Five 2023 Digital Marketing Trends to Watch
Like most marketers, I don’t have a crystal ball. I can’t see into the future, so my predictions for 2023 digital marketing trends are just that—predictions. But there is one thing I know for a fact: digital marketing is constantly changing.
An agile digital marketing strategy is something that all brands need to keep pace with that change. Yet, it’s important to remember that “digital marketing” is constantly evolving and—if you can believe it—becoming broader. Marketers increasingly collaborate across departments to build exceptional digital experiences that build long-term customer relationships. This means that they focus more on data activation, technical integrations, and holistic marketing strategies across a growing number of channels.
While every digital marketing strategy looks different depending on your organization and audience needs, there are some trends that all brands should keep a pulse on as we close out 2022 and ring in the new year.
Whether these trends impact you immediately or down the road, the important thing to remember is that the results from leveraging them are worth the effort. Your level of commitment to your digital marketing strategic plan can be the difference between a struggling business and a business that thrives and changes with the times.
So, to prepare you for next year here’s a look at the digital marketing trends and predictions that I and other members of Velir’s executive team have for 2023.
The Adoption of Agile Marketing
Did you know that 7–10 million articles are published online daily? And that 45% of online content goes unseen by consumers? That means on the low end of this number, there are 3,150,000 pieces of content that marketers spent time creating that no one ever laid eyes on. As marketers, we’re bombarding our consumers with content (which feels ironic to say in this lengthy blog post, but I digress). We’re fatiguing our audiences and talking over them when we should be listening. Listening must be ingrained in all marketing processes which is why more and more digital marketing teams are adopting an agile approach to content, campaigns, and more—just like we do here at Velir. Agile marketing focuses on the continuous optimization of your efforts so you can measure performance and integrate user feedback to make sure you’re always delivering value. By adopting an agile approach, you’ll not only ensure that your message resonates with your target markets, but that you can pivot as consumers' needs evolve.
Getting Creative to Do More with Less
2022 has been a wild year—especially in the tech world! From economic turmoil to a growing number of tech layoffs (just look at that chart below), organizations are figuring out how to do more with less. This impacts a couple of different fronts. First, in 2023 I suspect we’ll see a lot of brands focus their digital marketing, content, and experience strategies on customer retention and engagement. Did you know that it costs 5x more to acquire new customers than it does to retain them? Because of this and tightening purse strings, organizations will explore ways to build loyalty and advocacy with their established consumer bases. This will also include a focus on testing strategies that ensure the most effective and impactful experiences are delivered to key audiences.
In a similar vein, during the pandemic, a lot of organizations made short-sighted tech investments to keep experience delivery alive and accommodate complete work-from-home scenarios with their distributed workforces. There is no judgment there—it's just what a lot of organizations needed to keep the lights on. So, we’ll see organizations assess these tech investments to identify areas of overlap with systems, end redundancy, and tap into underutilized features of platforms they have invested in. More on that point to come.
Activating Data to Drive Personalization
Adam, our VP of Data Activation said it best, "Businesses have gotten the memo that they need to be more data-driven, and they’ve made investments in certain tools to support this, but the data savviness of their staff hasn’t increased to match the sophistication of their tools. There are a number of brands who have sophisticated personalization systems that are just sitting idle because they have the tech but not the skillsets for it."
I agree, Adam! Building off my previous point about doing more with less, in 2023 we’ll see organizations develop the skills to support digital marketing tactics that they wanted to execute but haven’t known how to. As organizations try to become nimbler, we’ll see them build out personalization proofs of concept (POC) so that their digital marketing teams can dip their toes into personalization. By doing these POCs and taking a hands-on approach, you can build up personalization practices that put your collected data into action and define processes that support scaling these efforts over time.
Upfront Data Collection—Ask and You Shall Receive
With the pending full removal of third-party cookies, marketers are exploring the best way to continue collecting and leveraging the behavior-rich tracking data that has become integral to campaign targeting. They also need to get to know their consumers to engage them and deliver the most relevant, personalized information possible. While some will continue to explore targeting alternatives, other brands will opt for more upfront data requests.
In 2023, we’ll see more brands take a human approach to data collection where transparency and honesty are integral. According to a recent study by Merkle, 76% of consumers are willing to fill out a short survey on their first visit to a website if they will get a more personalized experience in return. So, we’ll see an uptick in living profiles created on brand sites where consumers will be asked to fill in forms and answer questions about their preferences. Take the BBC for example—they’re asking site visitors to create free accounts because they understand the need to rely on first-party data moving forward. In 2023, sites that used to be public may start asking users to create accounts and log in to facilitate visitor identification and aid in personalization. The more upfront you are about why you’re asking for data, and the more control you give audiences over it, the smarter your digital marketing efforts will become and the deeper the trust you can build with your consumers.
Data Privacy Becomes More Serious Than Ever
Sticking with the data theme here, organizations are going to seek new ways to collect customer data for targeting, engagement, and the like. But 2023 will also be the year when we see more transparency and commitment to sophisticated data privacy practices. While the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) went into effect in January 2020, the new California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) goes into effect in January 2023, putting pressure on organizations to comply with personal data privacy regulations to avoid lawsuits and other legal action. The California AG just settled their first lawsuit under CCPA, and it seems like these lawsuits will become more prevalent if brands ignore the data privacy laws. Businesses directly subject to the laws will need to ensure that their data is inventoried to consider the impact on data sets like website data, marketing data, and data on employees. 2023 will be the year that businesses start to take these regulations seriously. You’ll need to bring data privacy to the table when planning customer experiences and digital marketing strategies to ensure they’re both compliant and respectful to your audiences.
So, there you have it, these are some of the digital marketing trends we expect to see throughout 2023. Organizations will adopt an agile approach to marketing, they’ll get creative to do more with less, activate data to drive personalization, perform upfront data collection, and take data privacy more seriously.
If something that I talked about here caught your eye, feel free to reach out! We’re happy to discuss how you can take advantage of these trends and help your organization become a trendsetter in digital marketing in 2023.
Happy New Year!