Comment: Extensive industry reaction to Q2 IPA Bellwether report

ipa bellwether original Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Marketing budgets continued to grow in the second quarter of this year, despite a darkening outlook for the global economy, the latest reading from the IPA Bellwether survey has shown.

The IPA, though, has reduced its forecast for 2022 adspend overall by 1.6% and has cut its 2023 forecast from 1.8% to just 0.8%.

Clearly there are challenging times ahead, so we asked the leading lights of the adtech, advertising, marketing and media world to give us their take on the latest IPA readings.

We’ve had an astonishing response, with more than 30 company leaders keen to share their views of how the industry and the brands they represent should adapt their strategies into the next year and a half… 

Harry Williams, AMA (1)A Million Ads, Harry Williams, Senior Marketing Manager 

“It’s brilliant to see that total marketing budget growth has stayed resilient in Q2. While the latest report shows that audio investment has decreased, audio is still the fastest-growing form of advertising and we remain confident that this channel will continue to grow over the next year.”

“With lots of innovations happening in the audio space right now, brands should be capitalising on this to build closer connections with target audiences. An effective way to do this is by utilising 3D immersive audio advertising. 

“Designed to pan sound three-dimensionally around the listener, it can take them on a sensory journey. Combined with contextual data points such as the time of day, weather or location, brands can develop the personalised 3D audio experience further. 

“To succeed in the months ahead, it is vital for brands to utilise these innovations in audio advertising to help create more effective ads. 

“In turn this allows brands to make their marketing budgets go further while connecting with their target audiences on a more personal level.”

Paul Coggins, AdludioAdludio, Paul Coggins, CEO and Co-Founder

“While the forecasts from this IPA Bellwether are understandably deflated by recent economic uncertainty, it is clear from the resilient growth figures for online marketing that there is still a hunger for digital transformation. Indeed, the experience of the past few years has solidified digital as a stable source of revenue. 

“However, with a reduction in ad spend predicted, coupled with an already saturated market, it is now more important than ever that brands are cutting through the noise and maximising attention with the best possible creative.”

“In mobile, where we spend most of our digital lives, channelling budgets toward new, innovative technologies can help boost campaign engagement. 

“In particular, those which use AI-based algorithms, leveraging interactivity and historical creative data, can shift targeting away from third-party data and social demographics toward a much more effective approach built on first-party behavioural data. This can then be used to more accurately target audiences. 

“Additionally, as this data is anonymised, it complies with the privacy-first future of media buying. 

“As we enter a potentially difficult economic period, having ad campaigns that forge these meaningful connections between brand and consumer will be imperative to protecting revenue streams.”

Michal Marcinik CEO & Founder 1AdTonos, Michal Marcinik, Founder and CEO

“The results of this quarter are obviously no cause for celebration for the audio industry as a whole, but it’s worth bearing in mind that the reported decline encompasses  radio (FM and DAB), music streaming, podcasts and other formats.

“A number of other reports signal that online and digital audio is growing faster than any other media – which could mean that marketers are turning away from legacy audio media.

“Despite the pressure on marketing budgets, the capacity to connect with your audience via the power of sound remains strong, especially with new and innovative formats: we see a continuous rise in smart speakers across the globe, the ease and efficiency of interactive ads, and the potential of in-game ads, which would tap into a very active and engaged community.

“Marketers should continue to see audio advertising as a great opportunity. And let us not forget that those who succeed now will be leagues ahead of their competitors when the market stabilises once more.”

Harriet Durnford-Smith - AdverityAdverity, Harriet Durnford-Smith, Chief Marketing Officer

“Inflation, cost of living and recession fears are rising fast. In a time of uncertainty, marketers need to be operating as efficiently as possible. 

