July 3, 2022

Finance & Economy

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Marketing Spend Expected to Rebound in 2022

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Despite constraints imposed by COVID-19-induced business disruption and supply chain and talent issues, the advertising and marketing sector had its strongest year in the last decade, according to the latest research from Winterberry Group.

In its annual spend analysis of 20 media channels—nine offline and 11 digital—the consultancy saw marketing and advertising spend reach $436.3 billion in 2021, an increase of 21.6 percent over 2020 ($358.8 billion). That current total represents a $77.5 billion increase from a recessed 2020. 

Winterberry Group expects continued growth of 11.8 percent in 2022 to $487.8 billion. That growth will be fueled by economic growth and higher corporate profits, media cost inflation, the convergence of connected and linear TV, and a continuing digital shift powered by data, it concluded.

“A strong economic return and focus on outcomes vs. impressions in media, highlighted by the shift toward measurable performance channels, marked a strong year for media, data, and the service providers that support brand marketers,” said Bruce Biegel, senior managing partner of Winterberry Group. “The expectation is that while the rate of growth will be halved in 2022, the macro trends will continue to drive market expansion, though always subject to macro-economic and COVID-related impacts.”

Major areas that performed better than expectations included retail media marketing, which doubled from $20 billion to $40 billion between 2020 and 2021; experiential/sponsorship marketing, which grew by $10 billion off the historic lows of 2020; and connected television, which grew by $6 billion last year and is projected for another $5 billion of growth in 2022.

With tailwinds from media expansion, data-related spend (including data, identity, analytics, platforms, and measurement/attribution) grew to $29.3 billion, up 26 percent over the prior year, and is forecast to gain another 13 percent in 2022, according to the research.

Expected headwinds from the loss of online and mobile identifiers shifted spend toward the following:

  • Personalization of first-party data across all online and offline platforms;
  • Adoption of data management and clean room solutions;
  • The use of alternative identity solutions, including contextual targeting; and,
  • A rebound in direct mail acquisition fueling third-party data spend.

In aggregate, spend on data as a percent of total media increased from 11.6 percent in 2021 to 12.3 percent in 2022. Key growth drivers expected to impact 2022 include the following:

  • A continuing loss of identifiers in media, driven by privacy concerns, which will force marketers to deploy a wider range of identity solutions by year’s end;
  • The war to attract, retain. and compensate industry talent, which will continue for at least another 12 months;
  • Steady progress in the shift from campaign-centric marketing to customer-centric and journey-based approaches; and,
  • Increasing investment and market consolidation, fueled by a huge influx of venture capital, private equity, and public market capital. 
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