Budgets, Data and Tech — What’s holding creativity back in 2023?

Despite 63% of marketers wanting to be more creative this year, half are being held back by shrinking budgets and ‘risk averse’ marketing strategies

27 February 2023, London UK – Despite nearly two-thirds of marketers (63%) wanting to be more creative in 2023, almost half (46%) feel their creativity is being hampered by shrinking budgets. That’s according to research released today by Optimizely, the leading digital experience platform (DXP) provider.

The research, which includes data from over 100 in-house marketing professionals across the UK, identified budgetary constraints as the #1 issue holding creative marketing back. 

But financial limitations aren’t the only reason why marketers feel their creativity is being stifled in 2023. Over a third (36%) blame poor technology and 36% say a lack of access to data are also key reasons for not prioritising creativity in 2023. 

The research shines a light on the tension between marketing and other departments on how best to navigate periods of economic downturn. While three quarters (74%) of marketers say that creativity is still essential in the face of budget cuts, 70% also describe their colleagues as being “risk averse” in the current climate leading to conflicting stances on how best to shape business strategy for the coming year. 

But, Optimizely is on a mission to dispel the myth that greater experimentation leads to more risks in digital marketing. As Optimizely’s CMO, Shafqat Islam, explains: “Creativity is an essential part of marketing, even during cutbacks. But great creativity requires data and insight, it requires an understanding of customer needs and an opportunity to experiment. Experimentation is not just about testing and learning; it’s about using data to justify creative campaigns and decision making. Brands that lean in, and put creativity-first, are often those that maintain their customers during times of economic uncertainty.  

“Experimentation reduces risks by allowing companies to fail fast thereby saving time and reducing waste. At a time when resources are more limited and ROI is under greater scrutiny, experimentation allows organisations to have confidence in the decisions they make whilst still exercising their creativity.” 

Visit Optimizely’s website to learn more about Optimizely Web Experimentation and Optimizely Feature Experimentation. 

About Optimizely

At Optimizely, we're on a mission to help people unlock their digital potential. We do that by reinventing how marketing and product teams work to create and optimize digital experiences across all channels. With Optimizely One, our industry-first operating system for marketers, we offer teams flexibility and choice to build their stack their way with our fully SaaS, fully decoupled, and highly composable solution. We help companies around the world orchestrate their entire content lifecycle, monetize every digital experience and experiment across all customer touchpoints – all through Optimizely One, the leading digital experience platform that powers every phase of the marketing lifecycle through a single, AI-accelerated workflow.

Optimizely has nearly 1500 employees across our 21 global offices and has 700+ partners. We are proud to help more than 10,000 businesses, including H&M, PayPal, Zoom, and Toyota, enrich their customer lifetime value, increase revenue and grow their brands. At Optimizely, we live each day with a simple philosophy: large enough to serve, small enough to care. Learn more at 

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