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The 5 biggest marketing trends set to dominate 2023

marketing trends for 2023

The web is awash with 2023 marketing predictions so we’ve aggregated and analyzed them into 5 need-to-knows for the year ahead. Perfect for marketing professionals to get a strategic view of what could impact forthcoming plans. 

The five marketing megatrends we’re calling out are: 

  1. The cost of living will bite harder – for everyone 


  2. Customer trust is in crisis and sustainability holds the key 


  3. Personalization is paramount 


  4. Email will continue dominating in an omnichannel world 


  5. AI has matured and the metaverse is the new focus 

The cost of living will bite harder – for everyone 

Marketing budgets could be under serious strain this year as global economic woes deepen, encouraging departments to bear down on costs to relieve financial pressure amid falling demand. And while the opposite argument is also being made – that this is the time to invest rather than cut back – it is inevitable that most marketing pros will be asked to do more with less and show stronger ROI.  

  • 86% of global CEOs expect a recession next year, according to KPMG. This is leading almost half to implement hiring freezes or workforce downsizing in 2023, though the longer-term view is more optimistic for a short and shallow downturn.  

  • According to Accenture, 70% of CMOs say their teams are burned out by the past year’s relentless change. The consultancy giant suggests marketing teams aim to declutter and refocus their priorities in line with customer demands in the year ahead.  

  • Hootsuite’s Social Media Trends 2023 survey shows that social media marketing has fully come of age as a strategic tool with 96% of marketing pros confident in its value. However, as social has almost doubled in size as a proportion of marketing budget in the last 12 months, 2023 will see it come under considerably more scrutiny. 

  • A Matter Comms study of CMOs found that 90% of those that decreased marketing investments during Covid lockdowns are planning to increase them during 2023.  

Protect your marketing budget by demonstrating ROI with reliable metrics. Leverage the utility of existing marketing assets and channels as much as possible, while also looking to long term strategic value via digital automation. 

Customer trust is in crisis and sustainability holds the key 

The concept of customer trust may be tested to the limit in 2023, presenting an abundance of risks and opportunities for brands to navigate. Customers are more amenable than ever to trying new products and services in a bid to secure greater value – ready to invest their trust where it’s warranted.

Much of this will depend on how brands act as good corporate citizens rather than just talking the talk. Younger consumers in particular are already greatly motivated in their buying decisions by climate change, social justice and sustainability – and this looks set to continue through 2023.    

  • Salesforce research found that 88% of customers believe brand trust becomes more important in times of change. 68% of them expect companies to act with society’s best interests in mind. It also found 78% of customer purchasing decisions are influenced by environmental practices and 66% of customers have stopped buying from a company whose values didn’t align with their own. 

Focus on understanding what drives customer trust among your target audience. Communicate your values with customers, and commit to serving their best interests through superior customer experience, as well as the planet’s via ESG (environmental, social, governance) programs.  

Personalization is paramount 

The seven Ps of marketing now have an eighth – personalization – and organizations that succeed in personalizing marketing offers and customer experiences can look forward to a brighter 2023.

Data insights will continue to fuel this trend, and leading businesses will get better at delivering uniquely personalized brand experiences at scale by leveraging automation and AI. 

  • According to PwC, 82% of consumers would be happy to share more personal data in exchange for a better customer experience. Its research also found flexibility to be important in personalization, allowing customers to interact with offers in order to self-tailor them further. The most popular aspects of a personalized experience are “discounts/rebates on products I regularly use” (48%) and “rewards my way” in a loyalty program (43%). The same study also found that 51% of consumers would be less loyal if the online experience provided by a brand isn’t as enjoyable as in person.

  • A Salesforce study found that 73% of customers expect companies to understand their unique needs and expectations.   

  • Among the emerging personalization marketing techniques in 2023 is so-called proximity marketing which targets selected individuals at specific times using “personalized, relevant content and geopositioning technologies in combination with Bluetooth or near-field communication, geofencing SMS or proximity identifiers.” 

  • Within the next 3 years, says IDC, companies that collect data with ecosystem partners and harness it for revenue potential will grow revenue 10% faster than those that don’t. 

Recognize that personalization is a journey of continual improvement in your marketing approach, not an end-game in itself. Chances are you already personalize your marketing – and so does your competition. Go further by creating truly personalized experiences at scale, by harnessing automation.   

Email will continue dominating in an omnichannel world 

Leading organizations now accept the omnichannel marketing ideal and continue to drive improvements across underserved channels to match customer preferences and deliver both high quality and continuity of experience.

The oft-heralded death of email will not materialize in 2023; in fact it promises to increase its importance among audiences. Email will remain a key focus even as, amid growing budget pressure and escalating demands, many marketing teams risk being spread too thinly across the many channels they control.  

  • Salesforce research found that email marketing volumes increased 15% in 2022, accounting for 80% of all outbound messaging. Customers keep loving email too, coming second only to the phone in their list of preferred channels to interact with brands. 

Continue innovating your omnichannel strategy, while remaining focused on the communications channels that matter to customers. Don’t neglect email; rather, look to exploit new opportunities such as more sophisticated campaigns, data collection and trusted engagement with an increased focus on email signature marketing. 

AI has matured and the new focus is the metaverse 

Marketers have grown familiar with the concept of AI-powered technologies, and 2023 will see it mainstreaming further as more of them apply AI solutions into their marketing tech stacks. This will allow teams to refocus their medium to long-term future horizon scanning onto ‘the metaverse’, which as it grows will deliver significant marketing opportunities for brands. Gaining a metaverse presence will be an important first step, as will using this presence to experiment and innovate in line with early best practice. 

  • Forrester says AI will become indispensable in 2023, with 10% of Fortune 500 companies using AI tools to generate content, including marketing copy, at scale. 

  • Salesforce found 68% of marketing pros have a fully defined AI strategy, up over 10% from a year ago. The major use cases include automating customer interactions (90%) through chatbots and similar solutions, personalizing the omnichannel customer journey (88%), bridging online and offline experiences (87%) and resolving customer identities (87%). 

  • A Telus survey of 1,500 consumers familiar with the metaverse found that 50% would choose one brand over another if it offered a metaverse experience. A similar proportion expect brand interactions to be more engaging (53%) and more personalized (49%) in the metaverse than in reality. Around one-quarter (27%) would pay up to 5% more for a product/service backed up by a quality metaverse experience, while 22% would pay up to 10% more.   

  • McKinsey believes marketers should adopt a test-and-learn mindset regarding the metaverse, “be open to experiments and… move on quickly from failure and capitalize on success.” The consulting group claims the value creation opportunity from the metaverse could run into trillions of dollars. 

Extend your efforts into how real AI solutions can benefit your marketing strategy both operationally, in terms of reducing manual work for your team, and with new opportunities arising from data insights.

This need not be at the expense of personalized or ‘human-to-human’ marketing initiatives. Also examine Web3 and metaverse-related opportunities and be prepared to experiment first and perfect your best practice later.  

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