The year 2023 was marked by significant events in the world of digital marketing; because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the world went digital. Almost all industries transitioned from retail to healthcare, travel, and food delivery to a completely digital model. Thanks to the phenomenal success of digital apps, businesses that were once considered “mainstream” transitioned to online models.
In the past, most businesses needed to focus on reaching as many people as possible. While this is still important, today’s marketers must focus on targeting the right person. Thanks to technology, digital marketers can utilize big data and analytical tools to drive more personalized marketing in the right direction. This is especially beneficial because customers can now reach out to brands more readily than ever before.
Take a food company, for example. If they want to attract more women to their brand, they can use digital marketing to target potential customers through personalized emails and text messages. So rather than sending out the same mass emails to lots of people, personal marketers can take the opportunity to target their offers more precisely. This improves the chances of a sale.
How To Meet Your Clients Needs
While we are still struggling with the aftermath of COVID-19, we have experienced major paradigm shifts due to the pandemic. In response to the health and well-being of their customers, brands have shifted their focus from inbound marketing to delivering value.
This trend towards consumer-centric marketing has been particularly evident in digital marketing, as the name would suggest. And what does this mean for the future of marketing?
Well, it means brands and businesses must learn to respond to customers’ needs instead of relying on traditional marketing approaches that may no longer be effective.
Even in the age of QR codes and Snapchat’s augmented reality lens, physical stores are far from obsolete. In fact, if you want to maximize your chances of making a purchase, going into a retail store still carries a lot of value. However, the trend toward online virtual shopping is continuing to increase, and it’s changing the face of retail forever.
In 2021, retail e-commerce sales worldwide reached approximately 4.9 trillion dollars. This figure is projected to increase by 50 percent over the next four years, reaching 7.4 trillion dollars by 2025. As a result, retail stores are in high demand. The trick for marketers is to figure out how to get their share of this pie.
The answer is quite simple. By blending online and offline marketing, brands can reach a significantly larger audience than they could ever dream of reaching otherwise. This is because people who use the Internet regularly also shop in stores. The digital marketing community has dubbed this phenomenon “augmented retail.”
Marketers can use personal data and analytics to determine the digital/offline marketing mix that will bring them the best possible results. For instance, if a retailer notices that their customers primarily use online platforms to learn about their products, they can adjust their strategy and focus more on digital marketing.
The more a business understands its customers, the better it can tailor its approach to improve sales. This approach is known as “customer-centric marketing.” Companies like HubSpot, which provides marketing tools, report that businesses that implemented customer-centric marketing had dramatically increased their revenue.
The point is that every business is a marketing business, so the distinction between online and offline activities is becoming increasingly blurred. As a result of this merging of digital and physical worlds, traditional “brick-and-mortar” marketing may soon become a thing of the past.
Authentic Long-Form Content
Ever wonder why YouTube videos often have longer legs than their more traditional counterparts? It’s because people prefer to watch longer-form content. Thanks to platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram, content creators can now build longer-form experiences around their video episodes, live chats, and blog posts.
To start a trend, follow it; let’s say you want to create a video to promote your clothing brand. Before YouTube, you would’ve recorded a short video explaining your product and uploaded it to your website. But today, you have so much more opportunity. You can record an in-depth tutorial about properly putting together a t-shirt so that your garments look as good as new. Or you can record and release a behind-the-scenes video of your newest collection for women.
What’s more, is that you can do all this and more without cutting corners. Thanks to the internet, you can take your pick from a library of templated videos and live chats that you can use to virtually replicate the exact same experience as a real-life interaction with a human.
This trend is being touted as “content tourism.” If a trip to Italy sounds good to you, but you don’t have more than an hour to spend, you can visit the local Olive Garden to taste authentic Italian cuisine. Later, when you get back home, you can watch an authentic Italian chef demonstrate how to make a typical Italian dish. It’s the perfect blend of virtual and physical experiences that allow you to truly travel without leaving home.
Authentic Work-and-Life Mix
For some, work is a four-letter word. Freelancers and independent contractors see their clients as potential employers rather than allies in the fight for equality. This is why we’re seeing more and more people seek to blur the lines between work and life. Take lifestyle blog Boohoo’s new strategic partnership with TikTok.
Along with a financial services brand known as Alphalete, which provides customers with access to credit cards, loans, and insurance policies, the two companies have created a one-stop shop for consumers. What is known as the “Digital Marketplace,” which includes all of these companies under one roof, aims to bring consumers a combination of the best of both worlds: the convenience of a mobile business with the backing of a nationwide brand.
