Marketing Trends: How to Wow Them In 2023

November 17, 2022

Welcome to the next chapter for building your brand.

When it comes to marketing, plenty of things have changed in a short amount of time. The channels are similar but more advanced. The pandemic has left its mark in many parts of society.

At CMA, we have helped business leaders grow their brands since 1987, despite recessions, inflation, natural disasters, blackouts and now a pandemic.

Despite obstacles, we will continue to adapt and evolve.

Our in-house subject matter experts offer their insight on digital marketing trends in 2023:

Advertising 2023: Be Inclusive

Since the BlackLivesMatter and MeToo movements in 2020, Amazon has changed the meaning of love for Alexa, the world’s famous voice-controlled virtual assistant.

When someone asks Alexa “What is Love?” today, the device shares responses from one of eight people who come from different backgrounds. In their own way, they each describe a time when someone made them feel included because they were seen and heard.

In 2023, we will see more inclusion in all forms of marketing, especially advertising. The advertising industry has an opportunity to do more than simply reflect an image back to us; it has the power to change the way we are.

Consumers are asking for it. In fact, 65% of consumers say it is important for brands that they support to demonstrate diversity and inclusion in their own business. Research from Unstereotype Alliance found the most progressive representations in ads perform significantly better than the least progressive on all drivers of long-term brand growth and short-term sales.

Brand Marketing Strategy 2023: Create More Memorable Experiences

World-class customer experience is everything. This continues to grow, and it has shown itself in ways we never imagined as digital marketers. Customers expect very nuanced, personalized experiences that “know” their likes and interests. Plus, more and more people expect influencers that they like to promote their favorite products. (Oh yeah, they also want to be “wowed” all the time.)

Experiences are key, which is why agencies are opening new retail divisions, as well as influencer divisions. People don’t want to go into stores to shop—they can do that online. They want unique experiences that they can’t get online.  It’s as if every lead gen campaign will be delivering the same outcome as high-end spa experiences. People want to feel pampered, taken care of, and unique. Because consumer giants have been evolving their marketing programs this way, consumers expect it in all, if not most, of their online interactions. Chatbots can help.

In addition, magazines and catalogs that are very visual are also being heralded all over again. Many will hold onto these for inspiration beyond their favorite Pinterest board.  This also leads to visual searches over text, shoppable content, and try before you buy.

Website Design 2023: Set Your Brand Apart With Unique Design

Ok, “ugly” is the new pretty.

In 2023, an emerging neo-brutalism trend in web design will be tested. This style marries elements from the Modern Minimalist and Brutalism schools of thought. (Do you recall the 1980’s, which was shaped by the 1950’s?)

This new trend in web design uses imagery that favors unpopular colors and different design choices. Clashing colors may be muted in a pop-art style, which is how this design differentiates itself from the web designs that have reigned for years. Odd background choices and animations provide more modern street credentials.

Neo-brutalism requires a web design team that has a firm grasp on user experience (UX) and complicated user interface (UI). Without such expertise, the hierarchy and design can create problems for users, especially those individuals who are not comfortable with technology. Navigation in these designs is not always simple to find.

However, for organizations that cater to a hipper audience, this new trend can make sure your brand stands out in a positive way.

Digital Marketing 2023: Use Video Marketing Everywhere

First, it was the Radio Star. Now, it’s marketing in general.

Video is killing it, expanding its reach in marketing budgets throughout the country. A recent study found that 64% of marketing budgets in 2023 will increase with more video, compared to 2022.

What’s not to like? Want more eyeballs on your blog and press release? Add a video.

Want those social media posts to pop? Add a video.

But in 2022, we have more applications where video has shined. Making it part of a digital ad campaign, for example, allows you to supplement marketing efforts by engaging users for longer in a short time.

Remember when you had to go to YouTube to watch a video? Today, the entire internet is one video loop from sports, music, consumer and news sites. They’ve all jumped on the ever-growing trend. Why not? Many consumers (84%) have bought a product or service after watching a video.

Now, the micro-videos that range 10 seconds are looking to knock out 30-second videos from the top spot. Video marketing plays well into digital marketing because it acknowledges that conversion is not a single event, but a series of events that speak to different stages along the buyer’s journey.

In addition to generating more attention to specific marketing campaigns, video marketing is also creating more web traffic for brands as an organization’s search engine optimization (SEO) is improved in the process. Video can single-handedly push up a company’s game when it comes to search engine results pages (SERPs). According to research, 27.92% of mobile SERPs in the United States contain a video.

Content Marketing 2023: Speak To Your Prospects

Your prospects are peppered with external stimuli all day. It’s a lot of noise.

From a content perspective, cut through the clutter by “talking” to them—not at them. As we prepare to make a purchase, we all go through stages. First, we must discover that we have a problem that needs a fix. We call it the “Awareness” stage. Then, you must figure out how to solve the problem. That’s called the “Consideration” stage. Finally, you decide to make a purchase. Viola! The “Decision” stage.

