The state of marketing in 2023

In the face of economic uncertainty, stricter privacy regulations, and other major global events, marketers will be required to embrace innovation in 2023 according to industry predictions. We take a look at some of the trends expected to play a part in the forthcoming year.

Salesforce’s State of Marketing Report for 2023 has revealed that marketers will need to stay mobile, embrace innovation and continue the trend of trying to achieve more with smaller budgets.

Renata Bertram, Vice President of Marketing at Salesforce ANZ, says the key messages from the report were that while marketers have had to adapt to a challenging environment over the last few years, as we emerge out the other side, there will be more opportunities and challenges.

“I think it is all about embracing innovation. What that means is a lot of marketers are embracing how to get more value out of your existing tools and technologies and continue to focus on investment that will actually drive things like automation and productivity.”

Privacy regulations and personalisation are two other big trends set to continue to in 2023 according to the Salesforce report.

Renata says it is a balancing act between personalisation and privacy but that brands are rewarded with building customer trust.

“We know you need a lot of data to drive that sort of transformative customer centric engagement but what I am seeing and what the report also has revealed is marketers are absolutely adapting to these changes to the privacy regulations.”

She says many of Salesforce’s customers want data transparency which shows that marketers understand the importance of customer trust.

“The report shows that marketers, although the deadline continues to be pushed out for the cookie less future, are still looking very hard at what their first-party data strategies may be.”

Although the report quotes 78 percent of active marketers are still investing in third-party data, many are making plans to migrate to first-party data strategies.

Renata’s advice to marketers when it comes to balancing privacy and personalisation is to reduce internal data silos that may have built up across organisations.

“In terms of what you can do with your customers, provide incentives that foster and enable information sharing, so you are still collecting data censored by them but you are getting value that goes back to them.”

Salesforce’s report also found that globally marketers are “very innovative” and they are “experimenting with marketing strategy tactics” says Renata.

“As savvy marketers we continue to test and try new things to reach our audience and keep a head of our competition.”

Channel selection is a big part of this, she says, as it is all about getting the right message out at the right time where the customer is. This is why new channels such as podcasts and streaming platforms are seeing rapid growth.

“As it relates to podcasts, it is all about meeting customer demand as customer expectations continue to evolve. What comes to mind with things like podcasting and streaming is convenience. The convenience of being able to listen or watch what it is I want, when I want.”

Another stand out feature of the report Renata says is that the New Zealand cohort listed collaboration as being a top challenge more so than the rest of the world.

“In my experience this relates back to a hybrid working environment,” says Renata.

“Marketers are exploring how can we continue to ensure that our teams are productive and are working across teams and departments in their organisations, particularly we are when in many cases are deemed to be leading the customer experience. I think the need to invest in digital collaboration tools to drive success now is something that New Zealand marketers might be looking at.”

The micronetwork of merged media agencies Red Havas’ 2023 Red Sky Predictions report lists brand values increasing in value as one of its key predictions for 2023 as the impacts of global economic and geopolitical uncertainty begin to be felt.

“[P]urpose-aligned brands will be the ones that succeed at talent retention and attraction and supporting sales enablement. But it’s going to be an increasingly competitive space as brands across all categories compete for share of voice and mind,” the report states.

In addition to this, the report also predicts that companies will need to extend their ESG strategy to navigate “highly charged political waters in a way that supports and complements their business strategy”.

Hybrid working is another trend that appears in both reports with the Red Havas report expecting that as people have further control over how they live their lives, employees, retailers, landlords and homeowners will need to think about design in terms of flexibility.

“We predict more customised spaces that encourage collaboration, relaxation, and team building,” the report states.

“Our predictions envision the world as it is and as we want it to be, from key conversations around climate, values and mental health to the metaverse, reproductive rights and much more, so we can better connect with the people and organisations we want to reach in the coming year,” says James Wright, global CEO of Red Havas, and global Chairman of the Havas PR Global Collective.

In terms of how marketers can use the results of reports such as these in a practical sense, Renata says a marketers value is proven if they “can weather that storm and still deliver the performance that our business and the brand needs”.

“We know that all businesses are striving for some common things right now which includes delivering faster better service to our customers and exceeding their expectations along with increasing efficiency while keeping costs down.

“We need to look at how we can drive efficiencies and productivity in our own teams and at the same time taking a critical lens to our campaigns and programmes that are going into market to ensure the customers are receiving the right messages, right now, where they are so that we are really relevant.”

This article was originally published in the March/April 2023 issue of NZ MarketingClick here to subscribe.

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About Bernadette Basagre

Bernadette is a content writer across SCG Business titles, The Register and Idealog. To get in touch with her, email [email protected].

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