Amidst all the doom and gloom, I concur completely with the IAB UK conclusion that digital marketing is better placed to resist budget cuts brought about by brands reacting to lower consumer confidence by deciding to do less until the dust settles. The IAB UK had kept quiet for nearly two weeks following the referendum result to weigh up its thoughts. Surprisingly, it says very few people had put calls through to see what it believed Brexit means for digital marketing.
Now that it has decided to break its silence, it has a very clear path. Digital marketing is highly measurable and so can easily answer the board's questions of what the organisation will get back for every pound or euro put in to each channel. These are business metrics. They talk the language of input and output. Invest x into each digital channel and you get X + ? back.
As the IAB UK hints, this is not the case for traditional channels that rely far more on the metrics of old. Share of voice, propensity to buy, recall and so on are the metrics of marketing, not business. They are important metrics -- nobody would suggest otherwise -- but when budgets are under pressure from on high, it's best to be able to speak in concrete ROI terms than it is loose ideas of more people knowing that the brand exists. This is emphasised when consumer spending is down and propensity to buy count for far less than a proven positive influence on sales or brochure downloads, whatever metric the business deems important.
So amidst all the doom and gloom we have been reading for the past two weeks, it's worth taking on board the IAB UK's central points that we've been here before, in 2008 and the years of recession that accompanied the global financial crash, and digital went on to prosper.
There are likely to be cuts coming, but these are most likely to impact the likes of out-of-favour print and the expensive thrills of a television campaign, maybe cinema and outdoor will see a negative impact too. But digital marketing is the best placed to survive the cuts. Just make sure you have your ROI arguments to hand, and can back them up, and digital will likely come through the next couple of years or turmoil relatively unscathed. It's going to be an interesting ride but digital marketers are definitely riding on the favourite horse.