“By being able to make quick decisions and accurately forecast the impact of these economic shocks means that marketers can ensure they continue to deliver ROI.
“Additionally, we are still seeing industries bouncing back from the pandemic. With ongoing disruptions — such as Heathrow capping sales of flights during the summer — it has never been more critical for marketers to have access to accurate data in order to mitigate risk and optimize spend.”

ben putley alkimi exchangeAlkimi Exchange, Ben Putley, CEO and Co-Founder 

‘’Despite the modest growth in budgets, the increasing economic uncertainty in the UK will likely cause marketers to be more cautious with their spend – and rightly so. 

“With brands needing to maintain a good level of consumer awareness, marketers are going to have to maximise the potential of their budgets. 

“For advertisers and publishers looking to find extra breathing room, decentralised ad exchanges can provide an answer. 

“Not only do the reduced fees on these emerging exchanges free up more spend, but the transparency enabled by the use of blockchain technology allows supply paths to be better optimised to ensure spend isn’t wasted.’’

Paul Wright, AppsFlyerAppsFlyer, Paul Wright, MD UK, France, MENA, Turkey

“As with any multi-channel approach marketers should ensure that the consumer experiences a seamless and personalised journey across all touch points. 

“With face-to-face activities on the rise, especially in the entertainment and travel sector, marketers should focus on adding value to in-person experiences through complementary online channels such as mobile. 

“Our data shows an increase in app installs over the last 18 months period in both sectors with consumers appreciating the convenience of features such as real-time notifications, maps, and QR codes”

“While the report shows a decrease in sales promotions, marketers should be cautious about reducing these activities ahead of seasonable shopping events.

“Consumer spending is highly motivated by savings and deals, as can be seen through the local peak in in-app purchase revenue around Black Friday 2021. 

“To incentivise consumer purchases despite the economic downturn, marketers should focus on providing a high quality, personalised user experience, and focus on boosting loyalty with existing customers to encourage regular, repeat purchases.”

Dominic Woolfe, AzerionAzerion, Dominic Woolfe, UK CEO 

The latest IPA Bellwether report is promising in terms of marketing budgets staying consistent, especially with increased investment in face-to-face events which is great to see.

“However, the industry is really starting to feel the effects of the cost of living crisis as advertisers will be under immense pressure to deliver to the demands of their brands in an overcrowded marketplace.

“However we remain confident that advertisers can bounce back from  this. Ultimately, those that continue to adapt to ever changing consumer behaviour by prioritising creativity and brand performance will achieve the most success in the coming months.”

Sam Budd buddyBuddy Media, Sam Budd, CEO

“We’ve seen a huge surge in live activations in 2022, arguably off the back of two years of pandemic where people have been isolated and had little to no meaningful connections in their day to day lives. 

“There has also been a build-up in marketing spend for certain brands, particularly in the retail, tech and gaming sectors. 

“So, we’ve been seeing heightened levels of activity with key markets that prospered during the pandemic.

“As we are moving through the year, I do totally agree that we are starting to see a slowdown and a concern around the economic impact that the pandemic and the war in Ukraine is having.

“Therefore, budgets are not only being reduced, but they are also having a hard KPI set against them. How we’ve responded to that at Buddy is to ensure that every activation has a hard KPI metric against it, either sales, downloads, or lead generation that can be harnessed and associated directly to the activation that we’re delivering – something we did anyway but is now at the fore.

“We’re also very conscious of how we can deliver meaningful, highly immersive and engaging events, that are digital first. These must be amplified cross market and online to maximise the potential ROI that they can achieve – multiple touchpoints.

“Moving forward, I think agencies and brands need to have nimble, strategic and performance orientated activations with clear outcomes. I cannot see any signs of this slowing down from the current briefs and opportunities on the table, especially with specific brands that are prospering and have prospered in the last few years.

“On a final note, the brands that attack this market that stay current and find innovative ways to meaningfully connect with people at a time when they are seeking it. will inevitably come out of this slowdown, stronger with greater brand loyalty and customer bases than their competitors.”

Charlie Johnson - Digital ElementDigital Element, Charlie Johnson, VP, International

“It is encouraging to see marketing budgets stay resilient.

