Brands That Double Down On Data Will Win In (Impending) Recession

The following was previously published in an earlier edition of Marketing Insider.

Marketing budgets will inevitably shrink in 2023 as CEOs take a more cautious approach to spending ahead of the recession they’re predicting. But despite having ample time to strategize (recession worries have circulated since at least April 2022), some marketers will default to rushed, instinctual decisions.

2023 will be an opportunity for marketers to prove reaching new customers and increasing brand awareness doesn’t require marketing spend to balloon year-over-year. And some brands may even find there’s a silver lining to having less money to play with: It forces teams to rally around data-driven objectives to deliver targeted campaigns with less waste.

Use data to get the most bang for your bucks in 2023

In 2023, savvy marketers will take a methodical approach to avoid repeating the mistakes they made at the start of the pandemic — a time when last-minute judgment calls were the only feasible option. And a strong foundation of data will be key.



Here’s how to shore up your data capabilities so you can identify opportunities to make an impact with consumers without overspending.

Reevaluate your priority metrics. To chart a course based on accurate and actionable insights, conduct a comprehensive analysis of your data. Determine what’s available to you and what you’re willing to share with agencies and partners. Remember that the more data they can access, the easier they can help pinpoint and track metrics against your business goals.

Eliminate internal silos. You need to break down internal silos among business intelligence, brand marketing and performance media teams to optimize for profitability. We’ve seen a growing movement to unify teams over the past few years, and I expect it will accelerate in 2023’s forecast economic climate, where the ability to adapt and pivot will be critical. Compelling siloed teams to collaborate will allow for more transparency and creativity, and ultimately yield better results, like data-informed creative campaigns.

Prepare for Google Analytics 4 (GA4). Yes, the timelines are shifting, but make no mistake: Onboarding to GA4 will be a high priority for data-driven brands in 2023. For those outside the bubble, GA4 is Google’s new analytics tool that will replace the current Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 360 platforms. It’s designed to deliver more actionable metrics in light of evolving user behavior and more robust privacy regulations.

Brands that prepare early by dual tagging their websites will capture the most historical data. Capturing historical data is critical to evaluating performance in a year when return on ad spend will be scrutinized even more than usual.

This isn’t the year to push deadlines, circle back later or chase pet projects. Marketers need to level-up their data and eliminate internal silos so marketing and business teams can work in unison to advance business objectives. In this increasingly competitive and cash-strapped environment, brands without a clear data-driven strategy will struggle to make an impact.

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