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Marketing predictions for 2023

What will be the top marketing trends for 2023 and how can you prepare for the year ahead?

As 2022 draws to a close, we’re faced with a new reality. The world has changed significantly. Geopolitical issues, economic instability, uncertainty, and disruption have characterized 2022 and are likely to be the status quo in 2023.  

Constant disruption has created new challenges for leadership teams. How can you create an effective and efficient marketing strategy when you don’t know where the next obstacle will come from?  

The only constant is change. The physical and digital marketing worlds will continue to evolve. Hybrid and virtual worlds will become more commonplace, giving you even more ways to connect with your audience. Your customer behavior will adapt, favoring new channels and content. 

You and your marketing team need to be well-tuned into the changing landscape. Agility has been a defining characteristic for marketers for many years, but 2023 will be the year you really need it to thrive.

To help you prepare for the new year, we’ve been doing the research so you don’t have to. Looking at everything from marketing tech to the customer experience, these five trends are our top marketing predictions for 2023.  

1. Marketers will be tasked with proving ROI from customer experience investment

As marketers, you’re well aware of the importance of a good customer experience (CX). It can make or break your business. It’s the decision-making factor that determines whether a customer will do business with you or not. Getting it right is essential.  

But as marketing budgets face more scrutiny than ever from CFOs and Finance departments, demonstrating the ROI of your CX is crucial.

How do you prove marketing ROI? 

Forrester estimates that 54% of marketers are unable to prove the ROI of their CX projects. That’s not good at all. Being unable to demonstrate the ROI of your campaigns will result in budgets being slashed in favor of projects that can measure their return on investment. 

So, how do you measure ROI?  

At the end of the day, being able to measure your ROI boils down to the capabilities of your martech stack. More specifically, your marketing automation or customer engagement platform.  

Platforms like Dotdigital offer marketers insights like multitouch revenue attribution, so you can measure the effectiveness of your entire marketing campaign – not just the beginning or end.  

This enables you to understand what elements in the customer journey are generating the most revenue. Combine that with good data management strategies to optimize your social ad spend and you’re well on your way to earning larger budgets and increasing investment in your marketing tech.  

2. The gap between insight and marketing action will continue to shrink

Demand for growth is only going to increase as we fall deeper into economic uncertainty. In order to grow, you need to be generating more leads and these leads need to be converting. Similarly, retaining these converted leads will guarantee a consistent flow of revenue. To grow and retain your customer base, you need to focus your attention on the customer lifecycle. 

You need to understand what motivates customers; what content they engage with and what drives them into action. These insights will be invaluable to your business. They’ll give your marketing strategy direction supported by facts and data.  

86% of marketing leaders agree that eliminating silos is critical to expanding the use of data and analytics in decision-making. Over the course of 2022, data unification platforms have been touted as the solution to this problem. In 2023, these data unification tools will only grow in importance

Why is data unification important? 

Data unification tools bring together disparate and disconnected data into a single, unified source.  

Customer data may come to you via multiple routes. For example, you may collect customer emails using your point of sale (POS) software, or gather data through visitors logging into your venue’s Wi-Fi. A data-centric platform like Dotdigital will unify these sources to create a single customer profile where you can access all important insights.  

But that isn’t enough. Insight needs to be turned into action.  

Customer analytics will help you make informed marketing decisions. On which channel are customers engaging with your content? What content or campaigns are they engaging with? What is their average order value?  

Customer behavior is constantly changing. In 2023, software that bridges the gap between insights and action will help you turn leads into conversions.

3. User-generated content will grow in importance to marketing strategies 

Customer behavior isn’t the only thing that’s constantly changing, and so is your audience demographic. Gen Z, the first generation of “digital natives” is entering the workforce. They’re evolving; changing the game for B2B and B2C businesses alike.  

Gen Z uses Instagram almost as often as they do Google. They don’t browse the internet as much as those aged 25 and over, in fact, since 2018 using the number of people using the internet to generally browse the web has dropped by 14%. Instead, they head to platforms like Instagram and TikTok for inspiration.  

We can speculate as to the many reasons why Gen Z are turning away from the internet, but market research suggests anxiety and mistrust could be behind the decline. Information overload is all too real, for Gen Z, it turns out that seeing is believing. 

Why is user-generated content important? 

User-generated content (UGC) is the content of any form (e.g., blogs, videos, pictures, etc.) created by people, rather than brands. Since 2020 there has been an 11% decline in consumer trust in online reviews. This distrust is even higher amongst younger people.  

Instead, they’re more likely to turn to social media to get reviews from real people. Enter the influencer. 

For marketers to connect with the growing Gen Z demographic, it’s vital you have a strong presence on social media. Making connections with influencers in your field will help you cut through the noise and gain the trust of your audience. Being real and authentic, supporting the creation of UGC, and adding it to your marketing strategy will help you expand your reach significantly in 2023. 

4. Brands will be expected to be more human

One of the biggest ongoing challenges marketers face is differentiating their brands from their competitors. This is especially relevant as we enter a time of economic uncertainty.  

You need to demonstrate the value your brand has to offer. Unfortunately, value comes in many ways shapes, and forms. But the biggest value you can offer customers is simple: treat them like human beings.

That means personalizing your marketing, protecting data privacy, and utilizing your channels to demonstrate the humans behind your business.

Experiences impact trust 

During difficult times, customers choose brands they trust over those they don’t know. The more work you put in early the more benefits you will reap.  

Data privacy experiences impact customer trust. 43% of customers will switch allegiances to another brand if they do not feel as though their privacy is being respected. When collecting customer data, it’s important you explain openly and honestly why you need it.  

Once these expectations are set, you then have to meet them. That means using customer data to deliver personalized experiences.  

Whether you work in the ecommerce, B2B, or NFP sectors, everyone wants to be treated like an individual.

5. Consumers will demand and expect brands to be greener

According to Forrester’s research, the number of “active green” consumers in Europe will increase by 50% by the end of 2023.  

By now, you should be well aware that the environment is a huge concern for the public. It’s more than just a PR stunt. With nearly three in five consumers willing to pay more for eco-friendly products, being the greener choice can actually improve your bottom line.

How to ‘go green’? 

There’s no simple formula that will help your business ‘go green’ or reach carbon-neutral status – you’ve got to work at it.  

Here at Dotdigital, before we became the world’s first carbon-neutral marketing automation platform, we set about evaluating every element of our business, from how we host our servers to how we heat our offices. It was not easy, but it was necessary to achieve our sustainability goals.  

When making the switch to sustainable business practices, it’s important you do the research. Greenwashing, or making sweeping statements about offsetting your environmental impact won’t cut it with today’s conscious consumer. You need to be open, honest, and accountable.  

At the same time, you need to balance customer demands for greener business practices with their demand for convenience. Retail giants Amazon have launched a fleet of electric vehicles to help reduce their impact on the environment, whilst still meeting demands for two-day shipping.  

Now, we know that many businesses out there will not be able to purchase a fleet of electric vans, but smaller businesses like Cult Beauty offer ‘eco delivery’ as a shipping option. This allows your customer to pick their journey and their impact.  

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