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How do you plan, manage, and optimize inflation-related change in your business?

Author's avatar By Gabrielle Wright 15 Aug, 2022
Essential Essential topic

The decision to act, or not to act, can have a knock-on effect on how your company will weather the storm of inflation and change in 2022

In our recent LinkedIn poll, 30% of respondents admitted to making no changes to their marketing strategies in light of inflation.

Suggested changes we gave include making marketing more efficient (majority response at 58%) and reducing spend. Only 7% are adapting their strategy to reduce spend - which shows most of the ‘adapters’ are doing so with a growth mindset.

But, alarmingly, the same poll showed that 30% are not planning to adjust their strategy, or were not sure. The ‘not sure’ answer indicated, to me, either slow decision-making or poor management, neither being great for reacting to a global phenomenon. So what can we learn from this?

Marketing strategy

65% of marketers are adapting in light of inflation

Overall, this is a good response - with close to 2/3rds of marketers scanning the environment and making adjustments in response to what’s happening in the world around us. Although naturally, polls like this can suffer from selection bias.

Notably, digital marketers who interact with Smart Insights on LinkedIn are probably more likely to be keeping an eye on their micro and macro digital marketing challenges, and using our marketing tools to drive growth.

For example, our popular SWOT-TOWS matrix helps marketers build on external factors in the digital landscape to develop their strengths and overcome weaknesses.

This is just one part of our data-driven marketing strategy approach covered in our RACE growth system.


30% of marketers are sticking to out-of-date plans

The group I really wanted to turn my attention to is the 30% who selected ‘No plan/Not sure” as their plan for inflation. I’ve been exploring some of the reasons for selecting this answer.

Why might a business not make adjustments to its digital marketing strategy for inflation?

  • Not aware of inflation
  • Aware of inflation but it’s not having an impact on business
  • Not making a change because don’t know what to do
  • Changes are being discussed but not being actioned
  • Can’t get resources (time/money) to put changes in place
  • Can’t get buy-in for changes from key decision makers
  • Other - please add further reasons you’ve come across in the comments

What is inflation?

As a marketer, I wouldn’t expect to do a better job of explaining inflation than global economist publishers. This 5-minute video from IMF outlines the basic causes and effects of inflation.


Moreover, it’s crucial that digital marketing leaders continue to read about the economic situation and make decisions to secure their position in the market during times of change.

Recent headlines on inflation

RACE Ahead Of Inflation

Download our 10 growth insights to create a RACE digital marketing strategy during inflation

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Are there any digital marketers that aren’t affected by inflation?

As a marketer, and a woman in my 30s living in the UK, I frequently notice the knock-on effects of inflation on my personal life and on the business I work for.

This ranges from personal budgeting for fuel and groceries to optimizing RACE insights to drive business growth at Smart Insights. So, my understanding of this issue is both theoretical and practical.

Definition of inflation

The Economic Times defines business as:

"an organization or enterprising entity that engages in professional, commercial, or industrial activities"

- The Economic Times

Definition of digital marketing

At Smart Insights, we define digital marketing as:

"Achieving marketing objectives through applying digital media, data and technology"

Smart Insights

As we know, organizations and enterprising entities around the world are founded on the interaction of organizations, enterprise, production, goods and services, and customers.

Digital marketing makes this happen using digital media, data, and technology - that's why 65% of you are reacting to inflation with marketing adjustments.

Plus, with a current YOY consumer price increase of 8.5%, I can’t think of a single sector that isn't impacted by inflation.

Economic times inflation description

Managing change in challenging times

The critic in me wonders if the reason for non-action, in this case, could be denial. If you’re in that group, my advice is to review your marketing plan and think about the implications of inflation.

This quote relates to so many different aspects of marketing management, but it seems particularly relevant here:

“The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we stand as in what direction we are moving.”

- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, poet, scientist, statesman

Goethe change management quote

The next blog in my series will address practical strategies for driving digital marketing change during inflation. You can sign up as a Free Member to receive regular updates about new content from Smart Insights.

Take action to weather the storm of inflation and change in 2022

Are you taking action to adjust your marketing strategy for inflation? Share your reasons in the comments, and any other resources that have been helpful for your business.

Or, if you’ve got to the bottom of the article and you’re still not planning inflation-related change, let us know why. What would it take to make you change your business plan?

Know somebody who would find this article helpful? Why not share it with them? Or, better still, share with your network of marketers on social media to help fuel those conversations we’re all having around inflation.

RACE Ahead Of Inflation

Download our 10 growth insights to create a RACE digital marketing strategy during inflation

Access Now For Free

Author's avatar

By Gabrielle Wright

Gabrielle Wright is the Smart Insights blog editor, managing the company's SEO and social media strategies. With specialisms in marketing for the pharmaceutical/healthcare industry, financial services, manufacturing, IT/high tech, brands and e-commerce, Gabrielle can generally be found in her home office in Sandiacre, with a cup of tea, reading and writing about marketing theory and its practical application in the global economy! You can connect with Gabrielle on LinkedIn.

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