“However, we need to be taking stock of the roadblocks ahead and pay close attention to shifting consumer behaviours to ensure strategies continue to drive business outcomes, despite the current uncertainty.

“The key to achieving this, of course, is data. While longer term forecasts have fallen, brands must continue to leverage accurate and reliable data to strengthen their strategies, ensuring they reach the right audience with the strongest messages, at a time when missed opportunities will have a significant impact. ”

Ben Davis, EconsultancyEconsultancy, Ben Davis, Editor

“With online and video advertising budgets continuing to grow, combined with reduced consumer spending and the return to brick-and-mortar retail, ecommerce brands will be fighting it out to win clicks.

“This increasing competition online may drive up the cost of each click, so it’s imperative that advertisers have the expertise to optimise their spend in paid search, marketplaces and display/social.

“At the same time, given the IPA report also highlights the continued branding push in digital, one would expect marketers to place even greater emphasis on the value of a strong organic search presence and engaging social content, particularly given online-to-offline shopper behaviour.

“Lastly, it’s encouraging to read of the intention of businesses to upskill staff in response to a tough labour market – at Econsultancy we are seeing brands identify data literacy as one key focus, helping marketers to increase effectiveness but also demonstrate their commercial impact to the board.”

pierce cook anderson equativEquativ (formerly Smart AdServer), Pierce Cook Anderson, MD North Europe

“The signs are that we are sliding into a recession and, from a technical perspective, are probably already there.

“The downturn will likely last for some time, impacting overall marketing spend and leading to further budget cuts in Q3 and beyond as clients shift spend.

“But shutting down marketing budgets and media activities completely is not the correct response to this complicated economic situation. Certain sectors will still need to advertise, and should be able to afford to do so.

“The challenge is finding the right balance and the most effective methods. In other words, buyers need to adapt their strategies and create greater cost efficiencies to drive ROI by targeting quality over quantity.

“This means investing in the open web and relying on trusted partners that will ensure efficient media buying – notably by offering curated marketplaces and contextual targeting, which will become even more relevant in a cookieless future.”

Peter Wallace gumgumGumGum, Pete Wallace, General Manager, EMEA

“There are no two ways about it: the US is facing a potential recession. 

“The latest IPA Bellwether report reveals that following a period of growth in 2021, brands are showing caution in the face of supply chain disruptions and financial inflation, and their ad spends are likely to slow in response. 

“If history tell us anything though, it’s those bands who are willing to remain active and spend throughout a downturn who end up better off in the long term. 

“From GumGum’s perspective, we understand that continuation will be coupled by more scrutiny to ensure investment drives outcomes. 

“In a world where the cookie is in decline and targeting options change, contextual and creativity take centre stage in advertisers considerations. 

“Not only does this make advertising better for the consumer but time and time again, enhancing this combo is proven to drive better results for advertisers.

Jake Stott HypeHype Partners Jake Stott, CEO

“With persistent high inflation, we expect this to negatively impact household spending on many consumer goods.

“Reduced consumer spending is likely to lead to lower conversion rates on paid media for some brands. 

“However, CPAs could remain constant with massively reduced demand for ad space. Ad space should be drastically cheaper across all mediums due to the largest tech and consumer brands pulling back spend.

“The hot summer weather is likely to increase OOH spend and likewise effectiveness perhaps leading to a decrease in social media effectiveness as less people sit inside and scroll newsfeeds. Event marketing will also be more effective.

“People will seek uplifting content if the economic downturn persists as an escape from everyday problems. Some industries and companies who had very strong Covid 19 sales or recent fundraises will be able to capitalise on the misfortune of others during this time. 

“These companies will emerge very strongly in 12-24 months.

“Finally, companies will need to realign budgets and test new channels like TikTok and Metaverse, as other channels like Facebook, Netflix… decrease in popularity.”

Deepa Bist impact.comimpact.com, Deepa Bist, Interim Marketing Director, EMEA

“Caution appears to be the outlook for brands in the coming months – we’re seeing a freeze or decrease in ad spend and a deceleration in last year’s growth.

