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Navigating what 2023 has to offer…

Christine Downton - Observatory International Christine Downton Managing Partner, London January 20, 2023

In 2023 we expect ongoing economic and socio-political forces to continue to loom large across the industry. Cost pressures from multiple directions –  inflation, ongoing supply chain issues and significantly increased third-party costs will continue, with the combined pressures resulting in reduced marketing budgets.

The relentless pressure from businesses to get more for less from their agencies may well have reached its zenith given that agencies too are suffering from rising costs – especially in relation to the well documented issues of acquiring and retaining their talent.

As a result, 2023 has all the makings of an industry-wide perfect storm.

To combat this there will need to be a significant degree of focus on efficiency and effectiveness.

On the positive side this clinical focus on efficiency should have positive outcomes for sustainability – less wastage, more precision.

Here’s some pointers to help you address those challenges drawn from our most recent reports, alternatively please get in contact so that we can chat through the challenges facing you and how we might help:

In our report ‘Clients and Creativity’, published in partnership with the WFA, three key factors were identified impacting creative effectiveness:

  • The perennial advantage – having a great briefing process
  • Flawless execution of the ideas through great process and ways of working
  • And having the right partners in place

Having the right partners in place contributes significant to efficiency as well.  The trend towards consolidation of agency rosters will inevitably continue with the result that more businesses will be looking to work with fewer, more focused agencies, maximising outputs and reducing spend. Removing duplication and creating less friction in the system  will help to overcome  both internal capacity constraints and resource limitations when  managing those agencies.

And future-proofing your agency relationships in a more difficult world involves:

  • Real focus on both how you are working with your agencies and how to pay them to optimise outcomes
  • Being fair and balanced in your dealings with your agency partners
  • Organising for flexibility – the last few years have taught us all that change happens, and it happens fast.

To discuss how we might help you with these challenges please get in contact.

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