The ultimate goal is to make selling simple. And what’s more, clients no longer have to fill out lengthy applications. With the world shifting to virtual modes of communication and commerce, it’s clear that traditional work-life divides are no longer applicable.
Gamification In Every Aspect Of Marketing
There’s a reason why gamification is showing up in so many areas of marketing. From incentivizing customers to move toward a loftier goal to encouraging employees to work harder, digital marketing applications are almost endless. The trick for marketers is to find the sweet spot where digital and physical meet and where players and customers are still engaged.
Think about it this way. If you’re playing a game on your mobile phone, you’re always connected to the internet. However, while connected to the internet, you’re also always in a range of beacons located at physical stores everywhere.
So while the player is nomadic, the reach of physical marketing is almost endless. When businesses utilize gamification, they can encourage and reward their customers for interacting with their brand.
The Rise Of Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been featured heavily in press coverage this year, mostly about its transformative role in retail. According to a report by Grand View Research, the market value of the AI-boosted retail market was $5.79 billion in 2021.
AI-enabled marketing is about making customers feel like they are the only person who matters. AI is a personal shopper, helping customers find the right outfit based on their style, budget, and lifestyle.
AI will play a crucial role in enabling future marketing success. As a research firm specializing in retail AI, we can tell you that 2023 will be the year of AI-enabled personalization.
Customer Experience Is King
Interactive marketing, which is marketing that incorporates digital and social media platforms, continues to grow in importance. Consumers have more power than ever before in the context of their relationship with a brand or business. This relationship will be characterized by convenience, personalization, accessibility, and flexibility.
The report predicts that consumers will expect to engage with a brand or business online with little to no effort. So, if you’re looking to establish or grow your presence on social media, you should be aware that customers are constantly connected to their favorite brands and will seek to engage with them on their preferred platforms.
This is also reflected in the increasing popularity of chatbots. According to HubSpot, 62% of consumers have used chatbots in the past year. Businesses can use this trend to their advantage by creating intelligent virtual assistants to engage with customers on social media channels.
TV Advertising Is On The Decline
TV advertising continues to decline as a means to reach potential consumers. However, online advertising via digital platforms such as websites and social media channels are growing partly because consumers prefer to engage with brands online. As a result, online advertising spending is predicted to grow by 14% in 2022.
The world is changing. So are our client’s needs and the ways we interact with them. We are exploring new ways to engage with our audience and provide value daily.
What To Expect In Digital Marketing In 2023
Growth Through Adaptation
In the past, marketing departments would release new products and strategies with little to no thought into how those products and strategies would perform in today’s environment. Today, marketers must consider how existing platforms, technologies, and customers behave to grow their businesses. As a result, marketing departments are better equipped to provide marketing solutions that can adapt to new circumstances. For example, marketers must now consider the prevalence of chatbots, which can help businesses grow their reach to prospective customers.
However, since most businesses don’t have the resources to build and train sophisticated AI models, marketers can help by utilizing simpler chatbots that can interact with customers through text.
Similarly, digital marketers must consider how email marketing works now and determine if there are any improvements they can make to grow their businesses. While many businesses still rely on a single, giant email list, marketers can grow their reach through personalized messages, targeted offers, and content suggestions.
Growth Through Personalization
Giving individualized attention to consumers is now considered essential for growth and engagement. In the past, businesses would design products and offer services that were considered “best for the market” or “standard issue” for the products and services they sold. Shortly, marketers will design personalized offers, products, and services to attract, engage, and retain customers.
To do this, businesses will increasingly use personal data obtained from customers, social media platforms, and other online sources. Although collecting, using, and sharing personal data are controversial, businesses must continue building personal relationships with current and potential customers.
As a result, customers will trust and prefer to spend time with businesses they know will protect their personal data, and offers personalization will be considered a requirement for long-term engagement.
Growth Through Measurement
Marketing departments worldwide have largely operated in an “ad hoc” manner, throwing together online ads when they have a new product to promote and then scrambling to measure the success of those ads. In the future, marketers will grow and develop their businesses based on concrete metrics that can be attributed to specific marketing initiatives.
For example, if you launch a new product and marketing campaign for the business, you can measure the success of that campaign based on the number of sign-ups obtained through email marketing or the purchase of a specific product.
