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Well, we’ve nearly made it! For years I’ve been looking to the future, predicting how innovations in digital media, platforms and technology will shape marketing in 2023. The cutting edge examples certainly show the exciting opportunities available – there is almost too much choice…
In this article, I’ll explore six key marketing trends based on examples and research on the adoption of the latest marketing techniques and technology marketers can use.
For recommendations on tapping into the innovations in different digital marketing channels, including email, social media and search engine marketing, see all the other posts from the Smart Insights team covering channel-specific digital marketing trends for 2023.Trend 1. Lifecycle marketing
This focus is shown by the latest Altimeter / Prophet State of Digital Marketing report, which shows a primary focus on increasing awareness.
The role of digital in creating a unified customer experience is also high in the response, but it’s shocking that digital marketing isn’t seen as a driver of boosting revenue from existing customers. It’s an artefact of the question since digital marketing is effective in achieving all of these goals, including customer retention.
A more practical way to plan to integrate online marketing into marketing activities is to consider communications from a customer point-of-view through the customer journey. I call this always-on lifecycle marketing and recommend you review your use of online AND offline media across the customer lifecycle.Become an Individual Member to access the latest channel-specific guides
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An example of an audit is shown by this example of the use of marketing activities by a B2B company, which although strong at the top-of-funnel in terms of activities used, is less strong in the middle and bottom-of-funnel nurture and re-targeting activities. Many businesses are adopting marketing automation and account-based marketing technology to implement these touchpoints. See the article linked to above for all of the potential activities that can be audited.Trend 2. Conversational marketing
For me, this is the most exciting trend in marketing today, bringing together rapid consumer adoption of smart speakers and innovation in search query processing, conversational interfaces and messaging.
Conversational marketing was highlighted as a key innovation in the latest Gartner hype cycle alongside Artificial Intelligence, which often fuels it. You can see that of the technologies on the Innovation Trigger slope, many aren’t expected to become mainstream for 5 to 10 years. Of those forecast to hit the mainstream within the next 2 to 5 years, the three most significant for marketers to consider are personification, real-time and conversational marketing.
“Conversational marketing technologies enable interactions between companies and customers that mimic human dialogue and do so at scale. This category is near the Peak of Inflated Expectations phase”.
Personally, I think the hype about smart speakers to support the purchase journey is just that. While some products lend themselves to purchase, where a choice is to be made amongst complex products, they just won’t cut it until we have truly intelligent comparison bots. However, the research suggests I may be wrong. A study of 2,000 British adults commissioned by Artefact UK, an AI and data-driven agency, reveals that:
“Six out of ten smart speaker owners (60%) have used them to make a purchase in the past year. In fact, nearly a quarter (22%) said they have done so within the past week”.
I believe that building in more relevant to web, email and mobile-based conversations can have a bigger impact by boosting relevance and speaking in a more personal tone. Persado is an interesting tech here.
Persado uses a copy impact classification applied to existing copy, which is used to tailor copy and calls-to-action on an individual basis.
For example, using Persado Natural Language Generation to run an experiment, Air Canada sparked a higher response using Anxiety language getting a 3% engagement lift, compared to a 5% drop using Exclusivity language, and a 3% drop using Safety language.
Another example of AI application is nutrition and wellness retailer Holland & Barrett using AI to provide better-targeted emails. This Machine Learning approach from Tinyclues goes beyond optimizing copy using a tool like Persado, instead, it also involves targeting based on the behaviour of individuals to create more micro-targeted campaigns.
Speaking at a session I chaired at the Email Innovation Summit, Richard Lallo, Head of Digital Marketing, described what he calls ‘strategic promotions and mono-product pushes’ in a campaign. The business was able to drive campaign revenue and increase re-purchase rate while sending emails. Campaign revenue increased by 27%, open rates increased by 19%, while email send volume decreased by 23%, which also gives cost savings.Trend 3. Insights-driven marketing
At Smart Insights we’re huge fans of using analytics and insight to drive business performance and optimize the results from digital marketing. It’s why we’re called what we are.
Improving their data-driven marketing is an aim of many businesses indicated by the most desired skill amongst digital marketers revealed by the Altimeter/Prophet State of Digital Marketing report.
Businesses using this approach are trying to gain the benefits reported by Mckinsey research that suggested that:
Intensive users of customer analytics are 23 times more likely to clearly outperform their competitors in terms of new customer acquisition than non-intensive users, and nine times more likely to surpass them in customer loyalty.
