Future Gazing: The REAL Marketing Trends For 2023
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Feel like you’ve heard this all before? You’re not alone. Over the past few years, the usual suspects in marketing trends have kept coming up to the point where they may well be considered the new norm in marketing. And yes, you should be implementing all the above in your strategies, but do you want to know where the future of marketing is really going?
Right this way, please . . .
Prediction: Webinars will stick around, but virtual events are out.
When Covid started, brands did their best to make the experience as interactive as possible. Remember the days of moving your little avatar across the screen into the “room”? It was fun, interactive and necessary at the time. But what about now? What’s stopping companies from hosting live, in-person events?
The point of these types of events is 10% selling your product and 90% brand building. This is especially true in the business-to-business (B2B) world. To make an event memorable, it needs to be an experience. Sure, you need the keynote speaker and all the formalities, but why not host it at a beautiful venue and serve five-star food and drink? This method may seem unrelated to selling your product but think of the next barbecue you attend. Do you bother mentioning the one-hour virtual conference you had to sit through? Or are you more likely to rave about the in-person event you attended with the lobster puffs and the ice sculpture of a unicorn? This is marketing at its finest and goes a long way to securing your brand in people’s minds.
Prediction: Humanizing brands to make them more relatable
Consumers are looking for brands that they feel they can relate to. They want real value, long-term relationships and an easy user experience. Implement this through immediate response channels and use less formal, more conversational tonality across your marketing.
Another way to be more relatable is through user-generated content. This content can come from your consumers directly, but a different approach is to use subject-matter experts in your organisation. Acting as in-house influencers, this is usually the CEO or a product lead creating and sharing content on their platforms. This content is human, relatable and easy to like and share. It becomes its own form of marketing – if it’s not dull and monotonous. An excellent example of a brand utilising this type of marketing is the British bank, Monzo. Their engagement strategy is mostly just their social media lead, Richard Cook, posting as himself. As an actual human, he can be funny, off-the-cuff, personable and relatable. And, when a brand is relatable, people listen.
Prediction: Influencer marketing will continue to thrive
One of the most successful campaigns I’ve ever run used influencer marketing. It cost £500 over four posts and generated approximately £25 million in pipeline for the company. Influencer marketing has the highest return on investment (ROI) that you won’t see anywhere else.
The downside is that the cost constantly increases, and the ROI continually decreases, so you need to get creative. For success in this area, create authentic, engaging content.
Prediction: A change in perspective on consumer privacy
Consumer privacy is an ongoing issue but may cease to be a concern.
Big names like Apple and Google would like to introduce tighter restrictions on third-party data but have delayed the rollout of these updates for over two years. Why? Consumers have accepted that ads are here to stay and would prefer to be targeted by ads relevant to their interests.
Prediction: Outsourced marketing to improve the company’s focus
In a survey conducted by BrightLocal, when asked what impact inflation was having on business, 44% of respondents said that existing clients were looking to spend less. With a recession looming, 47% of respondents reported that they’re looking to pass on increases to customers by increasing prices slightly.
What do you do when trying to be more frugal with your money but still need marketing to thrive? The sad truth is that when budget cuts happen, the marketing team is the first to go.
A viable solution to this problem is outsourcing. A marketing agency is a better all-around solution than hiring individual freelancers. Moving your marketing to an agency decreases costs and allows businesses to focus on equally important tasks, like securing new business. And, with 33% of agencies reporting that it’s become harder to retain existing customers, this option is not one to be pushed aside.
It’s not just the trends changing but how marketers interact with their audience. Marketing strategies will adapt as technology advances and more people adopt online selling methods. Nowadays, it is much easier to connect to customers, but we are all craving more meaning and human connection in our lives. As technology keeps coming up with new ways to reach consumers, the idea of an emotion-centred brand will get richer. Whether you are a marketer, an ambitious salesperson or an executive overseeing strategy, it’s vital to know the marketing trends and how they will evolve over time.