Henry DeVries Contributor
What lies ahead for marketing in 2023? I polled several marketing experts to get their forecasts.
Author Lisa Apolinski, nicknamed America’s digital content futurist, runs an agency called 3 Dog Write. During an in-person interview, she predicted the following.
1. Managing digital expectations: “The customer experience has progressed to include all digital aspects. When companies think about that experience, the digital component is a key factor. How are you managing digital expectations, like response time to customer inquiries? Make sure you set up both your team and the customer for success.”
2. Playing the authority long game: Apolinski says becoming an authority in your area of expertise is a great way to establish credibility and position your personal brand. But this is not a “get rich quick” scheme. “Working on your authority takes a longer approach, like a slow burn,” says Apolinski. “Once the digital embers light, that position will last for a long time.”
Kimen Warner, VP of product management and Aurelia Solomon, senior director of product and customer marketing at Drift, predicted via email the following for 2023:
3. Fear of artificial intelligence never sleeps: According to Warner and Solomon, one of the biggest challenges for AI in B2B will be the public’s perception of AI in B2C. As more B2C products incorporate AI, consumers will inevitably become fearful about AI’s application in the B2B space. Taking AI out of the black box will be critical to achieving understanding, trust and greater adoption among businesses.
4. AI will become much more accurate in 2023, which will help to improve trust: Warner and Solomon say the open sourcing of many AI models has made data collection and training both faster and more accurate. When applied to AI bots, this means they can engage visitors in a relevant way and more consistently answer their questions to drive them toward the right outcome. This in turn leads to more trust in the results.
5. A shift in spending for both consumers and companies: Campo says amid uncertain times, conscious consumers will pivot their purchasing patterns in 2023 to choices that maximize impact, utility, and convenience. In response, marketing leaders will need to adjust accordingly to meet consumers where they are—with even more pressure to deliver practical value when buyers are being more selective.
6. Accelerating physical/digital connectivity: According to Campo, Covid-19 brought on an accelerated shift from physical to digital experiences. In 2022, we witnessed the pendulum swing back as consumers returned to many of their long-missed physical experiences. In 2023, physical manifestations of brands will continue to be important, but those that prioritize making these moments feel continuous and intentional will succeed.
Alicia Pringle, senior director of online marketing at Newfold Digital, via email foresaw the following:
7. Social commerce is on the rise: Pringle says social commerce will be well-used in 2023 by brands and consumers, as it creates a smoother, more direct experience for users. A “link in bio” callout to direct potential buyers will not be needed, and influencers and creative social content will be the name of the game.
8. The best marketing strategy in 2023 will be one with integrated video and written content: Pringle adds that websites still need text information but adding video to showcase products (and then having the ability to add to social media) will help marketers expand their reach to a wider audience.
Carajane Moore, president of Hunt Big Sales, predicted the following via email:
9.Time to re-examine selling process: Moore says 2023 is a good year to re-examine the process for customer buying and your company selling. It is possible your company should look at the service versus selling design and staffing to increase profits and support to your customers. “These trends have been in place since 2015,” said Moore. “The pandemic and supply chain management issues have accelerated the movement of customers’ purchasing processes.”
In an in-person interview, Sandra Martini, founder of The Martini Way LLC, predicted the following.
10. Prioritizing retention over new lead acquisition: “Clients will stay longer and refer more often when a business consistently shows they understand them and optimizing marketing tech, such as a customer relationship management (CRM) system, is a scalable way for businesses to do just that,” said Martini.