About this time last year, we were finding our way out of the thick of the pandemic. After two years of lockdown, our communities were defining what the new normal would look like. We continue to define what the future looks like as the aftermath continues to ripple through our communities, industries and world.
At the end of 2021, I shared the 6 Marketing Trends to Embrace in 2022. The digital marketing industry is no exception to the speed at which our world continues to evolve. With warnings of a coming recession and as Millennial and Gen-Z’s buying power increases, it’s increasingly important that marketing teams have their ducks in a row as they grow in the digital marketplace — a space that grows increasingly competitive.
With our sights set on 2023, here are 7 marketing trends to embrace for the coming year:
1. Purpose-Driven Brands Will Win (high-quality product is still a must)
Last year, my top tip was that “ People are craving more good in the world,” and this statement still stands. As the number of certified B Corporations surpassed 5,000 this year, efforts for businesses to focus on sustainable and people-focused practices will continue to rise. Millennials have proven time and time again they’re willing to spend the extra buck for a more sustainable product, in fact, 75% of Millennial respondents said in a McKinsey & Co. survey that, when buying a luxury product, they consider sustainability.
Purpose doesn’t stop at sustainability. In a recent survey by Sprout Social, two-thirds of consumers believe that companies should share a public stance on social and political issues. These days, trust matters and when customers feel they’re values-aligned with a company, this builds trust, making them more likely to purchase. It’s a win-win — better for the world and better for your business.
2. TikTok + Instagram Reels Reign Supreme: Short-Form Video is IT
As TikTok continues to climb in success, with 1 billion active users, and Instagram reels are on the rise as the most effective way to reach users, it’s important that businesses are prepared for continued prioritization of short-form video. Even Google is taking note, by sharing the potential plans to surface short-form video in search results.
With a thirst for more authentic marketing, consumers are looking for access to brands and goods that fit their lifestyle. Pushing more short-form video content is a no-brainer… and in 2023, a non-negotiable.
3. Reality Sells: Influencers and User-Generated Content (UGC) are on the rise
The influencer industry (becoming known as the Producer Economy) has quickly become an accepted marketing strategy. As consumers demand more authentic content, negotiating contracts and partnerships with online personalities is not only commonplace, but now essential. In 2021, brands spent nearly $14 billion on influencers.
Reality sells — whether it’s through the producer economy or user-generated content (UGC), the metrics speak for themselves. According to Consumer Acquisition, in 2022 UGC had 12x the engagement for video content, compared to any other content, a 28% increase in conversion rate, when pairing UGC and paid content, and now 77% of brands are investing in influencer marketing. Influencer Marketing Hub predicts that the Produce Economy will reach$4.6 billion in value, in the US alone, and Instagram is predicted to remain the preferred platform for this content.
4. The Metaverse: Plenty of unknowns, but companies are jumping in
Many of us are still scratching our heads, trying to understand what exactly is the metaverse!? Search Engine Journal said, “Just like the internet, industry insiders are predicting the metaverse will become a necessity for all brands.” Big brands, such as Disney, Nike and Gucci, are building digital communities in preparation for the shift to virtual realities.
There are still many unknowns around how the Metaverse will shape out or take off, but one thing is for certain: brands should continue catering to the $4.4 trillion of spending power that Gen Z and Millennials bring to the table — and these customers value an online community and presence. Whether it’s incorporating the term Metaverse into website or product pages, building a digital community or looking at AR/VR shopping capabilities, companies are already envisioning, and acting on, what their claim in this new space will look like.
5. Conversational Marketing: Cut Lead Times and Make Your Customers Happy
People want marketing to feel conversational and human again… just look at the rise in Influencer and UGC marketing! Beyond the human touch, consumers want everything fast. Conversational marketing is a way to quench both needs, with the option to interchange chatbots and real humans, it’s an efficient and cost-effective way to service customers.
ChatBots are also an incredibly efficient way to qualify leads while also satisfying customers’ desire for immediate response and interaction. One company, according to Drift, was able to shorten its sales cycle from 6 months to as few as 12 days. Curious how you might be able to implement Conversational Marketing into your marketing plan? Sprout Social shares how companies like Amtrak, adidas and the World Health Organization have implemented this tactic.
6. Let’s Get Personal, It’s Better For Everyone: Personalized Marketing
Gen Zers and Millennials are driving the market shifts these days. Born up to 34 years apart with a population totaling 139 million, these two generations are a primary focus for marketers. Both generations are looking for authenticity — they want to know the people behind the brands and they expect transparency.
Beyond building basic trust, these consumers want a personalized, tailored shopping experience. Through the data consumers share with brands, companies can leverage this data to personalize ads and customer experience. SmarterHQ shared, “ 90% of consumers say they’re willing to share their behavioral data if additional benefits are provided that make shopping cheaper or easier.” At the end of the day, it’s a fine line between being helpful vs. creeping your consumers out. Surprisingly, the marketing method makes a huge difference. Suggestions via push notification makes consumers uncomfortable vs. the same messaging via email is considered helpful.
Brands need to find ways to personalize the shopping experience in a consumer-accepted way, whether it be personalized fulfillment, personalized suggestions or personalized offers, Gen Z and Millennial shoppers want brands to make their experience feel unique. Companies are getting creative and being rewarded for their personalization, don’t get left behind!
7. Zero-Party Data’s Importance Grows: The Cookie’s On-Going Death
As shared last year, Google is phasing out the cookie and data collection as we know it. The transition should be complete by the end of 2023. Companies will need to get creative and continue to encourage consumers to willingly share data. Accurate data will become more valuable as the transition nears completion — it will be more accurate than ever before, making it possible to create the personal marketing experiences consumers are looking for. Building consumer trust is more important than ever, as people will need to agree to share their data in this new landscape. Forbes said it best, “As data privacy laws become more stringent, and as customers become more aware of the risks of third-party data, brands will need to increasingly rely on data that they can trust-and that is only possible with zero-party data.”
As usual, the digital marketplace isn’t slowing down. In an already-competitive space, it’s important that you know how to build trust with consumers, produce engaging content and hold an edge on your competitors. Here at Avenue, our priority is ensuring our clients are up to speed on current trends and are making the right decisions to optimize their digital presence. Give us a shout if you’d like to discuss how Avenue can strengthen your Paid Ads, SEO or Organic Social presence in 2023.