“The pressure is on and brands still need to meet consumer needs whilst they content with fitting them around potential budget reductions.

“It’s not as big an ask as it might appear. What we will see is a continued rise in spend in partnerships and Influencer Marketing, which is to be expected because Partnership Marketing feels more tangible, and brands can see they are getting more value from their spend.

“At a time when the industry is on a downturn, we recommend more than ever that advertisers focus on building trust.

“The power of support and collaboration will keep both parties comfortable and secure, as partners become natural extensions of a brand and it allows them to establish and nurture long term relationships that result in organic, consistent storytelling through difficult times and far beyond.

andrew turner incubetaIncubeta, Andrew Turner, Chief Revenue Officer

“After the confident forecasts of Q1, a reassessment of growth was unavoidable given the current economic and political situation. 

“Nevertheless, with digital budgets remaining relatively buoyant even in the face of these big challenges, it is clear that online will remain a key part of the marketing toolkit for 2022.

“Additionally, the return of event budgets is a further sign that offline marketing is recovering post-pandemic and it is clear that consumers are throwing themselves back into in-person activities. Particularly encouraging is the growth of those sectors which were hard-hit by Covid, including Travel, Entertainment and Hospitality.

“However, businesses need to optimise their omnichannel experiences, and ensure that these marketing budgets, which remain resilient for the time being, are carefully divided across the right channels.”

Richard Exon, JointJoint, Richard Exon, Founder

“It’s telling that the Bellwether Report has landed in the same month that we heard a truly dumb government suggestion, that UK companies should decrease all marketing and advertising investment in order to cut prices for consumers to help ease the cost of living crisis.

“Whilst the current generation of Tory leaders seem happier breaking things than building them, businesses know that investing for the long and the short term need not be antithetical to offering value for money today.

“No wonder the Edelman Trust Barometer shows the public today have more trust in businesses than politicians, and consistent honest marketing and communications has played a huge part in that shift and will continue to long into the future.”

Vihan sharma, LiveRampLiveRamp, Vihan Sharma, Exec VP Global Sales & MD Europe 

“Despite the difficult economic climate, the resilience of online advertising budgets indicated by this quarter’s IPA Bellwether is encouraging.

“As the industry continues to embrace cookieless technology, it is likely that smart digital marketers will now be thinking about long term strategies which are underpinned by addressability.

“Indeed, the privacy-centric, first party future is here, and already publishers and marketers are utilising new addressable solutions to achieve more accurate measurement and audience reach far beyond the capabilities of third-party cookies.

“Bolstered by closer collaboration, first-party addressability is  promoting democratisation across the digital marketing ecosystem and, as media investment is diverted more toward the Open Web, a way of working with and beyond the walled gardens.

“Delivering true people-based marketing will not only restore the value exchange between brands and their audiences, it promises greater return-on-spend and the chance for publishers, platforms and advertisers to take back control of their revenues.”

LoopMe Stephen upstoneLoopMe, Stephen Upstone, Founder and CEO

“In the current economic climate, marketers must be able to tie their ads to specific KPIs to make the most of their budget, while drawing on insights from granular measurement to track how campaigns perform in real-time. 

“Our own research recently revealed that 50% of UK consumers are consciously cutting back on spend due to rising prices, so it’s never been more important for brands to procure the level of insight required to pivot ad budgets quickly to the areas that produce the greatest ROI. 

“Marketing efforts should also focus on the most profitable channels – take, for instance, the rising popularity of in-app advertising – to attract eyeballs, increase campaign efficacy, and gain market share from competitors.”

Chris Hogg, EMEA Managing Director, LotameLotame, Chris Hogg, Chief Revenue Officer 

“We are still treating a UK recession as a mere possibility; the discussion is still “how likely?” but the only relevant questions should be “how long?” and “how deep?” 

