7. 12. 20237. 12. 2023
Despite very real concerns about the economy, the majority of marketers around the world are optimistic and expect business to be better next year than this, according to a new WARC report. The Voice of the Marketer 2024 is a deep dive into The Marketer’s Toolkit survey data of 1,400+ marketers worldwide.

Key findings

Marketers are optimistic despite economic worries

Two-thirds (64%) of marketers indicated that economic recession will have the biggest impact on marketing strategies in 2024, while 41% highlighted inflation and the cost-of-living crisis.

Yet almost two-thirds of marketers (61%) expect that business will improve next year and 41% believe that marketing budgets will increase. In Europe and North America, just over a third expect budgets to be higher in 2024 (37% and 35% respectively). In contrast, half of marketers (50%) in APAC expect budgets to grow next year.

It would also appear that more marketers understand that maintaining or even increasing investment in brand marketing can be effective in navigating economic downturns.

TikTok and YouTube up, X down

Marketers are planning to increase investments in online video (+66% net sentiment), social media +59%), and mobile (+51%), with spend expected to decrease in traditional channels like print (-41%), TV (-16%) and cinema (-13%).

TikTok and YouTube are the platforms expected to receive the biggest increases in marketing spend in 2024. A third of marketers (31%) expect to decrease investments in X, while far fewer anticipate increasing investment in the metaverse (just 11%, compared to 47% last year).

The advice to marketers is to diversify media investments and monitor new opportunities whilst safeguarding a brand’s reputation.

Brands struggle to keep pace with evolving measurement

Four in ten (39%) marketers globally identified measurement as a top concern for 2024, increasing to 48% among those based in North America. Yet very few (4%) use all available marketing measurement methods in combination (brand lift studies, econometrics/MMM, experiments and attribution) and one-fifth (22%) admitted to not utilising any form of modelling.

Over half (54%) of marketers view brand metrics (e.g. awareness, consideration, purchase intent) as having the greatest impact on their marketing strategy, above ROI (44%), sales (36%) and market penetration (34%).

The advice to marketers is to evaluate the different measurement tools available and incorporate different measurement techniques for a holistic view of marketing activities.

A complimentary sample of The Voice of the Marketer 2024 is available to read here. The full report is available to WARC members. It follows the recent release of The Marketer’s Toolkit 2024, a report analysing the five key trends that will disrupt the marketing industry in the coming year: political polarization, the potential of generative AI, masculinity in crisis, “sportswashing”, and community-based sustainability.

Both reports are part of WARC Strategy’s The Evolution of Marketing program, designed to help marketers address major industry shifts to drive effective marketing. A third report, The Future of Media, will be released in January. Complementing the reports, a series of podcasts are also available.

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