For example, Red Bull used insight platform Vision Critical to launch a community of consumers passionate about the energy drink category. By providing a deeper understanding of consumer preferences, the community challenges widely-held assumptions. The company, for instance, learned who consumes Red Bull drinks — and how and when they buy — were changing. Data from the community provides insight on the competitive landscape, revealing channels the company can enhance to improve growth. The community also helps Red Bull deliver more value to retailers.Trend 4. Marketing technology
Today, Marketing Technology (Martech for short) presents a bewildering choice of software services for businesses looking to improve their management of digital media, experiences and supporting data. If your business and your agencies adopt the right blend of Martech, it can help give you an edge against competitors, but if not, you may be missing out on the insights and automation processes they are using.
To highlight the range of great services available and to simplify the options a little, we designed this essential digital marketing tools infographic to recommend the categories of tools you should consider across the Smart Insights RACE Planning system and highlight the most popular, most capable tools.
We will create the annual update for this in early 2023, discussing it recently on LinkedIn has highlighted some of the latest trends that aren’t evident from this version of the wheel. Raviv Turner, Co-Founder, of B2B service @CaliberMind said:
“No MarTech stack is complete these days without the third leg of CRM, MAP & CDP. The only way to map, store, analyze and act on the complete end-to-end customer journey is having all the data in one place using a Customer Data Platform (CDPs).”
I’m not sure ‘the only-way’ is accurate, but that is the sentiment.
Kristen Obaid, Always On digital marketing campaigns manager for an international Education company, added:
“The Salesforce and Adobe MAPs are underrepresented here (eg Pardot can be used for email, social, CRM, CMS, audience management, analytics. Krux is now SF. They can both be used as DMPs if the data is configured properly.) BI with simple data integrations (like Domo, Tableau) are also missing, plus Intercom for service CMS eg FAQs, and Drift for automated service chat”.Trend 5. Consumer Privacy and KYC
Repeated privacy faux-pas by Facebook, Google and security breaches at other brands leading to the release of customer details have highlighted to consumers that their data isn’t as safe with online brands as they may have once thought. Privacy regulations like GDPR have been enacted to improve data privacy with increased fines.
Record fines have arisen in 2023 from the maximum penalty for contraventions increasing under GDPR to up to €20m (£17.5m) or four percent of global turnover – whichever is the greater.
British Airways, was issued with a proposed fine of £183m for a breach of customer data and a £99 million fine on hotel chain Marriott for failing to protect personal data contained in approximately 339 million guest records.
While these may be more the concerns of the CIO or CFO rather than the CMO, it shows the need for marketers to work with colleagues to mitigate the potential impact of security breaches and reassure customers.
At the same time, we have seen a decreasing effectiveness of traditional identification methods such as cookies for tracking, which makes media ROI determination – supposedly one of the key benefits of digital channels – more difficult.
Emerging technologies can potentially help with both of these challenges.
New Identify Management or Know Your Customer solutions are being developed that can both improve security, reduce fraud and improve insight about customers across multiple devices.
For example, UK startup Hooyu blends traditional methods of customer verification such as database checks (where available) with ID document validation, digital footprint analysis, geo-location and facial biometrics. While this is most relevant for banks and other gambling applications, it indicates the range of data points that are now available.
With these consumer concerns and new legislation such as the EU ePrivacy legislation about to be launched and the inaccuracy of tracking online with increasing restrictions built into browser like Chrome and Safari it seems like the days of the cookie (and particularly third-party cookies) and digital fingerprinting may be numbered. This means that businesses should be considering other alternatives if they aren’t already.
Discussing Unified ID – Why Identity becomes a key success factor in the post-cookie era era – Alwin Viereck, Head of Programmatic Advertising and Ad Management, United Internet Media estimates that
“More than 20% of all cookies in a desktop environment do not live longer than a day and a further 15–20% do not survive a month. For vendors in a third party context (which are typically all participants of the programmatic ecosystem), the problem might even be worse.
Multiplatform consent solutions like Sourcepoint and Identity and Access Management integration solutions like Auth0 and OneIdentity will be adopted more widely. Within AdTech new solutions will have to be found in response to Google and Apples Ad-targeting limitations.Trend 6. Digital transformation and Marketing Transformation
Our managing digital marketing research revealed many challenges in terms of how digital marketing is run in companies today. Problems included a lack of focus on integrated strategy, testing, and optimization and structural issues like teams working in silos or a lack of skills in integrated communications.
To counter these types of problems and to make the most of the opportunities for growing a business through digital marketing, many businesses are now putting a digital transformation programme in place.
The aim of digital transformation is to develop a roadmap to improve digital capabilities and skills, while at the same time, integrating ‘always-on’ digital marketing activities with brand and product marketing in the business.
This chart from the research shows that many businesses are active in transformation to try to achieve this aim through the success factors covered in this briefing.
Despite some talk that we might be in a post-digital world by 2023 and some traditional marketers suggesting that “it’s time to shut down digital marketing for good” the reality is that many specialist digital job roles and are needed to run digital marketing activities as my post ’10 reasons you still need a digital team’ shows.
A common practice that we can expect to continue in the future is a move to a hybrid approach to managing digital marketing with digital marketing skills being developed in marketing teams as suggested by this structure.
Through the year, we’ve been adding to our tools to help all members assess how well their businesses are adapting to using digital media and technology as part of Digital Transformation. To review your digital readiness, either for integrated digital marketing or individual channels, download our benchmarks or take our interactive capability graders.
All the best for grasping the opportunities from digital marketing in 2023 and beyond! To help you on your way take a look at our benchmarking templates, each of which will give you a quick review for digital marketing governance and the key channels like search, social, email marketing plus analytics, content marketing and experience.
Download our Individual Member Resource – RACE digital marketing dashboard
Google Analytics is a great, free service, but it contains many, many metrics and many, many reports. Although custom dashboards can be built in Google Analytics, it’s not readily possible to create a dashboard that summarises the effectiveness of digital marketing across the marketing funnel for a business, particularly for the all-important ‘deltas’ of month-on-month and year-on-year performance.
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51% of marketers believe that influencer marketing helps with quality customer acquisition but how else could it benefit your digital marketing strategy?
Influencers are trusted to give honest reviews, recommendations and tips to their followers, which means they can make a difference to which product or brands consumers ultimately buy from. The ultimate form of social proof, influencers have a degree of credibility in their niches, which makes them a go-to source for information.
Beyond this, influencers do something that many brands still struggle to do – they build relationships with their customers. A large part of their appeal is the fact that they talk to their followers, answer questions, create content that is requested and build communities around their channels.
All of this shows that brands could make an impact on their bottom line by utilizing the power of online influencers. If you still need a bit of convincing, here are a few more reasons influencer marketing could be the right addition to your digital marketing strategy:Influencer marketing can mean better customers
More than increasing ROI and sales, high-quality customers are more likely to talk about your brand, recommend your products and create social proof of their own that helps boost your digital presence and bring more people to your site or social profiles.Influencers delivers solid ROI
We all know that every part of your marketing strategy needs to be designed to deliver return on investment. After all, wat’s the point in activity that doesn’t bring something to the company and help you achieve your goals?
Luckily, influencer marketing delivers really strong returns. On average, for every $1 that a business spends on influencer marketing, they are making $6.50, meaning that the returns really do make it worth it.
In fact, influencer content can deliver an ROI that is 11X higher than traditional digital marketing tactics.Influencers aren’t just on Instagram
Instagram seems to have become synonymous with influencer marketing, but it isn’t the only social media platform where influencers work. Twitter can also deliver great returns when brands work with influencers, meaning there are a lot of options for marketers.
In total, 68% of marketers believe that Twitter us a key channel for influencer marketing, which is likely helped by the fact that 40% of users of this platform have made a purchase as a direct result of an influencer tweet. On top of this, purchase intent increases by 5.2 times with Twitter users see influencer content on the platform.A mix of content types
A big plus of content marketing is that influencers often create various different content types. From blogs and social media to podcasts and videos, you can easily find an influencer in your niche who creates the type of content that is going to best suited to your target audience.
However, video is a particularly influential form of content – especially when combined with the power of influencers. Video is highly engaging, delivers information in a easy-to-digest way and can be used across different channels. When you consider that 18% of consumers are influenced by YouTube videos from influencers, there is a lot to gain from mixing up your influencer content.Utilizing influencer marketing
There are many ways that you can incorporate influencer marketing in your digital marketing strategy, but there is also a lot to take into account. To help you assess whether you should use this tactic and the various ways you can utilize influencers, take a look at the influencer marketing statistics included in this helpful infographic from Milk Whale:
Top 5 social media trends for 2023 you need to include in your marketing strategy, including predictions from 10 social media specialists
Brands are trying in more ways than ever to connect with audiences across a range of social platforms. It is becoming harder for brands to catch our attention as competition increases and our attention spans have decreased to 8 seconds. Each day users scroll through 300 feet of content, giving brands a very small window of time to grab the users’ attention. Therefore, how can your brand start building ideas that work for the speed of feed? Here are five key trends we believe will have the biggest impact on your social media strategy in 2023.
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The sheer number of organic and paid media options and updates makes it difficult to know whether you’re missing out on the best targeting options and whether your marketing budget could be better spent. Our Digital media cheat sheet is aimed at helping you keep track of the free and paid media options so that they’re not missing out on any of the latest developments.
