Continued Marketing Investments More Vital than during Past Downturns

January 30, 2023 | 4 minute read
Lauren Kimball
Vice President, Oracle Digital Experience Agency
James Keating
Client Partner, Oracle Digital Experience Agency
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When times get tough, brands rely even more on their marketing efforts. That’s because, as everyone knows, it’s far easier to generate sales from existing customers than to acquire new ones. As we head into an expected downcycle with reduced advertising spending, companies will need to mitigate the contraction in sales through increased marketing efforts.

But that’s not the only reason to accelerate your marketing spend during this particular downturn. Here are four others…

1. Platform Privacy Changes that Demand Adaptation Now

Regardless of the macro-economic environment, privacy changes across browsers and inboxes require brands to adapt today.

For example, the sunsetting of third-party cookies is forcing brands to build out their first-party audiences and to increase their collection of zero- and first-party data to mitigate the loss of scale and reach that third-party cookies provide. Going forward, brands should be increasingly focused on collecting zero-party data through profile pages, preference centers, and progressive profiling efforts, and gathering first-party data through engagement across email, SMS, loyalty, and other channels.

On the email front, Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection is putting pressure on brands to drive engagement that goes beyond just email opens. And in an effort to better understand the effects of their email marketing efforts on the behavior of their customers outside of the inbox, brands must build more holistic views of their audiences to understand cross-channel behaviors.

For our most comprehensive advice on MPP, get our Definitive Guide to Adapting to Mail Privacy Protection via this free, no-form download.

2. Mounting Legal Compliance Issues

As the US lurches toward a post–CAN-SPAM era, brands need to start preparing now. CCPA was the first and biggest step, but California’s privacy law has been followed by ones from Virginia, Colorado, Utah, and Connecticut. And other states are also considering their own privacy laws.

As the patchwork of legal compliance grows, so will pressure on Congress to pass a single national standard that looks much more like GDPR. However, the dysfunction in DC likely means that a national solution will be some way off.

In the meantime, brands will need to be able to comply with a mounting number of state laws. That means brands have to be able to efficiently target their audiences by state, give their customers access to data collected about them, and more. 

Given how many brands are already struggling to comply with CCPA, it’s safe to say that pulling back on martech investments will only make compliance more difficult and escalate legal risks as other state privacy laws go into effect. 

3. A Likely Short and Shallow Recession

Many economists expect the recession this year—if indeed we formally have one—to be relatively mild and short-lived. Many also expect the Fed to reverse course and start cutting rates by the end of the year, which will fuel the recovery and the next economic expansion.

In fact, the recession is likely to be so brief the National Bureau of Economic Research’s Business Cycle Dating Committee probably won’t officially declare that we had a recession until several months after it’s over. That means companies need to be ready to capitalize on the economic rebound much sooner than with the deep and prolonged 2008-09 recession.

Audit your digital marketing programs and Identify opportunities using our Marketing Checklists.

4. Unrelenting Competitors

On top of all of that, brands can rest assured that the Amazons, Walmarts, Apples, and other market leaders won’t be dialing back their marketing investments. In fact, 54% of brands expect to increase their marketing spend this year and only 17% plan on making cuts, according to RRD. A whopping 74% view a recession or a downturn as a strategic opportunity to gain market share.

With so many companies planning to push forward with improvements so they can better meet the ever-rising expectations of consumers, the prevailing attitude during this downturn isn’t so much about protecting market share as it is exploiting underinvesting competitors to gain market share. In that light, even holding the line on marketing investments is likely to mean falling behind.

Because of all of those pressures, brands should strive as best they can to continue to invest not only in their day-to-day marketing activities, but also in longer-term strategic priorities, such as:

  • Getting a fuller picture of customer and prospect behaviors across channels
  • Better orchestrating campaigns across marketing channels
  • Improving targeting and personalization sophistication
  • Becoming more compliance-capable as laws change

Make sure you’re ready for the next market expansion by investing today in the capabilities you’ll need to be competitive and meet consumers’ ever-growing expectations in the future.


Need help prioritizing your digital marketing investments or adapting to market changes? Oracle Digital Experience Agency has hundreds of marketing and communication experts ready to help Oracle customers create stronger connections with their customers and employees, even if they’re not using an Oracle platform as the foundation of that experience. Our award-winning specialists can handle everything from creative and strategy to content planning and project management.

For help overcoming your challenges or seizing your opportunities, talk to your Oracle account manager, visit us online, or email us at

Lauren Kimball

Vice President, Oracle Digital Experience Agency

Lauren Kimball joined Oracle Digital Experience Agency in 2018 as the VP responsible for large client engagements in the eastern half of the US. She works with clients to achieve business growth outcomes, discover new opportunities, and maximize their software investments.  

Prior to Oracle, Lauren worked on the client side for Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts and National Geographic, where she led sales and digital marketing efforts. She made the leap into the agency world in 2008 when she joined Epsilon, where she was able to focus on clients across industries from retail to financial services.  

Lauren received her BA from the University of Vermont. She is a frequent industry contributor and thought leader passionate about client success. She and her husband raise their two children in Pittsburgh.

James Keating

Client Partner, Oracle Digital Experience Agency

James Keating joined Oracle Digital Experience Agency in early 2020 as a Client Partner. He works with multiple clients within North America to maximize revenue across their current investments with Oracle, while focusing on driving their omnichannel ROI.  

Over the last 15 years, James has worked with several Fortune 500 companies with a focus in Financial Services, Sports and Entertainment, and Retail. He has also worked with numerous clients internationally, and managed multiple teams across North America, EMEA, and APAC. 

James received his BA from St. Bonaventure University. James and his wife are raising two boys in Charlotte, NC.

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