In recent years, marketing trends have shifted dramatically along with the changing climate. Pandemic protocols forced countless events online and turned retail browsers into curbside pick-up and online shoppers. Additionally, changing cultural values and saturated markets have businesses re-evaluating how to connect with customers and market well in a variety of ways.
Great marketing remains one of the most important indicators of a business’ success. When it’s done well, it builds brand recognition and relevance, stokes customer relationships and loyalty, and brings new audiences into the fold. Marketing investments are worth their weight in gold — as long as you’re investing in marketing that works in today’s climate. As marketing professionals, we must learn to track and implement these changing trends into our own strategies, because marketing will always be a foundational tool in the long-term success and progress of our companies.
Want to keep your business relevant in a rapidly evolving culture? Here are 7 trends marketing agencies should keep an eye on in 2023. Implement a few of them into your future strategies to hit your KPIs, grow your customer base, and solidify your brand’s relevance in this new world.
1. Automated Marketing
Over three quarters of all companies reported using automated marketing in 2021 — so if you’re not already on this trend, it’s definitely time to invest in some marketing solutions that help you work smarter, not harder. Of course, some marketing aspects will always require a personal touch, but setting up workflows to reach potential customers across multiple platforms and channels at once simplifies your marketing process tremendously. With automated marketing, you can set up customer journeys across email, text, and social media platforms, promoting your latest product launch, event ticket, or flash sale. It’s one of the simplest ways to reach people with a few clicks.
2. Artificial Intelligence
AI marketing use has exploded in recent years, helping companies automate processes that used to require human involvement or interaction. Artificial intelligence may seem like something straight out of a sci-fi film, but in reality, it’s much less otherworldly. AI is used in lots of marketing strategies today, from chatbot software that solves customer service issues to algorithmic ad development that gets the right eyes on the right campaigns. There are even AI solutions to social media — Lately uses AI to study your social media audience and curate the content they appreciate most. No need to fear the robots; let them handle your marketing.
3. Virtual Reality
Since 2015, consumers have become more familiar with VR technology, leading brands to steadily increase their implementation of it in marketing strategies. Many virtual reality worlds have started to refer to themselves as “the metaverse,” but let potentially unfamiliar language cause you to ignore VR opportunities. Virtual reality market revenue is expected to reach $12.9 billion by 2024, so becoming an early adopter could make a serious mark on your company’s bottom line.
So who is using VR, and how? Brands like Sephora and Lowe’s offer virtual reality “try-ons,” allowing customers to see how a blush shade would look on their cheeks or how a couch would fit in their living room. The Marriott brand offers a similar option for event planners, helping them design a gathering in a space they’ve never stepped foot in. TOMS has even harnessed the power of VR to make a social impact, offering a Virtual Giving Tour to show customers where their donated shoes may end up. If you want to invite consumers into an experience without requiring them to visit a brick and mortar store, this is technology you’ll want to try.
4. Experiential Marketing
As pandemic restrictions lift, experiential marketing is coming back full-force. Consumers are itching to leave their homes and immerse themselves in an experience they won’t soon forget — and this offers an incredible opportunity for your audience to interact with your brand in the real world. Experiential marketing is often associated with major interactive events, like Bumble’s pop up coffee shop at SXSW in 2019 or Truth Initiative’s “treatment box” that shone a light on the opioid crisis. However, you don’t need a massive performance art installation or pop-up store to create an experience your customers will remember.
Micro-experiences are the latest marketing trend, providing customers with a shorter, smaller interaction that still leaves a lasting impression. Some examples? Try hosting a limited number of VIP experiences for your customers at an existing event, concert, or conference rather than creating your own event. Or take a page from L’Occitane’s book, creating a gorgeous “rain shower” sink in a store that lets customers try products, and wash them off, in a unquestionably unique setting.
6. Influencer Marketing
Speaking of social media, influencer marketing has never been more important — and you don’t have to reach out to big names for brand partnerships. Micro-influencers, or accounts with 1,000-10,000 followers, often have higher ad engagement than larger accounts. In all the ways celebrity endorsements can feel inauthentic, influencers with smaller accounts feel genuine to their followers, which makes them more likely to buy.
7. DEI Emphasis
No matter what marketing methods you employ next year, make Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) an integral part of your strategy. Customers have shifted their support from brands who deliver great products to brands who do that along with holding reputable values. In fact, a 2020 study showed that up to 61% of customers would be willing to switch name brands or even choose a white labeled product if that company aligned with their values. Gone are the days of tokenism — customers want to see measurable change in the way brands model diversity and inclusion. No matter what you’re marketing in 2023, make sure that DEI is at the heart of it.
Looking for a marketing agency to help you create what matters in 2023? Let’s chat.