The past five years have tested all industries, but marketing, in particular, has been adapting and pivoting left and right. That's not exactly new for marketers; adjusting tactics and being flexible when change is imminent is the mark of a talented marketer. Still, forecasting trends to build comprehensive strategies is crucial, even if the winds of change blow the metaphorical house of cards down.
Top Marketing Trends for 2023 and Beyond
Here are some marketing trends to look out for that will help you expect the unexpected and always find the cleanest path to success. These trends and strategies are based on information from B2B and B2C marketers from every corner of the globe — let's see what they say.
Data-Driven Decisions are Key
There are too many tools at a marketer's disposal to be sleeping on granular data; clever, effective marketing needs to go beyond basic demographics now. You'll also want to comb through where your target audience likes to shop, how they consume media, what they care about, and what they're interested in.
It seems like a lot to care about for some simple marketing. Still, the industry is clearly trending in this direction for a reason: having somewhat of a connection to a company or relating to them is crucial to today's consumer.
Be Prepared to Pivot
With how things have been going, having one marketing plan is not enough. You'll want a second backup plan for when that one inevitably goes belly up. The past few years alone have proven how fast shake-ups can happen, so you never want to be too tied down to one concept or strategy.
You want a second strategy in your back pocket and a way to bridge the gap between the two. Think about how you'll transition to the new plan. Prepare to potentially increase your marketing budget, change your messaging, or gather even more data.
Short-Form Video is The (Near) Future
By near future, we mean tomorrow — there's nothing more apparent than how much short-form video will grow over the next few months. Most marketers plan to funnel most of their investments into this content, with 90% of marketers planning to continue increasing the amount of time and energy they spend on leveraging this extremely engaging content.
Website SEO is Still the GOAT
It's nice to have a singular constant to anchor to in a world where everything is continually changing. For marketers, this anchor is website SEO. It still has an excellent ROI, being highly effective in driving website traffic and converting leads. Most marketers will continue to invest in SEO for the foreseeable future and rank high amongst where they're investing their money, right behind short-form video content.
Humanize Your Brand
Another trend is marketers injecting their brand's values into their strategies. Doing so has an enormous ROI; consumers want to know they're buying products or consuming content from brands that align with their values, so putting this front and center makes this much easier for them. It's one of the biggest trends of 2023 and will likely continue for years.
Leverage Influencer Marketing
Roughly 25% of marketers leveraged influencer marketing going into 2023, and it's since seen significant growth. While it trails behind the other options on this list in which marketers intend to invest their time and money, it still has high ROI and will see even more traction in the next few years. Influencer marketing has also captured the most intrigue amongst marketers, with 17% of them trying it for the first time in 2023.
Trends That Are Getting Left Behind
As important as it is to know which strategies are most effective, it's equally important to know which are falling out of favor. Here are some examples of trends marketers are leaving behind going into the next few years.
The main issues with using NFTs as a form of marketing are public sentiment and that they can be a risky investment. It's not impossible to see a good ROI when using NFTs, but the trend is much more niche than marketers anticipated. To many, it's still uncharted territory, and since they're already dealing with enough volatility, the incentives to chart it are few and far between.
This marketing strategy falls into the same pitfalls as NFTs; there's too much risk versus the potential reward. While the metaverse does seem like a promising future, and investing in marketing in this environment. could be a pioneering move, there are too many challenges to make it a "trend."
Instead, it's something that marketing teams can look into on a case-by-case basis, deciding whether their demographic would benefit from the effort required to design new assets and interactions for the metaverse.
Virtual or Augmented Reality
You're probably noticing a trend with these non-trends. VR/AR is also in its infancy, and while it seems promising for marketing, there's still too much barrier to entry to make it a priority for most marketing plans.
There's the public sentiment issue here as well since most now see AR as a gimmick, even if there are many ways that it could benefit the consumer. But probably the most egregious issue is that many lower-spec mobile devices won't have a good experience with AR, which could potentially cut out a large portion of a brand's demographic.
Marketing Moving Forward
With 2023 coming to a close, the only constant in marketing appears to be change. Fortunately, however, it's easier than ever to stay plugged into your consumers and learn how to best serve them. Data-driven marketing is the clear winner moving forward since it's essential to pivot quickly before others within the industry.
But that doesn't mean the tried-and-true methods won't yield excellent results. You can rest easy knowing that investing in short-form video content or website SEO will be a wise addition to any marketing strategy for years. So, while not knowing exactly where the marketing world will head next, you can always have these to fall back on. Otherwise, keep yourself open to new ideas so you can adapt and overcome anything this ever-changing industry throws your way.