This article was originally published by Imarc
2022 was full of technological and human-forward innovation, and 2023 is poised to be one of the most interesting years for marketers. Today we’re sharing 25 of the top marketing trends we believe will come into play this year.
To stay on theme with our 25th anniversary, here are 25 marketing trends we believe will be important in 2023 and beyond.
Personalization has become an expectation, and we see that continuing long after this year. Many companies have stopped short of using personalization to its full potential. People set lofty goals but end up with simple first-name personalization in emails. What types of personalization work best? Anything from polls and quizzes to serving tailored content using zero-party data. The more people decide to engage with you and provide information about themselves will dictate how successful you can be with your personalization.
“It’s fascinating to see how many people are interested in telling more about themselves; they want to give more information about who they are!” – Christian Keyes, Associate Creative Director
Targeted pay-per-click (PPC) has been a workhorse in all good marketing stables for years, but these days we’re seeing an uptick in hyper-targeted efforts. Instead of casting wide nets, people are using money more strategically to get to their ideal customers and increase conversions.
“The paid search landscape is continually changing, and hypertargeting is the best way to ensure the best results. This can range from something as simple as geographic bid boosting to more advanced configurations using CRM data or first-party data cohorts.” – Derek Cummings, Senior Digital Marketing Strategist
In marketing, it seems all things are cyclical. Over the past ten years, we’ve seen a major lift in app usage, but consumers are tired of that experience, so email is boomeranging back into widespread relevancy. It’s not like email ever went away, but the recent uptick in use means it’s time to refocus on email marketing efforts.
77% of marketers say email engagement has increased in the last 12 months.
Content marketing trends
4. AI-generated design
Apps like Lensa.io make art production by AIs more accessible than ever. The use of AI to generate visuals is even infiltrating the publishing industry. While we know that AI-generated art will continue to be a trend, we see it stirring up controversy too.
Our stance on this trend may surprise you. We don’t entirely discount AI-generated artwork, but we don’t recommend it as a final solution to any design need. It can be used to spark discussions and fuel ideas. After that, we champion working with artists who will collaborate with you to create something unique for your brand.
“AI tools are a wonderful way to quickly visualize a concept, explore styles, or storyboard sequences so that designers and artists can spend more time executing on the final result. ” – Paul Kelley, Creative Director
5. AI-generated writing
It’s unsurprising that agencies value writing by humans. After all, we employ copywriters! This year we have seen more and more platforms promoting AI-generated written content. While this technology is impressive, we have concerns.
How will AI generators solve for unintentional plagiarism if two people input the same idea?
Will AI-generated written content fail to pass Google’s current or future standards? After all, they are a big proponent of ranking based on quality, and they actively target spam.
Can AI-generated content accurately position your brand?
The technology behind AI is unquestionably impressive, so we’ll keep our eyes on it as it progresses, and maybe you’ll see another article about it in the future. One thing we can say, though, is that the article you see will be crafted by an Imarcian.
6. Clear copy
Clear writing is set to win 2023. With the increase in viewership of short-form videos and diminishing attention spans, getting your message across quickly, but well is paramount. What does that mean for you? It might be time to review your content and back-optimize, remix, or upcycle it.
“People don’t have time to read walls of text. Be concise.” – Kelly Morrison, Senior Copywriter
7. Interactive content
It used to be that only highly sophisticated websites housed interactive content, but these days tools are important to well-made, engaging sites. Interactive elements like infographics, calculators, quizzes, games, contests, assessments, interactive maps, and interactive videos are big business and should be considered with any website redesign or greenfield build.
81% of marketers think that [interactive content] is more effective at earning buyers’ attention than static content is.
8. Content creation pressure
With the ever-rising popularity of apps like Tiktok, attention is more fragmented than ever. That fragmentation is putting pressure on content creators to innovate. To stand out, you need to do something seriously different than peers or competitors. We expect this to usher in a new golden age of content creation, and we can’t wait to see it!
In 2021 TikTok generated an estimated $4.6 billion, and it is expected to earn 1.8 billion by the close of 2022.
9. Short-form video
Shortform video has been engaging users for quite a while now. Arguably, the trend began years back with Vine, but it’s only grown with Snapchat and Tiktok. People are hungry for video content, but they prioritize quick hits. While there is still a place for long-form video work, clip style is in style.
10. Ethical content
Dystopias are all the rage now. It grew with shows and books like “Walking Dead” and “The Handmaid’s Tale”, but technology is running parallel to some of the themes as well. Because of that, real-world dystopia is generating a desire for ethical brands.
We predict that brands that put emphasis on humanity and people are going to enjoy well-deserved recognition in 2024.
Transparent, genuine brands garner more loyalty from consumers, 94% to be exact!
11. Social media with less algorithm influence
With the controversy on Twitter only ramping up, there is lots of talk about alternatives like Mastadon and Hive Social. But why are these alternatives popular? One hypothesis is that they don’t rely solely on algorithms, which means that users will have to work on standing out based on their content and hashtags. LinkedIn is predicting that this year, social media users will turn their back on the algorithm. People are looking for that kind of throwback experience.
12. Micro-influencer marketing
The novelty of big-time influencers is starting to wear on their audiences. It could be that they simply endorse too many things that are not on brand for them, but the proof is in the pudding – mega-popular influencers are not generating the kind of ROI they used to.
This change has led to the rise of a subset of people called micro-influencers (those with between 1,000-100,000 followers). According to Forbes, those who follow micro-influencers are much more engaged and cost less, thus generating a higher ROI for those who capitalize on them.
