From the resounding slap Will Smith gifted Chris Rock at the Oscars to the unnerving Google Helpful Content Update release, 2022 has been a thrilling year.
It is November, and our neighbors are gleefully looking forward to their Christmas turkey. Unfortunately for us as marketers, we are burdened with anticipating the marketing evolutions 2023 has in store for us.
Which marketing trends will stay, and which will leave?
Would you have to get your granny pouting more on Tiktok to engage your beaming Gen Z prospects?
These are some of the prominent questions of every lip with a product or service to sell online.
After a melodic cover of his RIP Harambe song, Elon Musk invited me into his CIA-classified time travel machine.
We sojourned through 2023 and explored the biggest marketing trends that await us.
Here is what we found.
Your audience will tolerate less of boring ads
Our world is already littered with promotions. Personally, I won’t be shocked if marketers start buying ad space in their prospects’ dreams.
With an average American peppered with ads up to 10,000 times daily, ad saturation will peak in 2023.
In 2023, we will see an endemic allergy to boring ads from viewers, with calls to action (on ads) losing a significant chunk of their persuasive appeal.
Yet this doesn’t spell outright doom for paid ads. Instead, it calls for emotionally rejuvenating ads to make them more exciting and value-adding — if they must convert.
In 2023, people will rapidly scroll past boring ads and favor the exciting and educational ones.
Also, in our time travel, we saw that people would get greedier with their dollars and will only readily give it to you if you offer them value first.
2023 will favor brands that integrate more storytelling into their marketing. Storytelling will make your brand message more relatable, embedding human emotions and real-life scenarios.
This sentimentally connects your brand to your prospects. Once your audience sees you as a family, buying is only as natural as Lewis Hamilton in a Mercedes Benz.
Increased adoption of user-generated content
Here is the sad reality: many marketers lie for a living today.
The fake-it-till-you-make-it culture has permeated contemporary marketing.
Now many marketers disproportionately exaggerate their results.
Don’t be shocked if you see a B2B business tell you they have 9 billion customers when the earth’s population is lesser than 8 billion!
Today’s buyers now know marketing is becoming so fictitious, hence they want to see real-life results– from real-life customers.
2023 will see enhanced adoption of authentic user-generated content (UGC). This can be in customer testimonials, case studies, and referrals.
This upcoming development is not out of place.
Already, insightful statistics from Adweek revealed that brands that leverage UGC enjoyed 29% higher web conversions than those without UGC.
People naturally take recommendations from their friends and loved ones more strongly.
Such personalized recommendations supersede the appeal of promotions on newspapers, the internet, or TV.
Now is the time to jump on the UGC bandwagon, buddy.
Get your brand sparkling on social media by asking your loyal customers to post great reviews for you on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Tiktok.
Encourage your loyal customers to tell their stories about your brand. Ask your loyal customers to create online reviews for you.
Would such UGC come for free? Yes, if you assure them of a selfie with a shirtless Dwayne The Rock Johnson.
Otherwise, you would have to proportionately incentivize your customers to give you such positive reviews.
Give them discounts for such reviews, and hold paid contests to spur customers to spread the message.
A boom in interactive marketing campaigns optimized for the Metaverse…
Well, when you hear of virtual and augmented reality, it is quite natural to say, “Nah…let us leave that for those with science fiction enthusiasts and gamers”.
But 2023 will see virtual and augmented reality take center stage in our everyday lives and marketing.
Brands will lean more towards giving customers a more immersive user experience.
In 2023, we will see a digital reincarnation of the 1848 California Gold Rush as marketers scramble for a piece of the Metaverse.
The groundwork is already being laid in terms of the exponential increase in sales of AR headsets. Experts predict that there will be an estimated 1.7B mobile augmented reality (AR) users globally by 2024.
For context, this is a leap of 1.5 billion from the 200 million AR users seen in 2015.
In 2023, customers will prefer to interact with your product (via AR solutions) instead of reading about it or watching it as conventional in today’s flat internet.
I admit Elon was a bit uncomfortable when we found this.
Aside from the fact that Parag Agrawal (previous Twitter CEO) was spamming him with his CV during our time travel, this uneasiness was largely because Musk had just acquired Twitter, a traditionally flat internet platform.
Sales funnels will be more personalized
You can’t afford to go generic in your marketing in 2023.
Impersonal marketing would be taking its rightful place beside the dinosaurs: extinct!
Precisely, customized marketing will be the in-thing in 2023.
Customers want you to show them you really know their situation and care about them enough to be trusted with their dollars.
This explains why in 2023, your sales funnel will only convert when they are extensively personalized to your prospects.
Every interaction has to be garnished with more individualized charm—no more one general stroke for different folks.
This personalization will involve meticulous customer data processing and lead segmentation, with marketers streamlining their sales funnels to unique audience demographics.
In 2023, marketers will enjoy more results if their marketing campaigns have dedicated landing pages.
This will prevail over the tradition of dumping every lead in one all-encompassing landing page.
With more personalized sales funnels, you wouldn’t erroneously have a nun in an email sequence where the ultimate conversion goal would be booking a family planning appointment with you!
More integration of contextual targeting
Targeting is becoming more cumbersome in the face of more stringent laws stiffening data acquisition.
Facebook advertisers can relate to how their bubbling champagne parties transform into sorrowful funerals after the iOS 14 update.
With authorities caring about user data privacy, 2023 will see the exploration of alternative marketing channels that retain their efficiency even with thinning data.
Specifically, 2023 will encourage more contextual targeting.
Contextual targeting works well without data, targeting individual user sessions more while focusing on the content customers are more likely to engage in.
Further advancements in machine learning will enable brands to have more accurate predictive modeling and advanced customer insights from individual user sessions.
Here is an easygoing example of basic contextual targeting. So you are a business that sells earphones.
With contextual marketing, you would place your ad on a website that sells phones. This is logical because people who buy phones are more likely to buy earphones.
More ephemeral content in mainstream media
Being a market myself, I understand we prefer one-time investments to those we have to renew regularly.
If possible, we would ask our spouses to refrigerate the rose flowers we give to them so they stay fresh and we don’t have to buy them new ones.
Unfortunately and interestingly, ephemerality is becoming the spicy trend in marketing. Your audience wants your content to be fresh and new –irrespective of how much you spent producing the previous one.
We will see more ephemeral content in mainstream social media marketing in 2023. Brands will focus on producing short-lifespan visual content optimized for stories on Instagram, Tiktok, and Snapchat.
These ephemeral videos will sustain the relevance of your brand while bringing this “human” edge to your brand.
Such ephemeral content, especially when exciting and casual, will trigger emotional responses from your audience. This enables them to bond with you and trust you more.
In 2023, avoid overloading such ephemeral content with a salesy edge.
If every video of your brand that pops up on your prospects’ Stories screams at them to buy, they will get fed up in no time.
Also, ephemeral content is an excellent means for humanized storytelling as a brand. Just let your audience bask in the human side of your brand.
Unfortunately, at this point, Elon Musk had to cut short our time travel and hurry back to reality to ban comedian Kathy Griffin’s Twitter account for impersonating him.
So there you have it…that is the much I could see of marketing in 2023!