and use the solution – is all you need to understand tech implementation is a process challenge.

So, what should marketers focus on in the last half of 2023?

Spend more on content and great media that differentiate your business in the noisy marketplace of ideas.

“You’ve got to move,” Robert says. “You need to get more efficient. Solve the governance, workflow, and processes of your content operations. Get smarter about where you place your ad dollars as AI and search fundamentally change, and social media transforms before your eyes.”

52% of CMOs confess the staff’s abilities to implement and use tech affect their investments, according to a study released by @Optimizely via @CMIContent. Share on X

Treat the next six months as if you were sailing. Tack upwind to your destination, which is the most exhilarating part. Just remember it also requires the most concentration and hard work.

“It’s easy when winds shift to point your boat too close to the wind to try to balance your original direction too much. You slow down your progress,” Robert says.

“The smart move in sailing and marketing is to ease your sails and increase the boat’s speed at the expense of the original perfect direction. The boat gets easier to steer, and it’s a more comfortable ride for everybody.”

It’s July, folks. Let’s get this boat moving.

That’s our take. What are your plans for the second half of 2023? Let us know in the comments.

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute