Martech Brand Strategy Agency Models

The US advertiser and agency report

By Molly Voska, Marketing Manager

December 16, 2022 | 7 min read

The Drum finds that nearly all US advertisers plan to increase or maintain spending on adtech and martech over the next 12 months, while a majority say they won’t put more money into talent or research.

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Check out The Drum's 2023 US Advertiser & Agency Report / The Drum

The Drum’s inaugural US advertiser and agency report surveyed 302 US advertisers to find out where they plan to spend media dollars in 2023 and to hear about their top concerns heading into the new year.

The report findings are published ahead of The Drum Predictions 2023, which will take place in January.

Broadcast on, Predictions will serve as the ultimate guide to big sector trends coming up in 2023. Viewers will get to hear from industry experts about what trends to expect and where brands will be placing their media bets. The event is designed to help marketers discern the hype from reality. Don't miss a beat – sign up for The Drum's daily and weekly newsletters to stay in-the-know.

Key findings at a glance

The research found that investment in adtech and martech will accelerate in 2023 as agencies look for greater automation and digitizing of media. While 98% expect to up or maintain their spend on tech, 72% said they don't plan to increase investment in talent in 2023 and a whopping 77% said their research budgets will stay the same.

Corporate restrictions on headcounts as part of cost controls and wage inflation were behind some of the reluctance to spend on the talent front.

Top priorities for US advertisers and agencies heading into 2023

Rapid changes in the TV ad sector were cited as the leading concern for 27% of advertisers – and over half said the future of TV was among their top concerns.

In 2022, streaming hours overtook linear TV for the first time in the US market. But until connected TV (CTV) offers what linear can in terms of reach, performance and measurement, advertisers aren’t ready to fully jump ship from cable just yet.

The report revealed that over 50% of advertisers are hungry for more information about TV measurement solutions. And this isn’t surprising considering the measurement marketplace is growing increasingly fragmented. The UK alone has seen the launch of C-Flight, the development of Origin, Barb’s overhaul of its ratings and Channel 4 announcing its own attribution platform with ViewersLogic. Meanwhile, measurement mainstay Nielsen has come under fire as its panel-based approach garners scrutiny.

After TV, the customer experience economy – and the idea of selling experiences rather than stuff – was next on advertisers’ priority lists. There are a few reasons for this. One is that digital-only brands are looking for ways to connect with consumers in real life. On the other hand, brick-and-mortar brands and retailers are trying to replicate the ease of ecommerce. Meanwhile, consumers are hungry for experiences post-pandemic.

Report insights come from a panel made up of 40% marketers and 60% agency staffers. While there were some divergences between marketers and their agencies, both said privacy and data were the number one issue to tackle in 2023.

The key difference that emerged in the report was regarding agencies noting CTV and streaming as key issues for next year, whereas marketers put tech innovation higher on the agenda. Brand marketers also placed targeting and audience segmentation high on their hit lists.

Download The Drum US Advertiser & Agency Report to discover what is critical to marketers looking ahead.

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