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For more digital marketing trends, see Dave Chaffey’s 10 digital marketing trends to act on in 2023.Chatbots will make customer service faster
Chatbots are no longer the robotic, clunky machines they once were. They are bots that are able to provide an instant connection with customers from all over the world – solving customer issues and even ordering pizza. This year we have seen many brands are testing chatbots with varying degrees of success.
Chatbots give brands the chance to interact quickly with their audience in a way that feels personal. As bots become smarter and more human-like you can customize your brand voice and send personalized messages directly to users. Facebook reported that they now see 100,000 monthly active bots on Facebook Messenger, offering a whole new platform for marketers to connect with audiences.
The quickest adaptors to chatbots are currently millennials, with nearly 60% having already used chatbots and 71% saying they would like to try a chatbot experience from major brands.
Recommendation: If you aren’t already, 2023 might be the year to test chatbots for your business. While it’s easy to design chatbots with only Millennials in mind, don’t forget older users who are slower to adopt new technologies. Before you launch a chatbot, test it out on a range of potential users.
Create a character first
Chatbots have feelings – create copy first, not code
Don’t make it too complicated
Don’t expect people to just use it because it’s new. Give users a reason to use it
Epic fails can happen to both bots and humansEphemeral content will provide the best engagement rate
Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook stories have led to the popularity of ephemeral content. Most ephemeral content is shared for up to 24 hours and then disappears forever. Brands are now creating content for their social channels as well as having a separate strategy for their ephemeral content marketing.
Ephemeral content allows you to be more authentic, we are seeing many brands using their Instagram profile for their best, high-quality content and stories for more real-time content. Because of the nature of stories content is lost within hours, making your followers take fast action and marketers gain from it.
Having a high-quality social content strategy is a must! We have taken a look at why storytelling is the future of social content marketing, using National Geographic as a prime example of how to engage 350 million combined social followers.
Having stories that appear at the top of your follower’s feed helps keep your brand at the top of their minds. There are 250 million stories everyday, you need to find ways to make yours count.
Recommendation: Have a plan in place to reach audiences with the help of an ephemeral content marketing strategy. Look to be more authentic and offer real-time content to engage audiences in the shortest possible time. Create a strategy around your story and invest time and thought. Use this guide on how to craft an engaging Instagram story to help.Rise of augmented reality
The use of Augmented Reality on mobile devices provides a niche and engaging way for marketers to reach their target audience – it’s quick, easy and very interactive.
This year Apple announced the launch of iPhone 8 and iPhone X which provides users with new augmented reality experiences. Therefore its likely more social channels will plan on introducing new ways of integrating AR into their platforms. We have already seen Snapchat roll out a new AR feature allowing users to their Bitmoji and project themselves or images into the real world through the app’s camera.
Similarly, brands could soon project their products into the homes of social media users through special filters. For example, IKEA rolled out ‘Place’ an app for users to preview furniture in their home before buying. This is a great way to increase conversions by showing customers how their products will look in the surroundings of their own home, before buying.
As AR grows ‘Virtual FOMO’ will become a reality. People will start to feel like they are missing out on this new world and want to become part of it. Therefore social media will help AR go mainstream. Look at the features and tools big social platforms like Facebook are introducing and find ways of tapping into this trend.
Recommendation: If you are planning on using AR make sure it adds value for the user and is shareable. Don’t use AR for sake of it. It’s important to consider how your strategy fits in and what these new features and tools might facilitate in time.Influencer marketing will continue to take over
Influencer marketing is not a new thing anymore. Due to the vast majority of marketers wanting to tap into the influencer market, there are far more challenges faced by agencies and brands. The popularity of influencer marketing has made it hard to know who to trust.
Consumers want authenticity from influencers, brands who seek to work with real influencers or industry experts will find a higher engagement rate. Viewers will become bored of seeing brands use any influencer with over 10,000 Instagram followers to promote teeth whitening or protein shakes.
Secondly, with so many brands wanting to work with influencers they will become more thoughtful on who they want to work and be associated with. Therefore, building meaningful relationships with influencers will be key in 2023. Maintaining these relationships is complex and requires personalized messaging based on who the influencer is.
The future of influencer marketing will see brands turning to real experts. This is due to too many brands wanting to work with social influencers and their opinions no longer being trusted.
Recommendation: You will need to set clear objectives of why you are wanting to work with influencers and consider whether or not they will help deliver the best ROI. Know who your audience regard as influential and build solid relationships with them.Video Video Video
In a mobile-first culture, video is our main consumption. In 2023 90% of all content shared by users on social media is video. The biggest challenge is how you can capture your audience’s attention in the first 3 seconds.
