Welcome to 2023

🤔 A Reflection:

I think we can all be happy to see the back of 2022. There was no economic period like this in history. The impact of a war, central banks rapidly hiking interest rates, and the hangover from a global pandemic affected both consumers and brands.

📈 Our Motto: Perform or go Home:

Despite the challenging period, across our entire base of founders and customers Gallantway delivered a ROI increase of 45% from Google, Meta, TikTok, Pinterest and Email Marketing channels.

*60%+! of our customers grew by over 100%. A phenomenal result.

The Best way to Predict the Future is to Create it - In the Meantime, here's our Take

👀 Platforms & Technology:

Your silly marketing hobbies are dead, sorry.

Metaverse, ChatGPT, the-next-thing you see on LinkedIn aren’t going to matter this year. Tech providers have also already reversed many of their wild plans for the next few years by scaling back headcount as the outlook isn't particularly wonderful.

2023 will see integration as a theme as established platforms look to better integrate their audiences and userbases. The ‘also-ran’ platforms (Snapchat, looking at you), will see MAU’s decline and these fringe platforms will suffer as marketing investment is consolidated into Meta and Google.

Brands that focus on what really matters and successfully apply their recent learnings will see success.

Brands with marketers who spend their time on 2023’s latest shiny object will wake up in 2024 hungover.

Impacts of privacy will continue to persist and established marketing platforms and brands will continue to face an increasingly tricky regulatory environment. Epic Games just paid the FTC a fine of $525m for violating child privacy laws and using dark patterns to drive payments... Ouch.

📈 Inflation & Ads:

Rising inflation impacts consumer spending as it simply reduces real earnings for all of us as consumers. Sadly, lower-income earners are likely to fare worse than others.

2023 will be won by brands and teams that think strategically about offers, incentives, value, and position these elements creatively to customers.

There aren’t a lot of great options to save money for consumers, so cheaper alternatives will be sought alongside the leaning up of discretionary expenses.

But… People still want to feel good, even when they’re broke. So, the opportunities when aligned with price will persist.

🕺 TikTok & Regulation Woeees

Every time you swipe there’s another TikTok backlash story.

The company recently used location data from the app to try to see whether journalists who’d been reporting negative stories had been in the same locations as TikTok staff.

That doesn't sound like the smartest idea to us…

More and more parts of the US government are also banning it on their own devices, and the FCC is talking about this as well. Alongside this, digital platforms are expecting their userbases to take a hit as age restrictions laws roll out in some markets.

While more platform competition isn't a bad thing for advertisers, TikTok needs to rapidly clean up its act if it is to succeed in the West against Meta.

🙏 Brands & Positioning:

Consumers value sustainable brands (kind of).

Increasingly, shoppers are demanding environmentally sustainable and socially conscious businesses.

While customers are beginning to put money behind their beliefs, brands like Shien (hyper fashion) also know that price and hot deal can outstrip even the greenest of customers.

In an environment with less discretionary spending, you better bet that consumers will care about price.

🤷‍♀️ Experts Can't Even Agree:

While economists and experts have pencilled in a recession in their forecasts for this year, their views vary on the timing, severity, and probability.

Chances of a US recession according to:

Goldman Sachs: No

JP Morgan: Modest

Morgan Stanley: Modest

BlackRock: Yes

HSBC: Possible

Barclays: Likely

Citi: Mild

Credit Suisse: No

BNP Paribas: Third quarter

Deutsche Bank: Mild recession

ING: Yes

Apollo: May be avoided

Wells Fargo: First half

BNY Mellon: Mild

Fidelity: Could be severe

Lazard: Shallow

🌏 Turns out Geographic Freedom is Part of our Future:

Two-and-a-half years on from when the pandemic shuttered workplaces and offices around the globe, the demand to retain one major element of the ‘new normal’ remains very high: remote work.

Not a week goes by without a major company asking — or perhaps more accurately telling — workers to come back to the office.

Employees at major banks like JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs are back in the office and even many of the most innovative tech companies now have a hybrid arrangement with at least some facetime in the office. On Tuesday, Snap Inc. told employees to show up in-office at least 80% of the time.

There seems to be a very interesting gap between the market demand for remote work and the actual supply (employer jobs).

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