January Marketing News You Can Use

CONSUMER SPENDING DOWN IN APPAREL

Key Point: Fears about an economic recession are certainly an influence on the drop in consumer spending for clothing, but fear is not the only reason. The category began losing wallet share long before the economy turned south, and department stores are feeling the impact keenly.

Not only are more consumers working from home and needing new clothes less often, business culture has shifted toward a more casual dress code for those who do commute to an office. Jeans at work used to be permissible only for blue-collar positions or special events, but those days are long gone. Stuffiness is giving way to “us-ness.”

Consequently, the outlook for apparel spending isn’t pretty. Many analysts expect a continued drop in spending for the category and expect to see additional store closures in 2023. Retail Dive covered the story, but is gloom and doom the final word for clothing? Smart marketers see an opportunity in every problem.

[Tweet “Retail clothing stores may be in for a rough 2023. Here’s why: https://www.retaildive.com/news/consumers-spend-less-apparel-store-closures/639258/”]

RISING SOCIAL MEDIA AD SPEND CONTENDS WITH DECLINING TRUST

Key Point: Companies are increasingly turning to social media with their advertising budgets. Two restrictive forces are moderating that trend: Consumer trust in social media advertising is declining, and advertisers need clear paths to audience targeting capabilities. User privacy restrictions are making it more difficult for marketers to clearly identify the “who and how many” information they rely on to build effective advertising campaigns.

The future will tell how social media platforms navigate a difficult position: the need to both protect users from marketing messages and allow marketers expanded access to those users. 

It may be that consumer education is paramount. In exchange for the “pain” of seeing advertisements online, they are getting access to capabilities that were impossible not too many years ago. Somebody needs to step up and tell the truth: Marketing is a mainstay of the free world’s economy.

[Tweet “Social media ad spend is on the way up, but there are two issues limiting that growth: https://www.marketingdive.com/news/social-media-marketing-spend-economy/639407/”]

INTIMIDATED BY DATA? FOUR STEPS TO CONQUER YOUR FEARS

Key Point: Data analysts are often seen as the academic geeks of marketing — and rightfully so. Cutting through data overload to retrieve actionable patterns requires the ability to think accurately about numbers — and who doesn’t hate math? Answer: data analysts. 

You don’t have to be a mathematician, though, to profit from the gold mine of information data generously uncovers for the willing observer. Marketing without a firm grip on the numbers is akin to shooting at a target while blindfolded.

If you’re even a little apprehensive about data analytics, this Newsweek article could cure your anxiety. You’ll find four simple steps toward casting off your fear to gain data insights that can propel marketing success. Here’s the bottom line: “Don’t be scared of data.”

[Tweet “Marketers who are afraid of data are hobbling themselves. Here’s how to break free: https://www.newsweek.com/intimidated-data-four-steps-conquer-your-fears-1764770”]

THE 3 MOST IMPORTANT AI TRENDS TO WATCH IN 2023

Key Point: Those who downplay the future of artificial intelligence (AI) and don’t anticipate it will have a significant impact have yet to hear of ChatGPT. But informed marketers aren’t surprised at all. They’ve seen the tsunami coming for years. And while the growth in AI capabilities will make many marketing jobs easier, there are also dangers to be avoided.

This article shines a spotlight on both sides of the issue: On one hand, AI provides a robot-like assistant that can answer your questions and perform many tasks quicker than a bevy of human assistants. On the other hand, that robot doesn’t give a darn about ethics and privacy. And that makes the prospects of AI more than a little bit scary.

[Tweet “Will advances in AI open the door to the marketer’s dreams, or end up being our worst nightmare? https://tdwi.org/articles/2022/12/19/adv-all-3-important-ai-trends-for-data-and-analytics-professionals-to-watch-in-2023.aspx”]

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