Which marketing trends could impact your business this year? Two Rivers Marketing experts weigh in with predictions — and recommendations for how you can adapt to maximize success.
The Rise of the Metaverse
It’s the next evolution of the internet, interfacing wherever we are in the world on whatever devices we like. Leading Metaverse implementation in 2023:
• Facebook, integrating digital avatars into more areas.
• Instagram, using Reels to share VR snippets of users’ time. Look for 3D-creation tools and new opportunities for brands.
• Pinterest and Snapchat with improved AR tools for online shopping and in-home product trials.
The Metaverse will also provide more data opportunities that can help you create more personalized, engaging, and relevant emails.
More Video Marketing
It could drive 82% of internet traffic this year. One survey of marketers reports that 73% believe video is essential for promotion and strategy, and 64% will increase their video marketing budgets. Look for video marketing trends like:
• More online users watching videos returned in search results.
• More video content in emails.
• Continued dominance of short-form vertical videos on social media.
• Advancements in targeting and reporting that make ad placements on streaming video platforms more feasible for B2B brands.
The growth of “people first” content is one of the emerging trends in marketing, as Google’s recent “helpful content” algorithm update favors search results that meet visitor expectations. To keep your own content highly ranked, follow that people-first strategy when creating it — and adhere to Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines.
The Best Brands Will Continue To Look Inward
A brand’s most important audience is its employees. Companies that put employees first will be best positioned to withstand 2023’s surprises. The employer-employee relationship will continue to evolve as companies refine post-pandemic policies around remote work, diversity, and inclusion. Flexibility and clear internal communication will be key.
Trade Shows Return
2023 will be a big year for trade shows and in-person events, especially in the construction industry with the return of the mega show CONEXPO-CON/AGG. We anticipate a post-pandemic attendance boom and an increase in hands-on activities, from virtual reality experiences to traditional equipment demos. We’ll also look for brands to take their booth experience beyond the show, using unique virtual activations for prospects who aren’t able to attend.
More Content Organized and Packaged by Audience Affinity
As digital intelligence continues to advance, look for B2B marketers and content strategists to increasingly leverage it. This tech helps identify affinity groups, assemble affinity-based content packages, digitally serve them to audiences, and learn what performs best (and test and iterate to improve and build more). B2B pros will take advantage of Netflix- and Spotify-like smart capabilities and fill their audience’s queue with content that’s tailored to their interests — moving away from outdated content strategies based on demographics data or product categories.
Rising Importance of Niche Communities
One-fifth of millennials use social media to find like-minded groups and communities centered around specific interests, according to GWI USA’s 2022 data. Reddit’s popularity has grown rapidly since 2020 to more than 100,000 active online communities. Look for numbers like these to only increase. If your B2B brand isn’t leveraging the niche community trend, consider:
• Joining communities – Choose those that match your audience’s affinities. These could be digital communities like Reddit/Facebook groups, real-life gatherings like festivals or events, fan groups assembled around podcasts or TV shows your audience loves, etc. Participate: don’t sell, don’t push, just genuinely engage with members.
• Starting communities – Have a high-affinity brand? Build a community by hosting a digital platform or event. We all have multiple interests; go beyond the brand fans and look for ways to combine several affinities to make the community more authentic. Consider the three-day event hosted by Lexus that brought together car enthusiasts, foodies, music lovers, and art aficionados. The community it built continues to drive brand engagement and interaction.
Generative Artificial Intelligence
Some tech marketing trends fade as quickly as they arrive. Not so for generative artificial intelligence tools like GPT-3 (writing generation) and DALL-E, Stable Diffusion, and Midjourney (image generation). They use deeply trained AI engines to generate original writing or images based on a text prompt. Type “mad scientist disco kitten, renaissance oil painting” into DALL-E and that’s exactly what it delivers — quickly and with startling accuracy.
So far, Two Rivers’ experience with these tools has been limited to exploration, but by this time next year, they could be a routine part of our workflow — especially on the writing and idea-generation side. Generative AI for video, 3D spaces, and more is also on the way. It’s a strange and exciting new world.
Look for more websites to automatically translate content to the user’s native language, either through coding or via the user’s browser settings. That’s great for users: It eliminates the need to find a website’s language menu and make a manual selection. But for marketers, it means less control over their message. Writers must also consider whether a “punny” headline’s translation will lose its meaning. Keep this trend top of mind if you have a global audience.
More Focus on the Customer Experience
Instead of focusing solely on new product offerings, marketers will shift more strategic resources to improve the customer experience. An improved experience converts more prospects, reduces customer churn, and increases customer loyalty. More companies will map the various journeys taken by prospects and customers to identify and address points of friction. To support the increasing desire of buyers to self-service, marketers will introduce more online tools along the journey, such as product tours, interactive demos, and online calculators. Leading companies will integrate data across channels to deliver a more seamless experience.
Improved Marketing and Sales Alignment
Doing more with fewer resources is a current business challenge caused by a shortage of workers and limited budgets. A looming recession will only intensify the challenge in 2023. Overcoming it requires increased alignment of marketing and sales.
Improving marketing/sales alignment traditionally ranks as the top challenge for organizations trying to increase lead generation and revenue. In 2023, more companies will engage in collaborative planning, establish shared KPIs, and invest in tools to keep marketing and sales in lockstep. In addition to increasing operational efficiency, marketing/sales alignment drives growth. According to Forrester research, highly aligned companies grow 19% faster and are 15% more profitable.
Today’s digitally empowered B2B buyer interacts with marketing and sales throughout the purchase journey, which means that sales and marketing must be tightly coordinated to provide a helpful, personalized purchase experience.
WHICH MARKETING TRENDS MATTER MOST?
Your unique business situation means that some 2023 marketing trends will be more important to you than others. Want a personalized recommendation on what to watch in 2023? We’re here to help!