Yes, you should keep spending on ads if that’s where the people are. It’s not a three-year view. It’s a three-day view. For those who have a marketing budget during a recession, paid ads will be “on sale”. Pulling away from paid media efforts creates an ecosystem of lower competition for ad auctions, thereby decreasing costs for those who continue to invest.
Why It Matters:
11,000 team members laid off from Meta, Stripe’s CEO tweeted out a job placement ad for the 7,000 team members his team had to layoff--add Spotify, Twitter, Coinbase, RingCentral, and Zendesk to that list and it’s becoming abundantly clear that the economic outlook over the next few quarters are foggy at best.
Driven by news cycles of doom and gloom headlines, fear and crowd psychology turns into real decisions. Budgets are tightened. Programs are cut. And the trickle down economics has real-world implications to the rest of the pie.
Some organizations are positioned to weather the storm and others are positioned to propel themselves forward.
In situations like this, an organization’s obligation is to focus on its results. And maximizing results means doing whatever is possible or necessary today to drive outcomes that don’t obviously and clearly violate a value, ethic, or integrity issue. When stakeholders try to make it more than that, they end up down an indecisive rabbit hole that stalls out all results.
For example, when a threat is present, the military prepares for all possible scenarios, and they execute the one that becomes obviously necessary on the day it becomes necessary.
In football, a quarterback might “call an audible” and change the play at the last minute due to how the defense is lining up.
We believe organizations need a “what happens if social media ends” plan.
They also need a “what happens if social media doesn’t end and transforms into being a net positive for the world” plan.
They need a “what happens if the economy shrinks 50% in the next 12 months” plan.
They need a “what happens if the economy grows in the next 12 months” plan.
We believe organizations can't rely on one marketing plan. They need multiple plans going into the new year.
Today, social media is not ending.
With paid ads being “on sale” we’ll be the first to warn that many organizations will employ exploitative tactics to drive their bottom lines. Be aware of dark patterns such as:
- Bait and Switch
- Disguised Ads
- Hidden Costs
- False Sense of Urgency
- Hard to Unsubscribe
At Whiteboard, we work against these trends by considering the longview amid scaled back marketing investments. With more organizations decreasing paid media spend, the competition for ad auctions will decrease and result in lower cost per optimization goal. With this variable at play, now is a prime season to invest in strengthening your owned marketing channels via paid efforts:
- Organizations who have resources during this season need to tip the pendulum to Brand Advertising. Like stocking a pond full of fish, the cost of building a highly engaged audience will never be more affordable than during this season. Due to the ability to build custom audiences based off of ad formats such as videos views and/or ad engagement, you can now reach more people and build awareness to newer audiences by maximizing your ads to optimize for these goals. Not only will you see an increase in custom audience members, you’ll begin to see an increase in organic and direct traffic to your website as well.
- Organizations limited in and/or are more conscious about their resources need to tip their pendulum to short-term, Direct Response performance marketing tests. Use this season to test campaign unlocks over the course of 2-3 month sprints. When attempting to reach new audiences, you’ll want to invest heavily in building your email list. When targeting your current audience, you’ll want to invest in purchase conversion events by driving towards lower cost-per-conversion KPIs and repeat buyers.
The Bottom Line: The first one is a strategic propeller, the second one is a strategic capitalizer. When combined, they are both a healthy marketing flywheel.
How Might We Help?
Our Digital and Performance Marketing Studio, our team implements data-driven digital marketing strategies to grow brand equity, drive engagement, and optimize for conversions. Our team will help you create multiple plans in navigating an uncertain future. If you’re weighing big decisions as it relates to your marketing investments going into the new year, click here to schedule a one-on-one call with me.