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Ad Spend Impact Of Inflation Is Detailed In Merkle Report

Continue reading to find out how advertisers are prioritizing first-party data, machine learning, and the effects that inflation has on marketing effectiveness.

Merkle, a leader in data-driven technology and customer experience, published its Performance Media Report for the previous week.

Recent research offers insightful information about the priorities, difficulties, and performance of marketers.

These results are especially important as we confront economic hardships and uncertainties, with over 57% of respondents indicating an increase in paid search spend YoY.

I spoke with Matt Mierzejewski, SVP of Search at Merkle, who shared his opinion on some of the Performance Report’s most striking statistics.

Prioritizing Privacy And Measurement

According to the Merkle survey, providing accurate reporting in the face of privacy laws is a top measurement goal, according to 45% of respondents.

Many businesses are probably in the same situation, but they might not know where to begin.

“Brands are big on cross-device measurement,” says Mierzejewski. Apple changed the measurement industry. For a variety of reasons, many businesses are eager to create own data warehouses.

  • Too much reliance on individual platforms. The more conversions are modeled in a platform, the less perfect a company’s individual measurement is.
  • They’re tired of black box solutions. Brands want to be able to own or change the way they model conversions.

Mierzejewski also noted that with more brands looking to build their own reporting solutions, it changes the dependency from the platform conversion truth to their own conversion truth.

Prioritizing Audiences & First-Party Data

The necessity for brands to produce and manage their first-party data has been sparked by impending privacy rules.

Only 35% of respondents, however, place a higher priority on managing audiences and first-party data.

What macro ramifications do you see in so many corporations waiting on this, I queried Mierzejewski.

He gave a few points in response:

From a digital standpoint, they are moving toward effective creative and messaging. You’ll be able to see how consumer expectations have changed if you’ve ever dealt with a brand.

Poor customer experience is a result of emphasizing audiences and first-party data less. Failure to prioritize these essential marketing components will hasten the customer’s disengagement from the brand or further weaken it.

To satisfy consumer expectations and outperform the competition, you must take advantage of such undetected audience signals. For instance, Google’s In-Market audiences reveal stronger propensity to buy signals and intent. They are permitting those signals to be traded openly.

As Mierzejewski put it, “It misses the chance to get the best clients. You’ll be forced to compete for the worst clients!”

Paid Social Growth In 2023

The vast majority of responders (67%) prioritized paid social this year over 2021.

Part of the reason for the increasing precedence is the expansion of social media platforms with advertising potential.

When asked which social media network would experience the greatest growth in 2023?

Mierzejewski said, “If we’re talking raw dollars, Facebook and Instagram will still win.”

More importantly, he adds: “If we’re looking at percentage growth and who to watch for, it’s TikTok.” Regarding user forecasts, Matt clarified that TikTok’s growth is anticipated to overtake Snapchat in the coming year.

Inflation Is Driving Faster Adoption Of Machine Learning

With inflation costs, adopting automation and machine learning may be put on the backburner.

Not according to the Merkle Performance Report.

  • 41% of respondents are beginning to take action on automation and machine learning strategies
  • 38% of respondents have made significant progress in their ML strategies

Why then is the acceptance of automation accelerating?

“Inflation is only one factor. It is related to the previous few years. For many businesses, COVID expedited the transition to the digital world, according to Mierzejewski. He continued, saying:

“Investments in corporations are under more scrutiny. They are attempting to outperform the industry and the opposition. Leaders are under pressure to connect with data and marketing measurement.

Don’t overlook one of the most important factors: resources.

Mierzejewski finished by noting that if companies are having trouble hiring individuals, they’re trying to do more with less. They have to rely on automation to supplement the workload.

Inflation’s Impact On Advertiser Strategies

We’ve seen the stats on increased advertiser costs YoY.

We have a better understanding of what marketers are prioritizing in the future.

Amid economic factors that companies can’t control, advertisers might not know how or where to pivot their strategy. When posed with this question, Mierzejewski provided his expert opinions.


The Q3 Performance Marketing Report offers priceless information to analyze.

If you still haven’t taken any action regarding privacy laws, you’re not alone.

Inflation, privacy concerns, and other economic effects can all affect performance patterns, but they’re not the only ones.

Every day, the paid media landscape evolves. Use this information to comprehend how others in the field are changing their priorities and approaches, as well as what this means for you.

The Performance Marketing Report is available for downloading right here.

A special thank you to Matt Mierzejewski, SVP of Search at Merkle, for taking the time to address these statistics and providing additional insights.

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