At Social Media Week London Facebooks Creative Strategist, Kat Hahn quoted ‘Not doing short video is not an option’. Brands who are not yet using video as part of their social media strategy need to start.
The way we consume video is changing. According to Sean O’Neal from Adaptly mobile, video is the number one fastest growing ad format in the world and has been doubling YoY. By 2023 video will make up 80% of all online consumer internet traffic and will eventually be the closest you get to a face to face conversation with your audience.
David Wilding, Head of Planning at Twitter said ‘video isn’t a strategy, it’s a tactic’. Before you dive into video you need a strategy behind what you’re doing. Make clear objectives and don’t just use video for the sake of it.
We have seen Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter all investing in video to help generate engagement and build followers. Use these tools such as Facebook Live and Instagram Live to create new and exciting content.
Recommendation: Soon almost all the content we consume will be video, therefore ensure all your video content is high quality and engaging. Research into exactly what your target audience is looking for and test different content to see what works best. You need to follow the rule of ‘design for sound off, delight with sound on’ – more people are starting to watch with the sound on and is still valuable.
We also asked 10 experts ‘What do you believe the key trend for social media will be in 2023‘ here are their predictions.
Diana Rayfield, Social Media Strategist - Harp Interactive
“2024 will see a significant rise in businesses and brands using Facebook Messenger as a proactive marketing tool vs. simply a responsive private messaging app. With over 1.2 billion people on Messenger every month (according to Facebook), marketers using Messenger, especially those who are first on the trend, can expect explosive reach and engagement rates. Smart Replies, chatbots and embedded apps create a trifecta of marketing opportunities on Facebook Messenger.”
Neal Schaffer, Social Media Strategist and the author of ‘The Business of Influence’
“The key trend for social media in 2023 will be influencer marketing. With the continued democratization of content publishing, traditional marketing channels have less influence while social media users and content creators have more. Anyone can yield influence and thus, as social media becomes more and more pay to play, every business need to incorporate some type of influencer marketing strategy to become more effective in their 2023 marketing. The trend towards brands leveraging user-generated content is one example of this, and if you are going to curate content to represent your brand, why wouldn’t you use that of an influencer?”
David Christopher, Director of Marketing and Growth – Tailwind
Mike Alton, Content Marketing Practitioner, Author, CMO - The Social Media Hat
“While video, particularly Live Video, will continue to increase in importance in the coming year, a key differentiator will be the creation of high-quality, relevant video.
As the novelty of being able to “go live” from any device, anywhere, wears off, audiences will begin to tune out creators and broadcasts who share nothing more than their day-to-day activity.
Stories, regardless of whether they’re shared on Snapchat, Messenger, Facebook or Instagram, will follow suit.
Simply put, as audiences become more inundated, businesses and marketers will have to become more skilled at creating truly valuable content. Therefore, I do expect the overall quality of video content to improve in 2023.”
Pam Moore, CEO – Marketing Nutz
“More brands will turn to influencer marketing to reach audiences they struggle reaching today. According to Linqia, 86% of brands are using influencer marketing as part of a content strategy.
Given the rise of micro-influencer marketing, brands no longer need to depend on million dollar marketing budgets and top celebrity influencers. Marketers can now instead tap into the power of micro-influencers. These influencers are not only more affordable but often have more time and are more eager to partner with the right brands, big and small, that are interested in collaboration and serving their audience incredible value. This can bring a high ROI for brands since 82% of consumers follow recommendations made by a micro-influencer (Source Expert City).”
Katy LaLanne, Content Marketer – Sendible
“Every employee is their own brand but also an extension of your organization. As social culture in the workplace expands, I think we’ll see an increase in company-wide involvement and storytelling across social media in 2023. 64% of millennials believe that social media is one of the most effective channels for connecting with brands (Source: Microsoft) but messages are re-shared 24 times more frequently when they’re sent by employees instead of the brand itself.
Trust between customers and brands is deepened when there is a face and a story behind a brand, which is often where influencer marketing comes into play. Don’t disregard influencer marketing opportunities, but look for leaders throughout your organization, from top to bottom, who can deepen trust with your audiences by educating and entertaining.”
Richard Sunley, UK Marketing Lead – Talkwalker
“We now have so many more options to link social activity to business impact through data integrations and a better understanding of how social media can affect the bottom line. Successful companies will implement robust measurement systems that create a direct link between social activity and predetermined goals – whether it’s email, sign ups, e-commerce sales or spreading a specific message.
