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How are marketers planning their budgets in 2023?

Now more than ever, as 2023 approaches, firmer considerations have risen towards plannings and predictions for the new year as analysts are careful not to repeat the same trend of failed projections and economic forecasts which plagued the year 2022 as a result of factors beyond control and unprecedented circumstances.

Even though most marketers are worried about the economy and are making changes to their marketing, the majority of them are increasing their spend or maintaining versus reducing according to Neil Patel following a global survey of 8032 marketers.

Earned Media

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In the report, 68% of businesses in major industries surveyed (B2B and B2C) revealed that they plan to increase their SEO budget in 2023 because “it provides a higher ROI than paid advertising”.

Patel shared: “From an earned media perspective most companies are looking to increase their budget due to it providing a higher ROI, other than organic social with the primary reason being organic reach is continually declining. And with AI tools becoming the latest craze, most marketers are at least trying them out.”

These earned media channels include SEO, organic social media, content marketing, AI tools, email marketing, UX/conversion rate optimization, podcasting, and community building.

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For paid ads, with marketers not being able to generate the same ROI from Facebook as they used to, most companies (59% and 47% respectively) are looking to increase their budgets for Google and Bing ads.

“From a paid ads perspective, most companies are planning on increasing or maintaining their search ads. But with social ads, many companies are planning to decrease. Not because of choice, but due to IOS privacy changes impacting the performance of their ads and companies not being able to scale their social ads as profitably as they used to,” Patel explained.

“Funny enough when it comes to Twitter it’s a bit polarising as 28% of companies are planning on increasing ad spend because 34% of companies are planning on decreasing or stopping their ads due to their views on Elon Musk and the decisions he has made.”

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Meanwhile, for traditional ad buying, companies can look forward to an alarming decrease in traditional ad spend. Some of the causal factors highlighted by marketers include inability to track return on investment, marketing budget cuts as a result of economic instability, and the shift toward moving ad spend to performance marketing due to better results.

”As for traditional ad buys, in all channels, the majority of companies are planning on decreasing their ad spend and shifting a lot of the money to performance channels like Google Ads or SEO which is more trackable,” Patel shared.

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