IPA Bellwether Report Q1, 2023: Adtech deep dive


We asked three top adtech leaders to do a deep dive into Thursday’s IPA Bellwether report for the first quarter of the year, to see if they could decipher strategies for the months ahead.

Even in these economically straightened times, adspend outperformed.

However, the need for brands to continue making some noise, investing in brand building and taking up new technologies as we wade through these challenging times, will be key to staying on top…

Phil-Gale-inmobiPhilip Gale, Head of Agency Partnerships, EU, InMobi

“I’m glad to see the IPA Bellwether report reference the importance of identifying and implementing new technologies to boost the bottom line.

“Everyone is seeking out the best way to turbocharge business performance, to drive efficiencies and new revenue opportunities, and there have been such strides beyond the tried and true, especially when it comes to media plans.

“By way of example, this is the perfect time to test new methods that will help reach the most appropriate audiences even without identifiers.

“Similarly, branching out and leveraging in-app mobile, retail media and even in-game opportunities can add fresh, immersive, seamless and high impact ad opportunities which engage audiences and build meaningful connections.

“This latest report points out that many UK companies know how important it is to maintain marketing activities despite intense cost pressures in the marketplace.

“Certainly the solid performance of sales promotions in particular highlights the need to help consumers at this time.

Many businesses have already shown remarkable resilience during the pandemic and now, with multi-decade high inflation, it’s heartening to see that companies are tapping into their marketing resources to help them successfully navigate through economic turbulence, while supporting their customers.

“Direct marketing spend has also risen; highlighting the need for those direct connections – especially during challenging times.

“With some bullish budget-setting suggesting that companies plan to use marketing tools to combat a potential period of economic turbulence, many are investing in martech, including in-app activations, immersive technologies and AI; with the adoption of new digital marketing methods rightly regarded by many as an opportunity to support growth over the coming months.”

owen-hancock-impactOwen Hancock, Regional Vice President, Marketing – EMEA, impact.com

“It’s heartening to see total marketing budget growth hitting a one-year high in this latest Bellwether report, despite the current economic challenges.

“In the face of soaring inflation, business confidence has taken a hit but it seems that marketers are managing to fight their corner and ensure that marketing spend is viewed as an investment; a way to ensure brands come out the other side stronger than ever.

“With households facing rising bills and the highest increase in prices since October 1981, the report reveals that sales promotions are the top performer, but these efforts must be coupled with long-term brand building.

“Certainly the survey suggests that many companies are tapping into their marketing resources to help them successfully navigate through turbulence.

“This is what we are seeing at impact.com, with the brands that outperform the competition being those that are investing in technologies designed to boost efficiency and ensure productive, long-term partnerships.

“The Bellwether report rightly notes that technological evolution presents exciting opportunities for marketers, with many businesses signalling positive investment intentions in this regard, through tools such as automation and AI.

“Time and again, those who invest in forward-facing digital marketing platforms and methodologies have out-manoeuvred the competition.

“At impact.com, our platform is designed to empower brands and creators to create, manage, and optimise partnerships.

“Despite the complexity of this type of marketing, the platform today can allow advertisers to run full-funnel influencer campaigns with maximum efficiency and effectiveness; scaling, tracking and managing programs via a single interface.

“Technology can automate even the most seemingly complex of tasks, such as discovering new partners based on shared values and audiences, enabling efficient collaboration and tracking performance in a granular fashion from awareness and brand lift to all important revenue.

“It can simplify and improve processes whilst offering detailed attribution reporting across the entire funnel – and thereby helping marketers to defend those all important budgets. More than ever, teams need innovative technology to stay ahead.”

Pete-Wallace-gumgumPete Wallace, General Manager, EMEA, GumGum

“For nearly a year now, the globe has been faced with the significant back-drop of economic uncertainty, political instability and growing environmental concern.

“All of these things continue to ring true today: Consumer confidence is at a low and the strain on families is worse than it’s been in many years.

“Times like these also lead to less brand loyalty as consumers choose what is right for them based on their own circumstances, economic and social, in the moment.

“At the beginning of this instability, many brands made the conscious decision to reduce advertising spend to help them ride this out – something that was seen in last year’s spend figures.

“With no end in sight and previously loyal customers becoming shaky they are faced with two options. First, to stay silent, to save marketing dollars but likely suffer in both the short and long term.

“Or second, to adapt to the world around them, continue to make noise and be present with customers with a tone of voice which resonates in these times.

It’s this combination which will help win new customers and build for long term futures.

“With the reported increased spending from brands, the latest Bellwether report indicates that advertisers are taking this route.

“In turn, they are banking on the fact that if they plan for the long term, maintain existing client bases and steal from competitors, they’ll set themselves up for long term success.”