Social media analytics platforms now provide the tools and expertise to help companies do this, so reliance on vanity metrics like retweets, likes and follower count will no longer be enough to please clients and/or senior executives. Greater adoption of new technology like image recognition and analytics will also help brands measure the impact of things like sponsorship activity and user-generated content that have previously been difficult to calculate accurately.”
Lilach Bullock, Social Media Specialist – Lilach Bullock
“I think that 2023 will be the year of Artificial Intelligence – it’s been gaining popularity and steadily growing, even though it’s still in the early stages; in 2023, though, we’ll be seeing even more of this.
Chatbots, for example, have been implemented to great success in the past year, and are starting to see more widespread use. Plus, we’ll likely see more augmented reality, especially considering the new iPhones – which has enormous implications, both for the regular user and for brands and marketers.
Personally, though, I can’t wait to see what new tools pop up as AI becomes more accessible!”
Luke Brynley-Jones, Founder - OST Marketing
Veronika Baranovska, Content Marketing Specialist - Sendible
“Personal, deeper connections between brands and social media users. Less automation and repetition, more real-time engagement and capitalisation on micro-moments with the aim to delight your social media followers. The popular adoption of live video and the Snapchat/Instagram Stories type of content will push marketers to create and publish content as they go.
Whether you plan on introducing video into your strategy or want to start using chatbots, make sure you have a solid plan in place to implement these tactics. Do you agree with these predicated trends? Do you feel marketers need to be focusing their attention in other areas? Let us know via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn.
2024 was a rollercoaster ride for everyone in the world. It led to the digitalization of almost every business and set new trends in all industries and areas of business. Email marketing has been no exception. Consumers have adjusted the way they buy from and engage with businesses, and that has influenced the way in which they interact with your emails and other marketing communications.
Nonetheless, email marketing continues to be one of the channels that brings the highest ROI.
So, what will be the top email marketing trends to look forward to this year and beyond?
Let’s take a look.Email Marketing Trend #1: Micro-Segmentation
Take a look at this example in which Brooks has sent different emails to their subscribers according to the weather conditions.Email Marketing Trend #2: Hyper-Personalization
In line with micro-segmentation, we have the tactic of hyper-personalization. As we have better access to data, it is possible to send more relevant email communications. For instance: If you are a local travel agency, you can send out emails based on the packages the user has searched or inquired for.
Such tailormade emails will skyrocket email engagement and increase the likelihood of conversions.
See how Spotify sends out a hyper-personalized email to one of its users.Email Marketing Trend #3: Email Automation
Setting up automated workflows to send triggered emails to your subscribers can save you valuable time. Email automation can be a source of passive income where you can still generate conversions without any manual intervention, and we foresee this becoming a best practice rather than simply a trend over the next couple of years.
Another thing that will gain immense momentum for your email marketing success will be sending a series of automation workflows like welcome emails, cart abandonment emails, and re-engagement emails. By doing so, you will be able to stay top-of-mind with your customers and encourage them to take action.Email Marketing Trend #4: AI-Driven Email Marketing
Have you ever searched for a product on Amazon and received relevant recommendations in your email inbox soon after? Well, that’s the power of artificial intelligence in email marketing. With the help of predictive models, robust CRM tools can predict customer interaction. As a result, business owners and marketers can send targeted emails that bring better results.
Netflix follows this email marketing trend and sends out a recommendation email to their subscriber based on their watch list.Email Marketing Trend #5: Agile Email Marketing
The agile methodology is getting immense impetus in email marketing. One of the reasons for this is that email creation can be time-consuming. Litmus revealed that 53% of brands took two weeks or more to create a single email.
The best way to avoid this and achieve a faster turnaround time is to strive for micro-efficiencies. By this, we mean that you must break things down into bite-sized tasks that can be accomplished faster and in a better way.
To start with, you must formulate a proper plan for your email copy and design. Having an effective strategy in place is important to ensure the timely execution of your email campaigns. It will facilitate better communication which will, in turn, reduce the likelihood of too many revisions.
Furthermore, you must standardize the process of email development. You must create reusable blocks of code for the email header, footer, and other brand elements. This will help you expedite the email creation process and final approval. It will also give you more control over your email marketing strategy.Email Marketing Trend #6: Email as Part of an Omnichannel Approach
In addition to email marketing, marketers will also invest in SMS marketing, push notifications, and chatbot marketing that will work together for better customer communication.