“We have seen softness in media for Q1 via signals from our global data marketplace, followed by some stability in Q2, and we’ll choose to read that as a positive sign. 

“However, as consumers are hunkering down, demand is starting to weaken, and manufacturing indices are beginning to decline, so marketers will need to treat budgets with caution for the foreseeable future.

“On top of this, the industry is still grappling with ways to ensure audience addressability in the new age of privacy. 

“It’s crucial that identity vendors and publishers collaborate to help marketers spend smarter, rather than squabbling over the effectiveness of their respective platforms. 

“To truly deliver privacy-first data solutions for campaign and budget optimisation, industry players must work together; the future profitability of our industry depends on it.”

Lloyd Davies, Managing Director UK, Making ScienceMaking Science UK, Lloyd Davies, Managing Director

“Cuts in forecasts have reinforced the need for marketing efficiency, however our latest research found that nearly two-thirds of UK brands are underutilising their data. 

“By focusing on high-level, general activations instead of more sophisticated techniques such as prediction and audience insights, marketers are failing to reap the rewards of their initial investments. 

“With less than half (42%) able to increase their ROI as a result of data activation, marketers should review their data activation strategies to incorporate advanced analytics tools such as Google’s BigQuery. 

“This will allow for more in depth analysis and activation, giving them the opportunity to really benefit from the data they own and maximise available budget.”

James Leaver multilocalMultilocal, James Leaver, CEO

It’s unsurprising to see the trends and analysis in the latest IPA Bellwether report, reflecting what’s really happening in the industry. 

“Since the deceleration of market growth in Q4 2021, the market as a whole is showing signs of slowing down but that doesn’t mean we’ll see the same trend with brands, who will be continuing to demand top performance out of their ad spend, even as their budgets decrease. 

“With attention such a prominent part of the conversation, from our side, we have seen a massive increase in the demand for curating the right audience.

“At multilocal, through curation we know that we are able to deliver an effective marketing solution that performs no matter the trends.

Nano Interactive, Heather Lloyd, Head of Product Marketing 

“It is heartening to see that marketing budgets are continuing to grow in the latest IPA Bellwether report.

“That said, marketers are continuing to struggle with the challenges of measurement as we get nearer to the deprecation of third-party cookies.

“The reality is, we are living in a world where the path to purchase is far more fragmented and the average person is estimated to be exposed to 4,000 commercial messages a day.

“As a result, working towards the opportunity to see (Viewability), no longer goes far enough and a better understanding of the attention that was likely paid to the ad is much more significant.

“Indeed, this is why attention is so important right now and one way to do this is to look at time-in-view (TIV) which is defined by the length of time a creative is in view for and how this correlates to uplifts in key brand metrics.

“A longer time-in-view means the user has more quality time engaging with the ad message, which in turn generates higher uplifts in brand metrics.

“Ultimately, attention has the potential to be one of the key defining metrics for the industry but we need to come together to test and learn to find a clearer definition.

“And once this has been achieved, we will all be able to reap the benefits of this new privacy-first advertising era.”

Charlie Brookes, OctaveOctave Audio, Charlie Brookes, Director of Revenue 

“While the latest IPA Bellwether suggests a drop in audio ad spend in Q2, the latest IAB UK figures show that digital audio is booming across areas such as streaming and podcasting.

“With marketing budgets reduced, advertisers need to ensure they are tailoring messages and targeting with more precision.

“This means first-party data strategies need to be strengthened to ensure the right audiences are being reached in the right environments.

“Additionally, advertisers can look at ways to engage audiences’ attention. Interactive ads are a great way to do this, from encouraging users to perform an action such as shaking the device they are listening on, to getting the listener to respond to an ad to find out more information or even make a purchase.

“As the digital audio industry continues to evolve, marketing budgets need to work smarter, not harder to be effective.”

Isabella Jenkins, Agency Partner, Permutive (1)Permutive, Isabella Jenkins, Agency Partner

“It was great to see marketing budgets remain consistent in Q2. However, to ensure advertisers are capturing consumer attention, and making the most of their budgets, they need to be conscious of the changes happening around them.

