6 Marketing Predictions For an Unpredictable 2023
Every year, we do a webinar where we look into the crystal ball to anticipate the hot trends and strategies for digital marketing. Those trends are usually driven by new technologies or emerging strategies. This year, our webinar was different.
2023 stands to be a year like no other. With so much economic uncertainty, tightening budgets and limited resources, marketing departments are being asked to do much more with much less. This is not the time for catchy marketing slogans and trends. The easiest prediction to make this year is that marketers are going to need a profound shift in strategy.
Demand generation will generate relationships, not leads
That’s why our predictions for 2023 are much more strategic than they are tactical. They look at how marketers will deal with the challenge of driving predictable pipeline with limited resources. And everything starts with how we measure success. Being data-driven marketers has taken on a new meaning.
Demand generation teams need to stop counting leads and start measuring engagement. Our ability to drive pipeline will be much more reliant on how effectively we are connecting with our audiences and getting the human insights we need to build real long-term relationships with our buyers.
First-party data will generate better actionable insights
First-party data is the real data that matters. We need to know what our prospects are thinking, not just who they are. Only through genuinely engaging digital experiences can we get the audience insights we need, including: their interests and challenges, role in the buying committee and intent to buy.
These human insights will be how we help our sales teams close more deals. This is how we finally live up to the phrase, “it’s not about generating more leads; it’s about finding qualified prospects.”
Marketers will move from one-off tactics to repeatable programs
Doing more with less also means that we move away from one-off digital tactics to repeatable, scalable programs that increase reach without stressing resources and breaking the bank.
As an example, we have seen a number of successful brands moving from one-off webinars to serialized programs that build long-term followers, or even subscribers. These serialized programs often mimic TV-like formats such as talk shows, interview programs, news-style broadcasts, etc. By creating branded, reusable templates, it’s easy to replicate these programs without stressing resources.
To scale, events will go digital-first
Our event strategies will have to shift too. While it’s great to see physical events come back again, there is no going back from the lessons we learned over the last few years. Namely, that digital/hybrid events dramatically increase reach and deliver better data, which ultimately results in higher pipeline.
Simply put, physical doesn’t scale and it doesn’t deliver better results. This is why most events in the future will be hybrid, and hybrid will be “digital-first,” enabling companies to broaden the scope of their programs without spending additional resources on expensive physical options that offer limited ROI.
More engaging formats will create better leads
Another broader strategic prediction is that the very way in which we engage our audience is going to fundamentally change. Buyers today increasingly want to be active participants in the digital experiences they attend. They want to interact, engage, connect, sometimes even participate in discussions that are more curated to their unique interests.
That is why we are seeing more smaller discussion-based experiences where audiences are participating in moderated conversations, often with cameras on, where they can engage at a much deeper level. This trend is both desirable for our audiences but also great for marketers, as more engagement results in better quality leads.
Personalization will finally scale
Finally, as we scale the reach of our programs, we need to increasingly personalize every audience touchpoint. In the past, scale meant sacrificing personalization but today we have the tools and technology to do both.
Every digital experience should offer lots of ways that your audience can self-select, or choose their own adventure, to find the right content or engagement that they need to move forward in their journey. And we now have dynamic personalization and AI capabilities to make it easier than ever to help our prospects have a more curated experience.
These predictions are less about chasing trends and more about understanding that, as marketers, we need a change of mindset and strategy. Driving growth in 2023 will mean rethinking the fundamentals of how we engage audiences, create real connections and ultimately drive predictable pipeline and revenue in these unpredictable times.
It doesn’t take a crystal ball to see that this is not a shiny new trend, it’s a better way.