As the world of business continues to evolve, so must marketing strategies. In 2023, 74% of businesses will either up their marketing budget or remain steady, which indicates a strong commitment from brands across markets––despite economic uncertainties. We’re kicking off the year with a look ahead, and the marketing trends and shifts we expect will have the most significant impact in 2023.

Our aim is not only to predict the way the tides are shifting but also to understand the forces causing the change in direction. 

Our intention is to get brands ahead of trends, not just react to them, and thus make meaningful investments that make a tangible difference. 

Here are seven big-picture marketplace trends that will impact marketing strategies in the coming year. 

1. Local Marketing Will Continue to Dominate

Searches from mobile devices for businesses “near me” have increased exponentially over the past few years. From 2016 to 2018, Google statistics showed that searches for “shopping near me” had grown over 200%. According to a 2022 report, 97% of users searched online for a local business. The importance of local marketing has never been greater, and in 2023, the focus will continue.

2. Consumers Have a Higher Standard of Trust for Brands 

There’s a reason that brand awareness and trust are essential in every industry. 

Brands tell consumers what they can expect from a product, and consumers remember the brands they like — and don’t like.

It’s also becoming apparent that brand trust is becoming more important in buying.  

When considering making a purchase, more than 80% of buyers think about the brand and assess it as either a reason for buying or a deal-breaker. Trust in a brand influences consumers at every income level, age, geographical location, and gender.

When customers feel connected to brands, more than half of consumers (57%) will increase their spending with that brand, and 76% will buy from them over a competitor.

This presents a tremendous opportunity to build meaningful connections (and trust) with your ideal customer. 

How is this achieved? 

Content. 

Brands need to focus on publishing quality content that resonates with their audience. This means understanding what type of content works best for your target market and delivering it consistently. 

Connecting with your target audience through content is also an essential facet of your online lead generation and plays a significant role in onsite SEO. However, producing content that gets the search engines going is one thing, but if you’re not actively connecting with your human readers, you’re probably still getting it wrong.

(PSA for brands just throwing everything out into the online world and hoping something sticks, there’s a good chance you’re wasting time and money – at best – or damaging your brand at worst.)

For this reason, it doesn’t make sense to go out there and start blogging and slapping up posts on social media; you need a strategic approach and solid brand messaging that will help you establish your online relationship with your ideal customer. 

3. Video Will Take Center Stage 

Video has been gaining popularity for some time now, and it looks like it won’t be slowing down anytime soon. Video content allows you to engage with your audience in a more personal way, making it an incredibly powerful marketing tool. 

Short-form videos have become increasingly vital to marketing strategies. Social ads, particularly short-form videos, are predicted to generate more ad revenue than any other platform by 2023. 

4. Personalization is Key

Content marketing is an essential pillar in any business’s customer acquisition and retention strategy. By leveraging personalization, companies can create content that speaks directly to their customers’ interests, location, and other relevant factors – leading to more meaningful engagement with the intended personas. This not only strengthens relationships between brands and their target audiences but also encourages existing customers throughout their lifecycle journey.

5. Customer Retention and Brand Loyalty Become More Important 

With today’s ever-evolving landscape, customer retention has never been more vital for businesses to maintain success. The investment in keeping customers is often less than finding new ones. Research shows that existing customers are 50% more likely to try new products and spend over 30% more when compared to new customers. Retention rates vary across industries, with the highest in the media and professional services industries (84%) and the lowest in the hospitality, travel, and restaurant industries (55%). 

6. Email Marketing Remains One of the Most Effective Digital Channels 

Email marketing has consistently proven to be the most effective at driving conversions and generating revenue.

In 2022, the number of email users worldwide was forecast at 4.3 billion. This figure is set to grow to 4.6 billion in 2025, making up more than half of the expected world population. 

So it’s no surprise that email marketing continues to be a powerful and effective tool for businesses of all sizes, with email marketing revenue estimated to reach almost $11 billion worldwide this year. 

7. Brands Are Spending More on Ads (And Shifting Their Strategies) 

Both social media and the Internet are ever-changing digital landscapes, meaning the companies that advertise on them must advance alongside them. With new platforms, changing regulations, and evolving user preferences, advertising will likely experience a few changes this year.

What does this mean in the year ahead? In 2023, advertising will need to adapt to consumers more than ever. Advertising will require more meaningful, socially relevant, and trendy content, which means that your brand could quickly fall behind the curve if you’re not agile. It’s becoming increasingly important to create content that fits your ideal consumer’s lifestyle rather than on how to persuade them to buy your product. 

The bottom line? The more personalization and relevance advertisers have, the more effective of a marketing tool they’ll become.

TL;DR  

There are tidal shifts currently taking place in marketing that will continue to shape the industry in the future. Content marketing, video, ads, and email will be essential for brands looking to increase their reach, customer base, and impact this year. The best path forward for brands is to balance their marketing mix for short- and long-term results.

Published by Merilyn Ritchie

Merilyn Ritchie is the Director of Media Services and Content Strategy at EX Media. She has crafted content for small businesses, large non-profits, tech startups, and everything in between. Writer by day and reader by night, she loathes to talk about herself in the third person but can be persuaded to do so from time to time. So it goes. Find her on Instagram: @MerilynMcg