Majority of companies expect to increase marketing budgets this year, and print could be a beneficiary

The news: A majority of companies polled by R.R. Donnelley & Sons (RRD) plan to either increase or maintain their marketing budgets this year.

  • 54% of companies surveyed expect an increase in their marketing budget, while 29% expect it to stay the same.
  • This goes along with what we’ve seen in other studies: generally positive marketing budget growth, but a not insignificant number of companies pulling back.

Adapt or die: The study also found that 66% of the average marketing budget is allocated to digital channels, while 68% of marketers have had to change their digital marketing strategies due to changes in social and digital platforms in the last six months.

Why spend? The reasons cited for increasing or maintaining budgets include gaining a competitive advantage, helping weather the economic storm, maintaining marketing momentum, and having little concern about the impact of a recession. Some 73% of those surveyed see a recession or downturn as an opportunity to gain market share.

Print ascendant? The use of print marketing is rising as more marketers are allocating their budget toward channels such as direct mail, brochures, and signage. The study found that 62% of marketing departments have seen an increase or consistent use of print materials over the past two years, though other recent studies offer up differing figures:

  • Respondents in the RRD study said print produces a physical copy of information, serves as an offline channel for buyers to consider products, and provides a tactile and memorable experience.
  • Yet tracking response rates remains a challenge for many, with 38% of respondents struggling to do so effectively. Some experts suggest that a combination of print and digital channels may be the most effective way to keep customers engaged and drive conversions.

The big takeaway: Despite general economic uncertainty and tech layoffs, many marketers feel their companies will do well enough in coming months to open up their wallets more than in 2022.

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