Develop content that addresses each phase so you can influence your prospects in a digital world.

Social Media Marketing 2023: Keep It Real

Generally speaking, people do business with people and brands that they like. Trust is deeply embedded in the word “like.”

Being your authentic self is how you get there.

Consumers want to be comfortable trusting company content in which they engage. This sentiment is quite evident on social media channels, where people are keeping it real and, sometimes raw online, namely visual hubs like TikTok and BeReal.

As a result, 90% of consumers have revealed that authenticity is the deciding factor when choosing a particular brand. That explains why user-generated content is becoming popular—and will continue to grow in 2023. Consumers will more likely trust a brand with user-generated content than any other marketing content.

Shopping is another activity that will continue to grow on social media. Gen Z and Millennials are forecasted to drive more than 100 million in online sales in the new year.

Such retail enthusiasm is also increasing the demand for advertising on social media channels. Digital ads for 2023 are forecasted to reach $681.39 billion with a majority share allocated to social media advertising. According to surveys, about 50% of marketers use half of their annual marketing budgets on social media advertising, which is expected to increase in the new year.

PR 2023: Find Your Conversation

When the topic of COVID-19 covered every print and online news publication, organizations needed to re-think how they could promote their own brands, using third-party websites with high domain rankings.

The answer? A media-relations tactic called “Newsjacking.” The tactic calls for your company’s PR team to identify which news outlets are talking about a specific topic and then you weave your business into the conversation, so it is part of that news cycle.

Although newsjacking caught its stride during the pandemic, it will be more valuable in 2023 as more organizations ramp up their marketing spends, creating more competition for the “news hole.”

CMA’s PR team has had plenty of recent success as the tactic’s usage unfolded in real time.

For example, when the New Jersey State Nurses Association needed help recruiting more nurses to fight the pandemic throughout the state, we used this technique. A good portion of “new” nurses were recently retired nurses. Nurses in their 60s volunteering to go back to work to help deathly ill patients before there was a vaccine is a very compelling story about selflessness. Many New Jersey/New York news outlets agreed. We helped NJSNA recruit more than 1,600 additional nurses in a matter of weeks.

When the federal government launched its Paycheck Protection Program, we made the case to several news editors that you can’t tell that story without including a community bank CEO, who saves small businesses on a daily basis. We put First Bank’s CEO in the news again and again. New York Times. Wall Street Journal. CBS News. Association Press. Reuters. And so on.

When Sourland Mountain Spirits turned their distillery into a hand-sanitizer factory, we advised them to give the first batches away for free to first responders. That hook got us into more than two dozen news outlets and helped them land three large contracts from regional health care networks.

Weaving your brands into ongoing conversations is a technique that will expand in the new year.

Print Publications 2023: Embed Digital Dimension in The Pages

Print publications continue to play an important role in building loyalty among members of associations and professional networks.

In 2023, more print publications will embrace the digital side and use QR codes to add another dimension to the experience.

For example, you can link a QR code in a print magazine to an online video that tells the story of your organization. You can also direct your audience to higher-value web pages where you sell educational products and virtual tickets to your next conference.

At CMA, our magazine QR codes in IMARK Electrical Now allow readers to scan a code with their smartphones to access online content. They boost reader engagement and add an interactive element to print media. We have used them in the chairman’s column to direct readers to a video that introduced the new chairman to the membership. Advertisers use them to direct readers to exclusive offers. We also use them to direct readers to engage with more content on the magazine’s website.

Events 2023: Add Health, Wellness To Win Over Attendees

Post-pandemic events have an even greater focus on incorporating health and wellness elements as people emerge back into the scene after a period of no travel.

We incorporated several tactics that supported health and wellness during an annual conference for the Event Service Professions Association. Examples included:

  • A step challenge where you recognize attendees with the most steps during the conference.
  • Added space and time on the agenda for activities such as a sound bath, exercise or yoga class.
  • Education outside of the four walls of your hotel by offering classes at nearby attractions or venues. These types of mobile workshops include walking and get people moving including the bonus of fresh air.
  • Consideration of your attendees’ needs, including people who may need some time for quiet breaks to rejuvenate, such as introverts who would appreciate having a Quiet Room somewhere near the main event space.
  • Healthy meal options and fun “Mocktails” for those who don’t drink alcohol,

offer lots of water stations where attendees can refill water bottles.

  • Charitable activities built into your program. It’s good for teamwork as well as gives attendees a mental boost knowing they are helping people in the location where their event is taking place. The local convention and visitor’s bureau can help to connect you with these options.

Is gaining market share or increasing revenue part of your New Year’s resolution? Our in-house subject matter experts can help—from devising the campaign through execution. One integrated team can move the needle for your organization in 2023. Contact us today.