Forrester: CMOs are upbeat and advertising spend is stabilising

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 2 November 2023
Credit: Josh Sorenson via Unsplash

CMOs head into the end of 2023 with optimism, prepared to invest with proven media partners, according to Forrester.

The global marketing consultancy, in its Predictions 2024: Media And Advertising study, says there’s new confidence building within the media world.

Big media has its mojo back, says Forrester.

And this is mainly thanks to generative AI and stabilising advertising revenues. 

Google, Meta and Amazon -- the world’s three biggest digital advertising platforms -- have all recently posted better than expected results. 

Amazon advertising revenue grew 26% to $US12.06 billion in the three months to September compared to the same quarter last year. 

Google reported advertising revenue up 9% to $59.65 billion. YouTube ad sales were 12% higher at $7.95 billion. 

Meta, the parent of Facebook, Instagram and Threads, reported a stronger than expected quarter with advertising revenue at $US33.64 billion, 23% higher than the same three months last year.

And many of the big global advertising agency groups are forecasting a positive close to 2023.

Omnicom last month posted "strong" organic revenue growth of 3.3% in the September quarter, Publicis was up 5.3% and Havas 4.5% higher.

WPP disappointed with its September quarter as reported revenue was down 1.8% to GBP3.508 billion but up 2.3% on a like-for-like basis.

IPG posted  a 0.4% fall in organic revenue growth for the September quarter, weighed down by cautious technology clients.

However, Forrester, with its B2C Marketing CMO Pulse Survey, says marketers will take more risks in 2024 as media budgets stabilise and grow.

“B2C marketing teams are ready to ‘shake off’ the last few years, after having been shackled by a global pandemic and mired in economic uncertainty,” says Forrester.

“With most of that in the rearview mirror, CMOs will enter 2024 with optimism about media partners’ usual suspects — ready to build, test, and learn.”

Forrester anticipates a year where advertisers invest in proven media partners and experiment within “safe” spaces.

“Media giants — Google, Meta, and TikTok — may have gotten a few chinks in their armour this past year, but they are entering 2024 with more might," says Forrester.

“Several claims in the antitrust case against Google were dismissed in 2023, Meta’s on a new high after a revenue jump in Q2, and TikTok is more popular than ever.

“As the big media companies add new capabilities atop their strong foundations, they will further cement their value with advertisers (and their budgets).

“Of course, generative AI will act as rocket fuel for most of these companies and, in the process, trip up marketers who don’t leverage it responsibly.

“Gen Z favorites, like gaming platforms, TikTok, and Instagram, will nudge over legacy media channels as marketers realise their mainstream value in chasing the next-generation consumer.”

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