For instance: When a customer abandons his or her cart, e-commerce businesses will not only send out a cart abandonment email but also a text message and a push notification. It will have a bigger impact on the subscriber’s purchase decision and enhance the possibility of conversion.Email Marketing Trend #7: AMP in Email
With the help of AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) in email, marketers and business owners can send emails that emulate a microsite. These emails allow the user to RSVP to an event, checkout to complete the purchase, or fill out a form from the email itself. There is no need to be redirected to a separate landing page. Such emails take the customer experience to the next level by making things faster and saving time.Email Marketing Trend #8: Consent-First Email Marketing
Because of anti-spam guidelines like CAN-SPAM, GDPR, and CCPA, marketers have become extra careful of who they are sending emails to. Instead of simply complying with these legal guidelines, marketing professionals will focus on nurturing their subscribers and sending them emails containing content they’re looking for and want to engage with.
In line with this trend, most businesses have started adopting a double opt-in strategy.Email Marketing Trend #9: More & Varied Visuals in Emails
Using visuals in emails will not just be limited to static images, GIF animations, and embedded videos. It will expand to trying out innovative things like gradients in emails, monochrome layout, 3D images, animated illustrations, and 3D image animations. The goal is to deliver a unique experience to your subscribers.
Take a look at the image below.
See how adding an animation to a 3D image totally enhances the impact created by an email?Email Marketing Trend #10: Dark Mode Compatible Emails
As more and more people are choosing to access their emails and social media in dark mode, it will be inevitable to create emails that are compatible with the dark mode setting. Before sending out any email, try testing it in dark mode across various browsers and mobile devices.
Doing this is important because if your emails do not render well in dark mode, your subscribers might stop engaging with your emails, and in the worst case, end up marking your email as SPAM. Consequently, it will hamper the email deliverability rate and the overall effectiveness of your email campaigns.
A well-designed dark mode email should look something like this:Email Marketing Trend #11: More Humanized Email Copy
In addition to investing in email automation, businesses will also pay attention to humanizing their communications. Subscribers are looking for a more empathetic and considerate tone. So, marketers will have to steer clear of a robotic voice in their emails.
Although some emails may be sent out from an automated system, it must look like it is written exclusively for the reader. That’s what emotionally intelligent messaging will be all about. The copy, visuals, and entire look and feel of the emails should aim to educate and engage with your customers rather than sell.Email Marketing Trend #12: A/B Split Testing
Rather than assuming you know what works best to engage with your target audience, you must try out A/B split testing to figure out what your subscribers are actually looking for. The buying behavior of customers has drastically changed over time, and therefore, it is the safest bet to test what kind of messages resonate the most with your subscribers.
Have a look at this image that demonstrates A/B testing of email subject lines.Take Your Email Marketing to the Next Level in 2023
These are some of the most exciting trends that we can look forward to in the world of email marketing in 2023 and beyond:
AI-Driven Email Marketing
Agile Email Marketing
An Omnichannel Strategy
AMP in Email
Consent-First Email Marketing
More Visual Emails
Dark Mode Compatible Emails
Humanized Email Copy
If you’re looking for more expert insights about 2023 email marketing trends, take a look at this infographic.Kevin George
Kevin George is Head of Marketing at Email Uplers, one of the fastest-growing custom email design and coding companies. He specializes in crafting professional email templates, PSD to HTML email conversion, and free responsive HTML email templates in addition to providing email automation, campaign management, and data integration and migration services. He loves gadgets, bikes, jazz, and eats and breathes email marketing. He enjoys sharing his insights and thoughts on email marketing best practices on his blog.
Other posts by Kevin George
Are you planning a website redesign or overhaul in the next year?
Your instinct might be to browse competitor websites, take a look at templated themes designed for your industry, or stalk Pinterest or Instagram for current designs that speak to you.
While this strategy would result in a beautiful and functional website, there’s also value in looking to the future.
What design elements, layout styles, or functionalities will be the most impactful now, but also in the months and years to come?
A website can function as a work of art, but its primary purpose is a selling tool.
Visitors need to land on your site and complete an intended action, whether that’s signing up for a newsletter, making a purchase, or filling out a contact form.
The way visitors engage with and respond to website designs changes over time, sometimes dramatically.
Ten years ago, it was accepted that you would have to navigate a minefield of popups just to load a page.
Visitors would dutifully pinch and squeeze at the screen in an effort to read non-mobile-friendly content on their cell phones.
These behaviors are no longer tolerated by visitors or, in many cases, by Google.What to Consider on Your Next Website Redesign
As you plan your website redesign, consider what elements of current design might be outdated at best, or hostile at worst.
Next, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the latest in web design, and separate temporary trends from new developments that will have a positive, lasting impact on your business objectives.
What trends are web designers and their clients expected to embrace in the year to come?
