1 In 3 Marketers Say the Recession Will Surpass COVID's Marketing Impacts: 3 Data Points to Know

Maxwell Iskiev
Maxwell Iskiev



The COVID-19 era was notoriously a rollercoaster for marketers, who had to pivot their strategies constantly as the world changed.

a marketer counts pennies during a recession,

Download Now: Free State of Marketing Report [Updated for 2023]

As if one unprecedented event wasn’t enough, marketers are now faced with a looming recession that’s already having major impacts on their industry.

Will the recession shake things up as much as COVID-19 did? Read below or listen here.

While we can't truly predict the future, one-third of marketers think a recession will have an even bigger impact on their marketing activities than the pandemic, while another 33% say it will be about the same.

recession vs. covid impact

While you should still take the data above with a grain of salt as it is just one of many studies and the economy is always quickly evolving, here are three things you need to know to prepare for whatever the coming months bring.

1. Most marketers say the recession is here.

While the world debates whether the recession is looming or arrived months ago, 78% of marketers say we're already living in it.

Marketers are already seeing budget cuts, hiring freezes, and other unpleasant effects. At the same time, their plans and goals for 2023 are constantly being adjusted as the economic situation progresses.

how the economy impacts marketers

For a deeper dive into the macroeconomic reasons marketers are being hit so hard, check out our blog post on how the recession is already impacting marketers.

2. 67% of marketers expect an economic slowdown for more than six months.

Not only is it already here, but our survey shows that marketers aren’t expecting the recession to end anytime soon. As one marketer put it:

“Between COVID-19 uncertainty, high prices due to inflation, supply chain and venue availability issues, people are hesitant to plan large events for the next 12 months. I expect that will continue at least for another year or until there is some sense of stability in the market.”

how long marketers expect the slowdown to last

3. Some marketing channels are losing effectiveness, requiring more spend.

Being expected to make a huge impact with a small budget is nothing new for marketers. But what happens when your usual marketing channels aren’t as effective as they used to be?

According to a marketer in our survey, “we're needing to spend more to get similar results from 6 months ago.” Meanwhile, 37% of marketers have already seen budget cuts.

We asked industry leaders for the most effective marketing strategies to cut costs in their marketing budgets. These made the top of the list:

most effective budget cutting strategies in marketing

At #1, tapping into earned media is a great (and free) opportunity to expand your reach and cut your budget. Also tied for first is leveraging automation and AI.

Thirdly, finding new or emerging marketing opportunities can also be huge. For example, embracing BeReal, a new social media platform popular among Gen Z, is completely free. Being among the first brands to hop on the trend presents a massive opportunity.

For more insights on how marketing leaders are planning to navigate these times, see our full report here.

What’s Next?

We plan on surveying marketers throughout 2023 to keep tabs on how the recession is impacting them as responsive as possible.

Whether the recession ends up milder than expected or continues to cause challenges, we’ll keep you posted and give you the tips you need to succeed in difficult times.

To learn more about the overarching opportunities, challenges, and trends in marketing today, check out our free State of Marketing Report below.





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Data from over 1,200 marketers across the globe.