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Help Wanted: Some Advertisers Increase Spending During The Great Resignation

Don’t let the recent job growth fool you—the US job market is a dumpster fire. 

In 2020, the unemployment rate reached 14.7%, the highest since The Great Depression.  

To add fuel to the fire, many people who received pink slips remained unemployed for more than a year.

While the pandemic forced many cash-strapped companies to cut ties with people out of necessity, a lot of people left on their own accord.

Enter the Great Resignation, the name used to describe the mass exodus of people quitting their jobs due to dissatisfaction related to pay, growth opportunities, benefits and more. 

The unexpected- but not-too-surprising increase in resignations has forced businesses to change their ways, but it’s also ignited ad spending for some companies, including Education & Training, Industry, Financial Software, and Business Software.  

To School or Not to School? 

That’s the question. 

People love to debate the need for education. 

In one camp, you have people who swear by higher education as a right of passage into the “real world” and a necessity for career advancement. 

Then you have people adamant that it’s unnecessary; that it’s just a piece of paper.

These camps will always disagree, but they can hopefully agree that learning is a part of life, no matter the price.

This thirst for knowledge is propelling the spending habits of advertisers in the education industry.

For example, advertisers for colleges and universities have spent 79% more during the first half of this year than they did during H1 in 2021.

For these advertisers, spending comes as they welcome students back.

With enrollment plateauing—even decreasing—recently, these advertisers are no doubt trying to reverse that trend. 

The Great Resignation may help. 

While many people who are quitting their jobs will pivot quickly into new roles, others will use the time off to reevaluate their careers. 

For some, that’ll mean returning to school and pursuing careers in high-demand industries like healthcare, software development and product management. 

Strategic messaging tailored to these people could convince some that the grass is greener on campus (online or otherwise).

Although the Great Resignation will open the door for colleges and universities to recruit those looking for a change, they’ll have a hard time swaying anyone if the price isn’t right. 

Between 1980 and 2020, the average price of tuition for an undergraduate degree, including fees and room and board, increased by 169%.

As alarming as that may be, they might be seeing the writing on the wall. 

In H1 2022, these advertisers have increased spending by 3,012% YoY on scholarship programs. 

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College Isn’t for Everyone

The rising cost of tuition is the greater issue, but colleges and universities are also fending off specialty programs, especially those related to trucking and construction. 

Advertisers promoting these programs are gearing up for battle by increasing their budgets.

In H1 of this year, these advertisers have increased spending by 11x and 13x YoY, respectively. 

For millions, including many riding the wave of the Great Resignation, these programs offer an opportunity to launch a career in a field with good pay and even better security. 

In the same breath, advertisers promoting other higher-education alternatives, like culinary school, painting, photography and acting, are spending more, too. 

Advertisers promoting these programs will continue to spend as long as traditional education costs rise, people grow tired of the corporate world and layoffs continue. 

The fact that the stigma historically tied to trade schools and specialty programs is fading will help maintain—or further propel—spending from these and related advertisers. 

For example, KEYi Tech, which makes STEAM robots for kids, increased ad spending by almost 120% YoY in H1. 

Canon took spending to another level, increasing it by 374% as photography became an outlet for millions.

Cash is King, Especially for Younger Generations

The 2020s have forced millions to burn through their savings, dig into their 401Ks and take other steps to support themselves. 

If there’s a silver lining, however, it’s this: The spotlight is on personal finance and sound money habits.

Unsurprisingly, many industry advertisers are using this as an invitation to open their wallets. 

Advertisers at JP Morgan Chase, for example, spent more than $19mm to bring Chase MyHome to the market. 

For one of the industry’s biggest players, the move undoubtedly comes in response to the volatile housing market and the desire of millions, especially Millennials, to settle down.   

Meanwhile, advertisers at Intuit, the company behind Quickbooks and TurboTax, increased spending by 128% YoY to nearly $200mm. 

For these companies, there’s an opportunity to get in front of generations, especially younger ones, and help them navigate the financial world. 

Based on the generational fascination with cryptocurrency and unabashed willingness to spend, these advertisers are likely just getting started (although the recession may force some to tweak their strategies). 

But, that doesn’t mean the new wave of finance is surrendering. increased spending for its app by more than 860x in H1 of this year, which shows that when it comes to the spending habits of financial advertisers, there are always two sides of the coin.

HR Teams and Hiring Managers Change Their Ways

Businesses are changing their ways in the wave of the Great Resignation. 

Higher pay. 

Better benefits. 

More career advancement opportunities. 

These changes will be companies’ biggest growth levers; their long-term success and stability rely on their willingness to give employees what they want. 

This is a long-term play, though. 

No company can reach this future state without employees and productivity now

The need for new hires compounds exponentially for companies dealing with voids left by the Great Resignation. 

For better or worse, hiring looks different than it did in the past—new wrinkles, like remote working and the rise of freelancing, mean that traditional hiring strategies may be less effective. 

This is why the HR software market continues to boom. 

Advertisers promoting this software are taking advantage. In H1, these advertisers spent 417% more than they did during this time last year. 

BambooHR, in particular, increased spending by nearly 280x YoY, while Globalization Partners increased it by 12x as companies tried to wrap their heads around hiring in the remote-first world.

As HR teams and hiring managers try to navigate the new-look job market while they may be seeing entire departments put in their two weeks, this software and related tools will be their lifeblood. 

The Great Resignation: A Launching Pad for Some Advertisers 

Impactful advertising is just as much about reacting to the environment and the world we live in as it is about building a sound strategy.

The best advertisers see what’s happening around them and use those observations to make strategic decisions. 

Take the growth of online gaming during the pandemic.

As gaming took hold and provided millions with an outlet during isolation, advertisers upped their investment in YouTube’s gaming channels. 

The Great Resignation has spurred a similar response from some advertisers and will likely continue as people bid farewell to their employers. 

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