How brands can stay connected with consumers amid economic uncertainty

Woman reading on tablet

Over the past year, the world has seen the effects of a shifting economy. In June 2022, the Consumer Price Index hit an all-time high, following the largest 12-month increase since 1981.1 This has brands looking at how to most effectively and relevantly maintain meaningful customer relationships, while also getting more out of their marketing spend.

Headshot of Alan Moss

“My conversations with marketing leaders have changed a lot over the past couple of months, but they aren’t the same across the board. Different industries are experiencing today’s economic shifts in different ways. Some advertisers are feeling the impact of supply-chain disruptions, while others are seeing economic growth. The one thing I hear consistently is that business leaders are uncertain about what’s to come."

— Alan Moss, Amazon Ads’ Vice President of Global Advertising Sales.

Below we talk with industry leaders about how they and their clients are adapting, doing more with less, and continuing to provide customer value.

Craft a strategy that is right for your brand

During a time when brands are particularly focused on getting more from their investments, actionable insights and measurement are critical in developing campaigns that effectively resonate with customers.

“Every marketing dollar will be scrutinized and has to drive measurable results,” Moss said. “One approach that holds a lot of promise is bridging the gap between content and commerce—this can reduce friction for customers, which in turn can help drive purchase intent and ROI.”

Testing and learning with new strategies—based on insights that help them reach the right audiences with the messages at the right time—can help brands find the most performant approach for them. According to a June 2022 Merkle study, 64% of marketers are prioritizing analytics and measurement more than they did last year. Accurate reporting (45%) was cited as the top priority.

“Being able to measure advertising impact is always top of mind for marketers, but especially now,” said Paula Despins, VP of Ads Measurement at Amazon Ads. “Brands and agencies need to understand the value of their efforts and investments, and have the insights to make their marketing budget count. That’s why measurement across channels, at every stage in the funnel, is especially important right now.”

Campaign measurement and insights are ultimately a form of customer feedback—audiences indicating through their actions what’s useful and important to them. Continually optimizing strategies based on these inputs not only helps brands to stay connected with customers, but also to cultivate brand trust.

Start with your customers

Headshot of Amanda Richman

“It’s important to always ground your strategy in your audience and what that audience needs. Start with audience understanding to build your strategy, and the tactics will reveal themselves.

If consumers have a positive brand affinity and strong experiences, they’ll be more likely to return to your brand in the aisle instead of switching.”

— Amanda Richman, CEO of Mindshare, North America.

According to Harvard Business Review, 80% of consumers report needing to trust a brand to consider buying from it. Brand storytelling is one important way to connect with audiences and help build this trust. From June 2021 to May 2022, companies that included brand-building solutions in their Amazon Ads strategy saw, on average, 13.2x growth in awareness, 16.9x growth in consideration, and 1.1x growth in sales compared to companies that did not use brand-building solutions over the same period.3

Right now is a time where brands are working to be more nimble, to do more with less, and, as always, continue to provide meaningful experiences to customers.

13.2x growth in awareness

16.9x growth in consideration

1.1x growth in sales

1 Consumer Price Index, US Bureau of Labor Statistics, June 2022, US. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers: All Items in US City Average, Federal Reserve economic data, June 2022, US
2 Poll on Consumer Behavior During COVID-19, Ipsos, May 2022, US. Poll on Consumer Behavior During COVID-19, Ipsos, June 2022, US
3 Amazon internal data, June 1, 2021–May 31, 2022, US
4 Amazon Ads with Environics Research, “2022 Higher Impact” study, CA, DE, JP, UK, and US
5 Amazon Ads third-party incremental reach analysis, Jan–Dec 2021, US
6 Harvard Business Review, “Don’t Cut Your Marketing Budget in a Recession,” August 2020, US