“Ad spend forecasts for the next couple of years are being cut, and in an industry facing dwindling consumer trust, advertisers need to create a new responsible digital ecosystem.

“With reducing media budgets, advertisers need to work with partners that can provide consented first-party data and an opportunity to build one-to-many relationships with publishers.

“Brands have a truly powerful opportunity to create and scale meaningful ad experiences with consumers, while protecting their privacy.”

Matt White, VP EMEA at QuantcastQuantcast, Matt White, VP EMEA 

“We find ourselves in the midst of a perfect storm. After the rollercoaster of the last couple of years, I believe the industry will have the tools to navigate through this uncertain economic climate. 

“The UK is experiencing a huge rise in the cost of living, but the buffer provided by the lack of spending in the previous two years could prove favourable for retailers and advertisers alike, especially savings on experiential items.

“September is a big time for our industry. New tech releases including the new iPhone, and new cars are released, pumping a huge amount of revenue into advertising. 

“Industries such as travel are still seeing an enormous boost, riding the wave of pandemic cabin fever and I don’t see this fading. We’re cautiously optimistic about the next quarter, but it would be foolish to be unaware of how this turbulent economy can touch every industry.”

Jay Stevens, CEO, Redmill Solutions, May 2022Redmill Solutions, Jay Stevens, CEO 

“Given the current economic climate, media spend cuts are to be expected. But with so much financial uncertainty ahead, brand advertisers need to be able to identify where to make these budget changes, and by how much. 

“These often complex decisions can put pressure on CMOs; they need to have a clear line of sight on their global media data to justify spend and make informed decisions on any cuts.

“Better media data visibility allows brands and agencies to quickly pinpoint, and eliminate, inefficiencies and stay agile in response to unforeseen challenges. 

“In this way, they can maximise ROI and reduce waste to future-proof budgets and campaigns in an ever-changeable industry.”

Mateusz Jedrocha, RTB HouseRTB House, Mateusz Jędrocha, Head of Upper Funnel Solutions Dev.

“It is promising to see that video ad spend has grown by 8% in the latest IPA Bellwether report. However, there is still a common misconception that the number of views a video gets can be regarded as a key metric of success. 

“The reality is that success is determined by targeting consumers receiving the right content at the right time. And thankfully, the latest innovations in ad tech is allowing advertisers to do just this.

“Deep Learning, or advanced artificial intelligence (AI), for example, is the most advanced AI set of algorithms and is capable of understanding human decisions with an unprecedented level of precision predicting future actions based on online behaviour.

“For video campaigns, Deep Learning can make a huge difference in gaining attention in an efficient way. Through real-time predictions, Deep Learning is able to pick the right time, place, message and audience, which in turn enables advertisers to improve the customer journey and create the most effective video advertising strategy. 

“By doing so, advertisers can increase their brand’s visibility whilst also maximising the value of each ad impression.”

Matt Nash, Scibids (1)Scibids, Matt Nash, UK Managing Director

“With ad spend budgets set to decline, advertisers need to ensure now more than ever that their campaigns are delivering ROI. 

“Indeed, the death of the cookie is challenging brands to reimagine their digital advertising and powerful artificial intelligence (AI), which combines both contextual and first-party data, is one way to boost campaign performance.

“Contextual signals based on anonymous interest cohorts are quickly becoming the best data point to maximise traditional metrics like CPA, CPV and newer metrics like attention. 

“These signals are privacy-compliant as they do not track users between websites or capitalise on personal data. Additionally, these signals eliminate the issue of consumers being shown the same ad repeatedly when the likelihood to convert is not present. 

“Indeed, AI can be used here to build bespoke data sets which constantly evolve and have the ability to reallocate budgets in real time. Together, the two achieve campaign efficiency at scale, garnering user attention when brands need it the most.”

