Created by Direct Agents EVP Megan Conahan, the Monthly Marketing Memo is a monthly newsletter that breaks down the latest trends and news across the marketing landscape. As a 17 year veteran in the marketing industry, Megan Conahan has successfully consulted with fortune 1000 brands on evolving marketplace demands and how to navigate them.

In case you missed it this month, we condensed a few key points taken directly from the December newsletter, “Budget Increases for 2023, the Big Screen Still Wins, and GenZ’s Attention Span.”


Despite the Recession…

  • Customers spent a record 9.12 billion online shopping this Black Friday.
    • Some of the biggest winners have been flexible payment options, with payments using BNPL up 78%. Mobile was the other big winner, with almost half of all sales made on smartphones which was a 44% increase over last year.
    • In-store has also seen a lot of love with almost two-thirds planning to shop in person this year.
  • Most marketers are optimistic about next year, with most saying they will keep or increase their budgets in 2023.
    • 41% of advertisers expect to maintain their 2022 budgets; everyone else is split, with 29% saying they expect a decrease in their spend and the remaining 29% saying they would see an increase.
    • Around half say they will up their spending on social media and retail media.
    • The rise of retail media, brand focus on creators, and increased inventory and automation around CTV, combined with the decline of traditional search advertising, means your media plans will look very different in 2023.

The Rise of Retail Media

  • Reward Sponsored Display ads: Allows brands to offer an Amazon credit to those who buy their products. In general, deals and coupons lead to better conversion rates and performance. However, a cashback offer is slightly different and may lead to differing performance, so it’s worth a test. 
  • Sponsored Display for non-endemic brands: Non-Amazon sellers can advertise on Sponsored Display, which previously was only available to Amazon sellers. While non-Amazon sellers have been able to use the Amazon DSP, Sponsored Display is a good use case for smaller brands that can’t meet some of the DSP minimums.
  • Sponsored Display Video Creative: To get brands to spend more money on advertising across Amazon’s ecosystem, they announced a way to create video assets easily. Giving brands a tool to create a free or very low-cost video will encourage adoption and push brands to continue to use Amazon as a full-funnel marketing platform. 


Major Company Moves

  • Amazon: They will also be rolling out its product discovery product called Inspire. The TikTok-style product will allow consumers to explore products and ideas from content created by influencers and brands. TikTok is a huge traffic driver for Amazon, especially during Prime Day, and they hope Inspire can replicate that discoverability. Right now, creators and brands can post to Inspire, so if you are a brand selling on Amazon, make sure this is part of your strategy going into 2023.
    • In addition to Amazon’s expansion of ad products, they are also forming new alliances to capitalize on increased interest in resale products. Amazon partnered with a luxury vintage apparel company, What Goes Around Comes Around.
  • Shein: They launched a resale option, Shein Exchange, where you can buy and sell previously owned Shein items.
    • According to the Wall Street Journal, Shein is also trying to launch an online marketplace allowing other brands to sell on their site. Shein’s already massive customer base would make it very attractive to other sellers looking to expand their customer base.
  • Shopify: Shopify now allows customers to search for items across all Shopify merchants. The Shop app is trying to become a complete marketplace as Shopify continues to encourage the discoverability of merchants by customers as an additional value ad. A universal search will eventually mean an advertising platform for merchants who want to pay to rank higher.


Now Back to Gen Z

  • According to a new study, mass marketing does not work for Gen Z, which tends to reject mainstream pop culture and embrace niche cultures. According to the study, the majority (91%) of those aged 18 to 25 said there is no “mainstream” pop culture. Instead, Gen Z consumers embrace subcultures. Gen Z said they want personalized experiences from brands instead of mass communication.
  • According to a new Yahoo and OMD Worldwide, Gen Z loses active attention for ads after just 1.3 seconds—less time than any other age group. So for advertisers, personal communication is a must, and attention must be earned instantly.


To read the full story, subscribe to Megan’s Monthly Marketing Memo!

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