As the U.S., and parts of the rest of the world, enter an economic recession -- technical, or otherwise -- it ironically could be a boon for the most high-demand media, as well as brand vs. performance advertising. That's the conclusion of a new "recession-proofing" report from a highly-regarded analytics firm specializing in marketing ROI (return on investment).
"While the temptation during a potential recession might be to focus on the short-term, long-term thinking should always be the priority for brands looking to future-proof against challenging times," the analysts at Analytic Partners write in "The Rules of Recession-Proofing" report being released this morning.
Overall marketing budgeting aside, the sweet spot of the report is in its recommendations relating to mix, especially its strong case for emphasizing brand-building advertising vs. "performance" marketing and media, the kind known to generate near-term sales, conversions, clicks and other actions.
Marketers who heed that advice could help turn a tide of overall ad industry spending toward search, social and other performance-oriented media and shift spending back toward media -- especially traditional TV, streaming and online video -- known to help build brands over time.
The report, however, notes that the quality of the creative messaging in TV and video advertising, is a big factor in that equation, contributing an estimated "two-thirds" of the impact of ad campaigns for the brands using the media.
Other key findings in the report include an ongoing rise in the share of "targeted media" (currently 75% of all media options, up from 55% five years ago), and that "contextual targeting" -- the kind that leverages the context of the medium and its content vs. the identity and/or behavior of the audience -- is "1.2 to 2.5 times more effective than other forms of advertising."
The report's bottom line is that brands that "play the long game" during a recessionary cycle have the "best odds of success" coming out of it.
"While lower-funnel activities, like search and display, might seem to be the best options for marketers aiming to achieve instant ROI, those kinds of short-term activations underperform their long-term counterparts over time," the report concludes.