Tony Ayaz - Scuba AnalyticsScuba Analytics, Tony Ayaz, CEO

“Quality, timely data is a marketer’s biggest competitive edge, even more so in light of forecasted reductions to ad spend. Inadequate data, or the inability to build insights through in-depth analysis, hinders a brand’s ability to effectively cater to consumers’ needs, and impedes the optimisation of advertising campaigns. 

“Marketers should monitor and analyse consumers’ increasingly fragmented and complex journeys in real-time to develop Continuous Intelligence, allowing them to respond in-the-moment to audience behaviour and optimise campaigns. 

“This data-driven approach also ensures marketers will be able to demonstrate the long-term success of their ROI.”

Justin Taylor, TeadsTeads, Justin Taylor, UK MD 

“Following the impressive growth predicted last quarter – with the mounting challenges like the war in Ukraine, the energy crisis and continued disruption to supply chains – it was somewhat inevitable that the latest IPA Bellwether would scale back its forecasts in Q2. 

“The net expansion of marketing budgets despite these problems is a testament to the industry’s resilient sense of optimism post-pandemic.

“Nevertheless, maintaining upward momentum in the face of reduced ad spend will require a balance of proven partners alongside new ways of approaching scale and effectiveness.

“As consumers tighten their belts in the face of these economic issues, as well as recent political developments, media as a source of news, advice and community will be relied on heavily. 

“Advertisers who continue their support of ad-funded media sites, in high-attention environments with impactful creative will continue to see meaningful business results through this period of turbulence.”

john stoneman tripleliftTripleLift, John Stoneman, SVP, Global Demand

“Although the financial headwinds have impacted the growth of main media marketing budgets, we continue to see steady demand flow through our exchange. 

“Buyers understand the value of programmatic media trading as a proven and efficient way to reach their target audiences. 

“As the route to the consumer becomes more complicated, less trackable, and overall more expensive, investing in Supply Path Optimisation is crucial for marketers to gain a better understanding of their investments, cut further waste, and improve their KPIs.”

Anthony Lamy - VidMobVidMob, Anthony Lamy, VP EMEA Client Partnerships

“We are repeatedly hearing from advertisers how investment in digital campaigns with multiple creative assets, whose performance is not measured and improved, is increasingly unacceptable. 

“With pressure set to grow on ROI and efficiency, many advertisers will be challenged to outspend their competitors and must enhance the control of their advertising campaigns to drive performance through competitive advantage. 

“This is the time for intelligent creative. Using real-time, data-driven insights, advertisers can fully optimise their campaigns by measuring performance indicators to remove the guesswork and correctly identify elements for improvement.”

Ronny Golan, CEO and Co-Founder viewerslogicViewersLogic, Ronny Golan, CEO and Co-Founder

“Turbulent economic conditions have upended most predictable trends in consumer behaviour that marketers rely on for their media planning. 

“To prevent drops in sales that will place further pressure on already beleaguered businesses, brands must pay close attention to the rapidly changing behaviours of the individuals that make up their target audiences. 

“The accepted wisdom that probabilistic models deliver these insights falls short of the reality of actual consumer behaviour. In short, they are simply no longer fit for purpose. 

“In dynamic environments, only single-source data can provide an accurate reflection of current consumer behaviour enabling brands to engage consumers where they are today, significantly reducing waste and maximising campaign efficiency.”

Elliott MillardWavemaker UK, Elliott Millard, Head of Planning

“We all know that the cost of living crisis is impacting consumer spending, so a decay in forecast marketing growth is unsurprising. 

“It’s easy at times like this to dust off a copy of IPA’S report Advertising in a downturn (which is excellent), but in the same way that the impact of Covid didn’t play out quite like a recession, this will likely not play out like a recession either.

“Not only does the current climate, such as high inflation and high employment, not indicate a ‘normal’ recession, but so many other factors are at play in business and marketing. 

“Consider the level of risk to the supply chain, the demand pool and the effectiveness headroom given the rising costs of many media channels.

