Expect the Unexpected in 2023

Legendary college football coach Bear Bryant always said to “expect the unexpected.” For Bear, this meant creating a plan but being ready to respond to whatever arose, and putting forth the best possible effort to take advantage of opportunities. Call it flexible preparation.

Marketers are facing a similar playing field this new year. While 2022 turned out to be a successful year for many businesses, 2023 begins with some uncertainty and concerns driven by high interest rates, inflation, talk of a recession, and changing international conditions. Even when faced with these kinds of disruptions and unknowns, marketers remain accountable for increasing opportunities and awareness to drive sales. Our efforts are even more critical for business in challenging environments.

We believe focusing on the core areas of planning, creativity and technology will ensure you’ll seize unexpected opportunities, and your marketing efforts will achieve the best outcomes.


PLANNING

Blueprint for success

By focusing on evaluating and refreshing your plan first, you’ll provide a solid foundation for your entire marketing program.

The following basic planning steps are often overlooked and take dedicated effort to complete before spending resources on marketing execution:

  • Clearly define your immediate, short-term, and long-term marketing goals and strategy to help prevent a shotgun approach throughout the year.
  • Audience precision is a must for personalization and hyper-targeting, so ensure you know your customer personas and journey.
  • Review all tools available and choose the right channels and tactics for each audience. The more you precisely target, the more relevant and effective your campaigns will be.

Balance and allocate adequate budget and time needed to maximize effectiveness. Don’t get spread too thin and make sure you have the right resources in the right places.

The framework you establish will provide a solid starting point for campaign execution. Realize your plan is only reflects a snapshot in time; however, it gives you a baseline upon which to analyze and pivot.

In 2023, marketers are increasing investments in these channels

  1. Social media
  2. Websites/blogs
  3. Email marketing
  4. Omni-channel marketing
  5. Video marketing

Marketers aren’t relying on single silver bullet channels such as organic SEO. Research shows that 92% of marketers leverage more than one channel, and 81% use more than three.


CREATIVITY

The X-factor

In 2023, marketers will see even more fragmentation of customer attention. Creativity can and should be your north star. Create relevant, authentic content to enhance your brand, not just for the sake of generating content. No one has time for throwaway content – your team can’t waste the energy to manufacture it, and your customers won’t expend the effort to read it.

Check off these must-haves

  • Design: image-driven, consistent, appropriate for audience and channel
  • Copy: authentic, using just the right words
  • Video: interactive, engaging and powerful

Continue embracing the short form

  • Messages must be short and sweet to grab attention on mobile devices. Take your key messages and boil them down to soundbites and sentence fragments for short forms such as social graphics and videos.
  • Check out the videos on TikTok and Instagram reels. These are the formats grabbing audiences. The time is now to plan for posting short videos and to think about what might be effective for your business.

So much video: 86% of businesses already use video marketing and 92% see it as an important part of strategy


TECHNOLOGY

Extending your capabilities

To remain agile, marketing teams need to be able to extend their capabilities and effectiveness with technology. Tech also helps you focus on the quality of communication, not the quantity. Having the right platforms in place will allow you to:

  • Fully leverage tools and features for web CMS functionality, email marketing automation, search, and social
  • Create targeted landing pages, which continue to be a powerful conversion tool
  • Develop interactive tools like dynamic calculators and selection tools to personalize results, prove the value of products/services and streamline the buying process

What does the sunset of third-party cookies mean for tracking and lead gen?

Cookies help to improve UX by remembering certain user information, making it easier to interact with your site and helping marketers to show personalized ads. Third-party cookies are tracked by a website other than the one someone is currently using.

Google will begin phasing out third-party cookies starting in 2024, primarily to appease consumers who are increasingly uncomfortable with tracking that feels like an invasion of privacy.

What should you do to prepare?

Evaluate the alternatives to third-party cookies, including first-party cookies, affiliate marketing and your own user data.


CONCLUSION

Although 2023 may be volatile, effective marketing can always play a part in increasing sales and offsetting the effects of any downturns. Use planning, creativity and technology to rise and make the most of opportunities.