Most marketing leaders have contingency plans but few follow them
More eight in 10 (81%) marketing leaders have developed a contingency plan to respond to disruptions. However, less than a quarter (21%) are actually using these plans despite ongoing macroeconomic disruption.
The survey from Gartner finds 44% of marketers who enacted their contingency plan during economic disruption exceeded year-over-year profit growth.
“With ongoing economic and geopolitical disruption, contingency plans are more important than ever,” says Gartner Marketing Practice senior director analyst Greg Carlucci. “Having a plan is a good first step, but following through on that plan when disruption occurs is what really matters.”
The research also finds that increasing budgets in response to disruption leads to increased profit. Respondents who increased spending relative to their contingency plan were almost twice as likely to achieve year-on-year profit growth.
By contrast, just 5% of those surveyed reported having cut their budgets.
M&A activity in marketing sectors remains resilient
Despite macroeconomic disruption, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity in the technology, digital, media and marketing sectors fell by just 3% in the first quarter of the year, compared to the same period in 2022.
PR and communications saw a significant uptick in M&A activity in the quarter, with activity rising by 117% compared to the year prior. Events and experiential also rose by 30%.
The digital services, adtech/martech and content and production sub-sectors accounted for over three-fifth (61%) of the activity in the sector during the quarter.
The UK, along with the US, was the most active market for M&As during the quarter. These markets combined accounted for 49% of all global deals.
Deals where private equity companies were the buyers were most common. Almost half (49%) of deals were made by private equity companies in the quarter.
The overall value of the deals disclosed during the period has increased by 14%.
Confidence rebounds among chief financial officers
Chief financial officers (CFOs) at the UK’s biggest companies are feeling decidedly more confident about their business’s future than they were three months ago.
A net balance of around one quarter of the CFOs surveyed by Deloitte feel more positive about the financial prospects of their business than they did three months ago. The last time the survey was carried out, 17% felt more pessimistic.
This swing towards optimism is the biggest recorded in the survey since the rollout of the vaccine during the Covid pandemic.
Deloitte chief economist Ian Stewart attributes this increased confidence to a range of factors including the perception inflation has peaked, falling energy prices and a relatively calmer political environment versus last year.
Despite the uptick in confidence, the survey suggests CFOs are still adopting defensive strategies. The top three corporate priorities for finance leaders in the next three months remain increasing cash flow, reducing costs and reducing leverage.
B2B firms see positive results from investing in omnichannel
B2B companies that invest in five omnichannel strategies, including hybrid sales teams and capabilities, personalised marketing, advanced sales technology use, third-party marketplace strategies and ecommerce, achieved a 10% increase in market share, according to McKinsey & Company’s latest B2B Pulse.
The research, which analysed responses from nearly 3,800 sales and marketing leaders across 13 countries, also reveals these firms are twice as likely to gain market share than companies that only used one.
Meanwhile, more than half (57%) of growing companies are now using hybrid sales teams. In a shift from traditional methods, the report shows 35% of B2B decision-makers now view ecommerce as their most effective sales channel. And more companies (77%) are investing in direct one to one personalisation with those that go a step further to hyper-personalisation.
“It’s a defining moment for sales and marketing leaders,” says Candace Lun Plotkin, partner at McKinsey & Company. “Companies that are defying the odds and going all in on critical investments and growth levers are realising market share gains at a faster clip. What this means for those who are looking to emerge stronger, is that growth – even in this difficult climate – is attainable. It comes down to charting that path and taking decisive action.”
Source: McKinsey & Company
Advertising exports hits £15bn
The UK exported advertising and market research services worth £15bn in 2021, according to the Advertising Association’s analysis of new figures released by the Office for National Statistics. The country imported services to the value of £12bn over the same period, meaning the sector contributed £3bn to the UK’s balance of payments.
The figures represent a bounce back from 2020, with a 32.5% year-on-year increase representing the sector’s best performance since industry think tank Credos began tracking export figures in 2018.
“It is terrific to see such strong growth figures from the UK’s world-leading advertising and marketing services,” says Advertising Association CEO Stephen Woodford. “We prepare now to support the next decade of UK advertising growth, through our productive partnership between the industry, through the UK Advertising Exports Group, and the Department for Business and Trade.”
Kemi Badenoch, Secretary of State for the Department of Business and Trade, says: “The advertising industry is one of the UK’s strongest exports and these record figures provide a great boost as we aim to sell £1trn of goods and services to the world by the end of the decade.”