Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Reasons to be Cheerful in 2023: Richard Robinson, MD, Econsultancy

NDA has always been dedicated to celebrating the digital industry and as the pandemic took hold we launched our Reasons to be Cheerful series, highlighting the inspiring stories of how companies and individuals in our industry were dealing with its impact. And at the potential positives that could come out of the unprecedented global situation in terms of both technical innovation and consumer behavioural change.

As we face an uncertain economic future, compounding huge macro changes in process, we again want to focus on the positives, looking at how the innovation and creativity of the digital industry will help it survive and thrive in 2023. Over the next month, we’ll be hearing from leaders across our industry to discover what’s keeping them smiling as we enter 2023, kicking off with Richard Robinson, Managing Director, Econsultancy.

2023 will be a challenging year for everyone.  A year when economic instability is the only ‘new norm’ we need to focus on, and the halcyon days of boom & bust seem like a beautiful memory in the rear-view mirror. 

Overall marketing budgets are heavily predicted to continue their unstoppable decline, brands have already started initiating redundancies, and many agencies are ill-prepared for what lies ahead after ‘the great recruitment’ of H1 2022 which some have indelibly stamped on the balance sheet due to several unsustainably high salaries being paid to many of their new ‘wonder-hires’. Against this backdrop you might think it’s all doom and gloom, but my view is that 2023 is going to be a great year; and there are many reasons to be cheerful.

The biggest of all is as marketing budgets decline, spend is being moved from traditional to digital, as recently evidenced by the Q3 IPA Bellwether which I wrote about last month in New Digital Age. Brands and brand leaders want more targeted, budget-efficient communication models – and the financial data demonstrates they’re now voting with their plans (and wallets) to make 2023 a growth year for digital marketing and ecommerce services. This isn’t to say traditional media is dead, far from it, but to win big traditional media needs to demonstrate more than ever why it is the right choice to be made.

In parallel the people who are senior enough to ask for help, in the revered position of having both the authority and fiscal accountability to make the strategic decisions that matter, are loudly asking for help – with the starter’s gun fired at the beginning of Q4 2022. Econsultancy has always been predicated on the three pillars of content, community and consultancy.

And what we see, as we lean into 2023, is brand leaders craving the need to consult, discuss, and listen to expert guidance from a community of peers and practitioners. Before then deploying and applying digital marketing and ecommerce excellence through the most sustainable and contextual experiences to lift their people’s confidence and deliver growth. If you’re willing and able to deliver help, guidance, and capability to the people senior enough to ask for it, you stand on the cusp of a strong year ahead.

My advice to all is to check yourself and consider your circles and squares. Do you know if you’re inside the circle of trust of your most senior clients and customers, and if not, do you know how to get there and stay there? At the same time, do you know how to demonstrate you don’t just think outside the box, but you are delivering outside the box, creating, and delivering the insights, ideas and implementations that make you unmissable and unforgettable to every brand you work with, and every brand you want to work with.