This type of measurement will provide you with the data you need to know whether your efforts are paying off. If you can’t find the concrete numbers you need in your marketing analytics tool, you can always contact the business directly to request the information.
Growth Through Inbound Marketing
In the past, marketing departments would advertise heavily in a few key publications, hoping to spread the word about a new product or service. In the future, inbound marketing will dominate. Inbound marketing is focused on attracting, engaging, and delighting people through the channels people already use.
As a result, businesses will focus less on acquiring new customers and more on cultivating a healthy relationship with existing customers through providing value and relevant content. According to HubSpot Blogs, inbound marketing is focused on three pillars: audience, content, and performance. The most prominent inbound marketing publication defines inbound marketing as follows:
“Inbound marketing is the practice of marketing that focuses on attracting, engaging, and delighting people through the channels people already use. It builds on the foundations of marketing, which focuses on generating demand for a product and brand, and connects it with the action of converting that demand into profitable consumer action.”
Growth Through Performance
To attract, engage, and retain customers, businesses must constantly update their product and service offerings by consumer preferences and feedback. Similarly, to determine the effectiveness of their marketing efforts, marketers will analyze metrics such as conversion, growth, and engagement. Performance marketing focuses on the results of marketing activity rather than the activity itself.
For example, if you sell shoes and you see that your email marketing campaigns are driving traffic to your website but aren’t resulting in many purchases, you may want to consider switching to a performance marketing platform that can help you identify the type of content your customers respond to most.
From there, you can develop content that addresses your customers’ needs, interests, and desires.
Growth Through Audience
As noted by HubSpot Blogs, audience-based marketing is all about finding your “perfect audience,” which can be defined as “the set of individuals who have shown a keen interest in your products or services or have the potential to do so.”
When identifying your audience, you must consider your intended audience’s demographics, psychographics, and digital behavior. Once you have your perfect audience, you can target them with tailored content they are likelier to appreciate and remember.
Some marketers may consider audience-based marketing a form of targeting, while others may consider it a form of content strategy. Regardless, businesses must continue developing and expanding their audience because, without an audience, you have no marketing.
Growth Through Integrated Marketing Communications
In the past, businesses would design a marketing plan to spread the word about their products or services through as many platforms and angles as possible. In the future, integrated marketing communications will dominate. Since customers have more choices than ever before, businesses must continue designing their marketing materials to reach as many people as possible.
To do this, they will increasingly rely on digital marketing agencies that can manage all aspects of the marketing process, from creation through execution and measurement. As a result, businesses can grow their reach dramatically while ensuring all marketing elements are coordinated and working towards the same goal.
Since the beginning of time, businesses have used various methods to gain popularity, including offering quality products and services, giving consumers an emotional connection, and, if you’re a novelty product manufacturer, coming up with a unique selling proposition (USP). In the future, businesses will try something new, and that something new will become known as “viral marketing.”
Viral marketing is essentially social marketing, except that businesses will use digital technologies, including websites, blogs, and social media channels, to spread the word about their product or service. As a result, businesses can gain quality followers and make connections with people all over the world. To attract these consumers, businesses will use content designed to provoke thought-provoking discussions or interactions through which others can learn about your products or services.
Growth Through Content Curation
To attract, engage, and retain customers, businesses must continually update their product and service offerings by consumer preferences and feedback. To do this, they will use various content curation tools to quickly find and organize content that they can use to educate themselves and their customers about what is relevant and useful.
According to HubSpot Blogs, content curation is a practice of engaging with content produced for various platforms and sharing it with the audience he or she cares about. As a result, businesses can gain influence and authority from the sheer volume of high-quality content they create and curate.
Growth Through Customized Marketing
In the past, consumers would be presented with a few options when purchasing. Today, with so much choice, consumers can research and purchase the exact product they want, knowing that close to 100 different companies make the same product. As a result, marketers must consider providing customers with value rather than simply product placement to retain their interest.
To do this, businesses will increasingly use customized marketing platforms which allow them to create unique email and content templates for individual customers. Since customers expect to receive personalized offers and content, businesses can leverage this reality and develop a productive relationship with their customers.
Watch Out For These Trends In 2023
Digital marketing trends are constantly evolving. Soon, we believe that the above tactics and ideas will become huge game-changers in terms of digital marketing for several reasons. Undoubtedly, digital marketing will continue to grow in importance over the coming years. The world of marketing as we know it has changed as a result of the emergence of digital marketing.