Recession-Proofing Your Brand Strategy


By Jay Wolff, SVP Revenue & Partnerships, KERV Interactive

Companies everywhere are bracing for a recession. Historically, we’ve seen cuts to marketing budgets when an economic downturn hits but after weathering the volatility of the pandemic, brands won’t be so hasty in pulling back on spending.

The key to smart ad spending will, of course, lie in the ability to leverage meaningful metrics. It’s easier said than done. Many advertisers rely on reach-based measurements, especially those in CTV. But reach-based measurement assumes that all views are equal, which we know is far from accurate.

As a recession looms, it may be mission critical for the industry to tackle our measurement gaps. Those brands that take their measurement to the next level will be the ones to thrive in an unpredictable market.

Attention Is Not Engagement

Brands work hard to secure ideal spots for their ads in order to maximize their views and hopefully turn that view into revenue. Some are trying to bridge the gap with algorithms, looking at the opportunity to get a user’s attention based on the placement.

But is this enough? Can we effectively and consistently use this method to generate real business outcomes?

Attention is important but it’s only the first step. The reality is that attention does not equal engagement. In order to truly reach their audiences and move consumers down the funnel, advertisers need to look at the authentic action a user takes.

Going Beyond Attention

The actions a user takes show their true attention. However, there are still challenges in connecting actions to ads. That doesn’t mean we don’t have ways to dig deeper.

Hovering over an interactive element, scanning a QR code, or adding an item from a shoppable video to their cart—all of these are authentic, organic actions taken by a consumer. In the face of a market downturn, it’s time for advertisers to look to action-based metrics like these in order to take their ad dollars further.

If the industry can pivot focus to these types of metrics, we could see an unprecedented level of accountability applied to ads.

Looking at Verified, Authentic Actions

As technology evolves and innovative solutions continue to emerge—such as shoppable and interactive technology—advertisers will not only be able to more accurately measure attention but they’ll also be able to build smarter sequential messaging campaigns.

By looking at the organic actions taken by a user, they’ll gain a true picture of who is engaging, and more importantly, how and where they’re engaging. With this information in hand, pushing consumers down the purchasing funnel will be more fluid than ever before.

Think about it. Consumers today expect brands to deliver personalized and relevant experiences in every interaction, and they want seamless online journeys. By leveraging action-based metrics, brands can create frictionless experiences at a level of precision and speed we haven’t yet seen before.

As we brace for a recession, we as an industry must carefully consider our current models of measurement and targeting. The ability to target optimal ad spots paired with action-based measurement will take us to the next level. And those brands that lean in now will win the recession.