Economic uncertainty means marketers will re-evaluate ad buys more frequently in 2023

While overall ad spend will continue to grow, many marketers expect to adjust their mix of channels every month.

Chat with MarTechBot

Marketers are going to be measuring and re-measuring their investments in 2023. Nearly two-thirds say they will be re-evaluating their media spend more frequently, with most doing so monthly, according to a new IAB survey. 

Ad spend will continue to grow. The overall ad spend is projected to be up 5.9%, according to the IAB’s “2023 Outlook Survey.” Every digital channel is expected to see increased ad spend, with CTV leading the way in a 14.4% increase. Among category channels, B2B (20.8% increase), travel (20.6%), restaurants/beer/liquor/wine (17.1%), and financial services (11.1%) are projected to do the best. 

IAB Projected Ad Spend By Channel
Source: IAB 2023 Outlook Survey

Top goals. Customer acquisition is by far the top goal for media investments in the coming year (61%). The next two goals are increasing brand equity (43%) and improving media efficiency (35%).

These goals all explain why the three things marketers plan to focus most on in 2023 are:

  • Cross-platform measurement — 55%.
  • Ad placement with publishers with first-party data — 53%.
  • First party data acquisition/partnerships — 52%.

Good news for retail media networks. All of which means next year will be a really good one for retail media network (RMN) owners. Some 61% of buyers are investing or considering investing in RMN advertising next year, resulting in a projected ad spend increase of 28.4%. Onsite (owned & operated) ad investment is by far the top RMN ad tactic, being leveraged by 91% of buyers, according to the IAB.

Dig deeper: In this economy CMOs need to spend more on training, not tech

Why we care. Uncertain times call for data and spending certainty. Marketers aren’t waiting to find out when third-party cookies will finally go away. They are looking at first-party data acquisition now. Similarly, the chancy economic picture means re-evaluating media buying as frequently as possible. Also, all this means marketers are feeling far less adventurous: Only 26% said they will be significantly focusing on Web3 (including metaverse, NFTs, etc.) in 2023.

Get MarTech! Daily. Free. In your inbox.

About the author

Constantine von Hoffman
Constantine von Hoffman is managing editor of MarTech. A veteran journalist, Con has covered business, finance, marketing and tech for, Brandweek, CMO, and Inc. He has been city editor of the Boston Herald, news producer at NPR, and has written for Harvard Business Review, Boston Magazine, Sierra, and many other publications. He has also been a professional stand-up comedian, given talks at anime and gaming conventions on everything from My Neighbor Totoro to the history of dice and boardgames, and is author of the magical realist novel John Henry the Revelator. He lives in Boston with his wife, Jennifer, and either too many or too few dogs.

Get the must-read newsletter for marketers.