Industry Insights: September 27, 2023
by Jordan DeGraw • September 27, 2023
American Consumers Plan To Tighten Their Belts
Hello, friends! It’s a new week, and we’re diving right into fresh industry insights curated just for you. Feel free to take these tidbits and conquer the world… or at least the boardroom. This week we’re talking about Americans “cutting back”, pay transparency, and big election ad spending. Let’s go!
The Federal Reserve is currently faced with a delicate balancing act. The Fed may not raise rates further this year, but may also be slower to cut interest rates next year. A strong economy and declining inflation (3.7% in August) are good news for America, but the Fed needs to navigate a “Goldilocks” financial policy (not raise rates too high, not bring them down too soon) and get lucky that nothing goes wrong. Ahem — ’08 housing crisis, we’re looking at you!
Interestingly, the United States has managed to achieve what’s referred to as a “soft landing” in its economic trajectory, successfully avoiding a significant economic downturn since the end of World War II. However, recent findings by Bloomberg indicate that the confidence of the American consumer, often a key driver of economic growth, appears to be waning. A substantial 56% of respondents express the expectation that their personal consumption, a crucial component of economic growth, will decrease in early 2024. Anyone looking for a tighter belt?
Bad news is good news? In a somewhat counterintuitive twist, the current economic climate suggests that higher unemployment rates, which reached an 18-month high at 3.8% in August, are contributing to a cooling labor market. Paradoxically, this cooling effect is expected to help curb inflation.
Finally, the landscape of job postings in the United States has undergone a significant shift. Pay transparency has become increasingly prevalent, with over 50% of job listings on Indeed now including employer-provided salary ranges. This marks a substantial increase from the pre-pandemic figure of just 18%. Pay transparency appears to be vital to the future of American businesses.
You know how the saying goes, “If you can’t find it in California, it probably doesn’t exist.” Now more true than ever before; California has recently passed the Delete Act, a significant consumer privacy law set to take effect in 2026. Under this law, California residents gain the right to request the deletion of their data from brokers. While this move has garnered criticism from the ad-tech industry, it likely signals the onset of more substantial actions to secure consumer rights in the future.
Google is currently grappling with its most substantial antitrust case since 1998. Given its staggering control over 90% of the search market and a massive $43 billion in revenue in the last quarter, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has accused Google of wielding illegal monopolistic power. The DOJ highlights agreements like the one with Apple, which makes Google the default search engine on iPhones. As an interesting contrast, a DuckDuckGo executive pointed out that configuring an Android device to use their search engine as the default choice involves a complex process of 15 steps. Oof!
Your vote is worth more than you think…The upcoming 2024 election cycle is anticipated to witness a significant surge in ad spending, totaling an impressive $10.2 billion. This represents a substantial 13% increase compared to the previous election cycle, signifying the growing financial importance of political advertising.
In a move to enhance transparency in the digital advertising landscape, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has introduced new guidelines for digital advertisers. These guidelines are especially aimed at distinguishing paid advertising from organic content, a distinction that is often less clear to children. The FTC’s effort is intended to provide better safeguards for young consumers who may struggle to differentiate between sponsored and non-sponsored content. So get prepared for your ads to look like a Little Tikes play set 😉
Just for Fun:
In today’s Billboard Hot 100 chart, a gloomy trend has emerged — half of the songs are now composed in a minor key. This represents a significant increase from the 2000s when only 30% of songs were in a minor key, and even more so from the 1960s when a mere 15% followed this pattern. It’s further proof that Gen Z loves to revel in sad vibes.
Believe it or not, recently promoted employees are 11% more likely to consider leaving their jobs compared to their colleagues who haven’t been promoted. It’s a phenomenon that echoes the words of the Notorious B.I.G, who famously declared, “More money, more problems.” Maybe there’s more to getting promoted than meets the eye?
Sometimes, seemingly unrelated events are connected in the most unexpected ways. There’s an obscure reason why the Barbie movie was banned in Vietnam, and it all stems from a children’s doodle. What do you think, is it a coincidence?
That’s all our industry insights for this week, folks! We hope you found them as tantalizing as we did. Stay curious, stay informed, and join us next week for another dive into the blissful deep.
Have a great week!
Your friendly Industry Insights devotee,