What will be the biggest change to impact global media planning in 2023?

With Covid-19 having had a huge impact on all aspects of our lives, and after living through turbulent times the industry has seen a decrease in ad spend in a variety of areas, advertisers have felt these pressures and have had to adjust their spends accordingly and by doing so prioritising media, so that brands reach their target audience without wasting their budget on unnecessary spends (Le Thierry 2022).

Although it seems we are at the backend of Covid, and markets now seem to be recovering, we are faced with an all-new challenge, the cost-of-living crisis.

Responding to a recession

With the cost of living becoming extremely hard, consumers have less money, retailers are struggling with budget spends and there will inevitably be cuts for media planners to take into consideration. (WARC 2020) says there has been “a shift towards investment in performance marketing, which in turn accelerates the trend towards digital channels, with Amazon and TikTok among the growth stories” for this current year. However, with digital platforms still performing well in the marketing landscape, this is likely to continue.

Next year, with consumers more cautions on what they are willing to spend on, brands and media planners will “need to be clear with the prices, message, and delivery of the services you are offering to your customers” (GrowTraffic 2022). By doing so, you are making the brand appear transparent, honest and trustworthy and therefore, in a time where consumers need reassuring to part ways with their money, you will be increasing the chances of them choosing your brand.

The rise of tech and AI

Digital platforms and technology are forever emerging, developing and changing the media landscape as we know it. Heading into 2023, it is very likely that digital spends will still be at an all-time high (Bradley 2022) as more people consume media at an increasing rate. Media planners will have to continue to understand and harness new technological capabilities which should aid them in how content reaches a chosen target market. As the use of third-party cookies ends in 2022, the use for first party data and AI will be the next step in brand strategies on how to reach consumers whilst also personalising their user experience (UX). This AI will aim to not only help media planners personalise a UX, but also contextualise media during a time where fast-changing media consumption habits are at an all-time high (Weinberg 2021).

(Statista 2022) states that digital video content is leading the way in terms of consumer consumption in comparison to mass broadcast media such as TV and radio. Because of this, towards the end of 2022 and entering 2023, you may start to see brands switch their ad spend to mostly digital spaces, especially with the rise of more connected TV’s (CTV), “a device that connects to, or is embedded in a television to support video content streaming” (Oracle n.d.). Using first party data through IP connected devices, will further allow advertisers to contextualise content to specific users due to the trends in what the consumer watches, Netflix is currently succeeding in doing this.

Governmental changes

In 2023 new laws and legislations will be established globally, placing further pressures on small-medium enterprises and big tech companies. Although this pressure will promote some changes initially for the better, we should start to see brands taking ownership of their transparency to consumers, which will only aid them in building trust. Acts coming into place include the Digital Markets Act (DMA) which aims to “regulate the gatekeeper power of the largest digital companies” (European Commission n.d.). Media planners who are from smaller brands and agencies, at first shouldn’t feel much of a change, but as the big tech make their changes, brands will find the way to publish media on these closed ecosystems will have a downstream effect on all brands (Davis 2022).

The (European Commission 2022) says that The Digital Services Act (DSA) will be put in place to help “foster innovation, growth and competitiveness, and facilitate the scaling up of smaller platforms, SMEs and start-ups.” This is great news in the eye of the consumer as it grants the user more fundamental rights and will create less exposure with illegal content. Although this may be seen as more restrictive to brands and media planners, it will also develop the brands relationship with consumers when carried out correctly.

Into the future...

I believe heading into 2023, media planners will have many trials and tribulations. However, these changes can also be seen as positive, in making sure brands are compliant with new laws, that they continue with unique creativity but also are able to provide consumers with “a more meaningful and sustainable media ecosystem” (Le Thierry 2022), going into the future.