“The complexity of this landscape means a singular approach will not be fit for purpose. We will need a framework to help understand firstly, how much risk a business is carrying. 

“Second, the expansive role that marketing will need to play, for example, supporting supply chain agility and flexibility. 

“And finally, the opportunities that may exist, such as how the demand pool is growing or shrinking and an assessment of the competitor landscape.

“For some organisations, the old rules of 2008 will hold true – keep budgets high, take advantage of any reduced costs, retain TOMA, go long term and lead on brand. 

“But for some, learning hard into short-termism will actually be the right thing. Let’s face it, if a business is at risk, then all the brand equity in the world is less interesting than sales. 

“Understanding how we apply the early warning signs that the Bellwether report gives us and adapting our strategy accordingly to each business will be key to delivering profitable growth for clients.”

Russell Pedrick, WirelessWireless, Russell Pedrick, Director of Digital

“Whilst the latest IPA Bellwether report cites that video spend has increased, it has also revealed that audio spend has been somewhat reduced in Q2. That said, we know that digital audio is the fastest growing medium in digital advertising, as evidenced in the latest IAB figures.

“This growth is a result of a seismic shift in consumer behaviour, accelerated even faster over the pandemic, with digital consumption increasing across multiple platforms. 

“Podcasts, for example, have become the fastest growing advertising medium, enabling brands to reach young and affluent audiences listening on their own, therefore allowing direct integrated 1-2-1 interactions.

“To succeed in today’s complex media ecosystem, brands need to be present across all touchpoints to build familiarity, consideration and to drive action. In fact, research has shown that using online display alongside radio and news brands can have significant uplifts for brands when activated together.

“In the coming months, we expect that digital audio and video will continue to boom, especially with key events such as the World Cup starting in the run up to Christmas. 

“And with budgets potentially tightening, brands are likely to be placing more emphasis on quality and trusted environments for their ad placements.”

Hunain Khan, account director, XandrXandr, Hunain Khan, Director, Programmatic CTV Supply Lead

“The growing popularity of digital video is reflected in Q2’s IPA Bellwether as video related marketing spend increased for a second consecutive quarter.

“This is because with consumer privacy top-of-mind for advertisers and media owners, the digital video landscape offers an appealing environment to operate in. 

“Media owners often have consented, exclusive insight into what their audience is watching, when and how often. This data is essential for buyers and can be effectively wrapped and sold in a privacy-compliant way by the owners.

“Moving forward, buyers will be increasingly placing greater emphasis on supply path optimisation (SPO) strategies, such as private marketplaces or curated marketplaces to put them in more control and provide more transparency. 

“It will therefore be crucial to strengthen the relationship between buyers and sellers, where marketers can agree upon a strategy that works for them and their unique goals.”

Zuzanna Gierlinska xaxisXaxis, Zuzanna Gierlinska, Managing Director UK

“Whilst Q2 tells a story of reliance it belies what’s ahead of us for the remainder of this year.  

“The write down of overall 2022 adspend growth forecast by Bellwether underlines the significant economic headwinds that the industry faces heading in H2. 

“Marketers are already taking a cautionary approach with many saving their pennies for the necessary Q4 push.  This is reflected in the budget write downs most notably impacting Audio & OOH.

“One trend we see emerging is the growth of omnichannel activation. Increasingly powered by AI and automation to deliver business outcomes. Omnichannel enables marketers to consolidate budgets whilst ensuring full funnel activation.

Emma lacey zefrZefr, Emma Lacey, SVP EMEA

“Video’s growth amid volatile market conditions reinforces it as a non-negotiable investment for brands in the marketing mix. 

“The channel has become increasingly attractive with platforms like TikTok and Meta announcing new Inventory Filters and verification for video in Feed respectively; allowing brands to have more control on their content adjacency and advertise safely. 

“Directing spend at these platforms can therefore be a powerful option for reaching target audiences while minimising waste inventory at a time when every penny counts.”