13. B2B on LinkedIn
While many advertising dollars are spent on other social networks, the results are in. LinkedIn reigns supreme in the realm of B2B advertising. American B2B display advertising spending on LinkedIn will increase to $4.56 billion by 2024. This increase means more competition on the platform and higher ad spend budgets, or at minimum, major reallocation for some brands in 2023.
Technology & website trends
14. Modular web design
We are living in a module-forward world. WYSIWYG editors that provide easily editable parts are popular because they can be used by just about anyone and provide decent results.
This trend likely led industry giants like Sitecore to start selling their products in pieces that can be incorporated into other CMS platforms. These personalized modules can even be utilized to deliver personalized messages! We see this as a smart play as now that company doesn’t have to live solely in its own environment.
“Modular web design is a great way to help build a consistent UX and brand experience while providing you with the tools to quickly and efficiently update, scale, and maintain your content.” – Katie Desmond, Partner
15. Passwordless logins
How did you log into your iPhone last? Did you let it scan your face? Logging in using facial recognition or fingerprint scanning is on the rise, as are one-time passwords for resets. This is honestly great news as it will curb the use of similar passwords that are insecure and will also allow for a better user experience.
“Passwords have generally become a poor user experience with long passwords containing multiple numbers, letters and special characters forcing users to reuse passwords in a less secure way or to use the ‘forgot password’ option more frequently.”
“Passwordless options like Multi-Factor Authentication, API-integrated authentication (log in with Google, Facebook, etc.), and One-Time Passwords are becoming safer and more commonly used, however FIDO (Fast Identity Online) passwordless authentication may be the safest and most friction-free form of authentication for the future.” – Andrew Daley, UX Researcher
16. Agile marketing & website builds
Imarc expects to see fewer greenfield builds in 2023. While we like the challenge of building something from scratch, we are absolutely on board with tackling websites using agile marketing practices and adding conversion rate optimization (CRO) to improve performance.
People are literally integrating with technology. Influencers like ChipGirl on TikTok are (supposedly) using RFID chips inside themselves! Elon Musk is working on infiltrating brains. 2023 is going to be the year that science fiction becomes a reality.
“The masses changing with technology isn’t a new concept but the masses changing INTO technology is. I’m curious to see the way it develops over time. I am also intrigued by how User Experience, specifically accessibility and troubleshooting, will be handled with the intricacies of the human body.” – Eni Asebiomo, UX Strategist
18. UX & UI commodification
Designers are going to be expected to deliver more from 2023 on. Why? Because design is becoming more accessible to those without a background in it. The future of UX and UI will have to be deeply human-centric. It needs to solve for the person.
“The standard patterns and UI elements used within websites and apps are very mature and well known. The reason behind the pattern chosen is what continues to be the truly important part of design.” – Mike Flannery, Principal UX Strategist
19. Going cookieless
The threat of a cookieless world has been making marketers sweat for some time now, but it’s a great opportunity. Cookieless is coming, and it’s time that companies built strategies to start gathering zero-party data, as third-party data is becoming increasingly less credible. We predict this will be the last viable year for its use.
At Imarc, we’re reducing our dependency on third-party data in preparation for the “Cookie-apocalypse”. Simultaneously, we’re testing first-party data sources like CRM data for campaign targeting.
“Having a cookieless strategy for lead-generation is incredibly important so that you can keep your pipeline strong and continue getting the right content in front of your customers.” – Carly Thurlow, Digital Marketing Manager
Along with accessibility, online privacy needs to be a major focus for brands in 2023. Not respecting customer privacy can quite literally cost you business. Brands will need to up their standards this year to compete or keep their existing clients.
43% of people say they’d switch from a preferred brand to have a good privacy experience.
21. Voice search
Voice search is on the upswing. Whether you’re in the car and asking Siri for directions, using your Comcast remote to search for the latest action flick, or simply Googling without your fingers, you’re using voice search. Year over year, services like Siri, Alexa, and GoogleHome have been making SEO waves.
What does that mean for you? Your content needs to be optimized for voice search, or 2023 may be the year your web traffic dips.
The smart speaker market revenue worldwide is set to hit 28.1 billion in 2023, 30.6 billion in 2024, and 35.5 billion in 2025.
22. Streaming TV advertising
Linear and CTV are set to merge in a major way. Many platforms are updating or changing strategies to be more competitive. Why? Necessity. Less than 50% of US households will have subscription-based television services by 2023.
23. Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
We’ve been working with many existing clients to migrate their data from their current GA instance to GA4. This move is necessary as Universal Analytics will sunset on July 1, 2023. Our prediction? Lots of companies will still be unprepared and will lose access to their historical analytics.
24. Rosey might become real
We’re not exactly sure if Rosey (the robot maid from the Jetsons) is going to debut in 2023, but it does sound like the technology to build her is close to being ready. Maid-like robots have existed for a while now, but it sounds like this next iteration will be much more advanced. Some use cases might include greeters, bartenders, concierges, and elderly companions.
This trend could help some companies supplement their workforce, leaving more time for humans to think strategically, especially regarding their marketing.
25. Optimization for visual search
Have you ever had a word stuck on the tip of your tongue for something you are looking at right in front of you? Visual search through Google Lens (and likely another slew of products) will help you with that. What does that mean for marketers? We’ll have to get much more descriptive and carry that thinking through our sitemap builds.
“Alt tags have always been important for both accessibility and SEO, but going forward we need to ensure we’re adding even more descriptive identifiers, which may include important brand or product information, photo metadata, or structured data markup, to make images more discoverable via visual search.” – Maribeth Fitzpatrick, Director of Front-end Engineering
There’s a lot going on in the marketing world, but we hope these 25 trends will help guide your 2023 marketing strategy.