Because of this, we understand how important being ‘digital-first’ is for brands today. Even with budget cuts and economic uncertainty, it’s therefore crucial “you don’t put your foot on the brake with your marketing, but rather switch gears”. Now is the time to refocus areas of your marketing budget and invest into digital. So, how can we stay ahead of digital trends as we leave 2022 and enter 2023?
#1 Email will remain a major player
Emails are cost effective as they allow you to speak directly to your audience with minimal cost outside of production and a CRM subscription. Through audience profiling and segmentation, you can personalise messages straight to your targets, addressing their pain points and offering them a solution. Plus, they make for easy testing and quick optimisation based on instant feedback and measurability. The ROI for email marketing can be up to 4,400%, so we are unlikely to see email marketing disappear from marketing budgets any time soon. Even Gen Z love emails – 58% of them check their inbox multiple times a day.
#2 Real-time messaging will be key
Customers are getting more and more used to instant responses, personalised updates and accurate information provided instantaneously. In fact, two thirds of buyers expect a response within 10 minutes to any marketing, sales or customer service enquiry. With patience wearing thin, there is likely to be even more reliance on sophisticated chat bots or live chats that utilise existing customer data. Not only does this create a better customer experience, it’s also an opportunity for further data collection.
We’re hoping to see large scale developments of these tools, especially when it comes to conversational AI; which also ties into the emerging need for conversational queries when it comes to search. Not only does your SEO now need to be equipped for long-tail keywords searches, there’s also a need to cater for ‘voice search’. This is a quick and easy tool as well as an accessible one, which goes down very well with Google rankings, and means that targeted phrasing, short answers and regional phrasing will become an ever-growing part of SEO.
#3 Video marketing is only growing
In 2023, we’re anticipating even bigger growth in video marketing. When done properly, video marketing can lead to impressive statistics for brands, for example, adding a video to your website can increase the chance of a front-page Google result by 53x (HubSpot, 2021). It’s easy to want to jump on the video bandwagon and churn out content quickly but poor production or confusing UX intent can actually have negative effects on your brand. Long load times will increase exit rates and leave your customer feeling disgruntled. “When it comes to waiting, most customers think they’re more patient than they are”. Take care when considering the purpose of your video, the production quality, the expected call to action, your users’ behaviour and onward journey. The more you plan, the more you can increase the likelihood of conversion.
#4 Specialist knowledge will be needed
As the world of digital becomes more prominent in marketing strategies and implementation, there will be a growing need for specialist knowledge. Marketing teams will be taking a ‘digital first’ approach to their strategies, which means agencies will need to act as both consultants and executors across various channels. As the need for expert minds grows, we are anticipating a boom in outsourcing to marketing agencies to partner with and keep up with the everchanging digital landscape. From complex technologies to well-considered strategies and emerging trends, agencies will be able to lend a helping hand to brands looking to implement a digital-first attitude. “The global market for Digital Advertising and Marketing is projected to reach a revised size of US$786.2 Billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 13.9% over the analysis period.”
#5 Google Analytics will continue to evolve
Another significant change in 2023 will be the update to a new Google Analytics property. Google Analytics is changing from ‘Universal Analytics’ (UA) to ‘Google Analytics 4’ (GA4). This means that your current Google Analytics will no longer be available after 1st July 2023. Unfortunately, this won’t be a simple switch over process but essentially a start-from-scratch job to set up your analytics in the new GA4 property. There will be different changes in tracking, analytics, reporting and most excitingly – cookies! For us, the main difference is that GA4 feels more user-behaviour-based, with a focus on interactions rather than the quantity of hits, for example.
There are also app tracking and machine learning elements, which will make tracking measurements and in-depth reporting easier. These tools and the resulting better data will inform better decision making around spend and hopefully improve ROI. Our digital team has been working hard behind the scenes to get up to date with GA4 and assess its impact on brands. You can view the Google guide for setup to get a headstart, too.
The shift to a digital-first marketing approach shows no signs of stopping – and even with the world recovering from the pandemic, it is now near essential to focus on digital as part of a wider cross-channel marketing strategy. While the future is still uncertain, we do know that staying ahead of the curve can only be a benefit to any business. Placing an emphasis on email and video marketing, real-time messaging, and the changing world of Google Analytics can ensure that you don’t fall behind as we enter the new year.