Marketing Budgets Are Rising, With Print Getting A Share, Study Finds

Marketing budgets are mostly increasing or staying the same this year, according to the Optichannel Opportunities Report, a study by RRD.

Of the companies polled, 54% foresee an increase, and 29% expect spending to hold steady. The remaining 17% are cutting their budgets. But 73% say their organization views a recession or a downturn as a strategy opportunity to gain market share.  

The firms increasing or maintaining their budgets cite the following reasons:

  • My organization believes we can gain competitive advantage or market share — 63%
  • My organization looks to marketing to help weather the economic storm — 61%
  • My organization does not want to lose marketing momentum — 30%
  • My organization is not concerned about the impact of an economic recession — 11%

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Print remains a factor, although 66% of the average marketing budget is going to digital. 

Moreover, 68% say large-scale changes to social/digital platforms over the last six months has influenced their digital marketing strategy, and 71% are reallocating some dollars to print channels like direct mail, brochures, signage, etc. as a result of those concerns.

The respondents say they consider these factors when choosing which channels to use: 

  • Campaign performance (i.e., response and conversion rate) — 46%
  • Cost (i.e., staying within budget requirements) — 25%
  • Speed to market (i.e., how quickly they can get it in front of an audience — 17% 
  • Tech integration (i.e., working within the current marketing technology stack) — 7%
  • Ease of execution (i.e., having the right resources to deploy) — 5%

Meanwhile, 66% of marketers say their firm employs optichannel marketing strategies. The main barrier to doing so is budget (42%), followed by lack of experience or expertise (37%). But 58% agree that combining print and digital keeps customers engaged.  

While 62% of marketers have increased their use of print, they cite the following challenges in using it:

  • Customers just throw it away — 47%
  • Can’t track response rates effectively — 38%
  • Digital provides a higher return on investment — 63% 

RRD surveyed 300 U.S. marketing professionals from November 15-28, 2022.

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