Here are some some of the prevailing trends that are growing in popularity.1. Personalization
You can expect to see a more personalized user experience based on a visitor’s personal preferences.
This personalization starts in early in the design process by conducting user testing with the types of visitors who will actually interact with the website once live – not just other employees at the web design agency.
As the sitemap is developed and the build begins, you can expect to see content-specific page adaptions and dynamic content that caters to particular target markets and audiences.
You can serve a particular landing page based on geo-location to deliver a personalized experience to each user that makes it easier to complete the intended actions in a comfortable environment.
How to stay ahead of the curve?
Study your audiences and create personas to understand what types of users your website can speak to.2. Voice User Interface (VUI)
Audio is growing and it’s becoming smarter and more sophisticated.
Voice search will begin providing more optimized search results for content while evolving to feel more approachable and conversational.
The biggest challenge? Web designers will need to decide how best this filters into their current designs.
SEO and content strategy experts will want to keep an eye on how VUI adapts with traditional keyword-driven pages and content.
If you are not yet incorporating SEO into your web design process, this should be a priority.
Content should be structured in a way that makes logical sense to users and Googlebot, while factoring in the distinct patterns of how users phrase queries using voice search versus text search.3. Chatbots & Machine Learning
Who doesn’t like getting quick answers and instant feedback?
The efficiency of chatbots is that they’ll collect feedback and take a user’s questions to grow and improve – making for a more personalized user experience.
The popularity of these systems will be great for providing users with instant responses when filtering viewers to appropriate content, while improving efficiency and time-saving for customer support teams.
Want to take it to the next level?
Use Google Analytics event tracking to measure how users interact with your chatbot and better identify and resolve drop-offs.4. Augmented Reality (AR)
One of the biggest (and most interesting) challenges to come will be augmented reality.
Some companies are already using this medium to promote products in a new first-person experience way – but the trend can be expected to grow, especially when it comes to understanding how products, clothing, and furniture fit into a user’s life.
While this feature may be a little ambitious for your average small business or eCommerce website, there are related principles that you can adopt.
Something as straight-forward as embedding a Google Maps store walkthrough will be an easy way to enhance the experience for your visitors and blend the web with reality.5. Minimal Interfaces & Card Layouts
Minimalism is still a prominent design direction and you can expect that to continue due to its cleanliness and easy usability.
This is even more imperative with the continued shift to mobile browsing. Mobile users should never be treated as an afterthought.
Card-based layouts will also be a notable style as they make websites simple to navigate and are great for displaying content.
How do you make this work?
You must be able to balance your content and your white space to limit distractions and allow users to navigate easily between items.6. Geometry & Illustration
You’ll also begin to notice more animated iconography and a geometry-based focus in design elements and loaders as we move forward.
These animations give your page personality and make it feel more lively.
It’s also a nice touch to make your content feel more responsive to a user.
Other noteworthy graphics will be in organic shapes and animated GIFs.Moving On
So what can we say goodbye to?
Expect to see websites abandoning the parallax effect due to its impact on website speed and user experience.
We expect to see less complex typography in favor of simpler, more mobile-friendly fonts.
Finally, general clutter on the page is no longer in fashion – understandably so. A “less is more” approach that prioritizes the intended user journey is the key.Conclusion
If you are in the early planning stages of a new website, many doors of opportunity are now open to you.
By the time your new website is ready to launch, you will be ahead of the curve and poised for lasting success.
Ideas to keep your marketing aligned with future customer expectations
For many companies, 2023 acts as a symbolic deadline, with many strategic plans working towards that date. Everyone is convinced that the face of marketing and entrepreneurship will have changed profoundly by the time 2023 rolls around. Based on my discussions with experts, literature and my personal vision and experiences with customers, I have compiled an overview of what marketing 2023 might look like.
This blog post summarizes the main elements of the presentation.The 2023 Consumer
To develop the marketing philosophy of the future we also need to understand the 2023 consumer. Three factors will continue to influence consumer behavior:
1. Full adoption of new technologies: by the year 2023 some 2.5 billion smartphones will be in use. Much more than is the case today, the internet and digitization will be the most natural thing in the world.
2. Transparency: the continued adoption of technology will make the world even more transparent. Consumers will be perfectly aware of which companies are doing well and which aren’t. As a result, consumers will demand better service. Instead of simply comparing companies with the competition, they will compare them with class-leading companies. This will raise the bar considerably.
3. Selectivity: technology will become even more effective at shielding consumers from commercial messages. New media will enable consumers to be very selective about which companies he or she is linked with. Gaining access to the 2023 consumer will prove extremely difficult.
The video below describes the 2023 consumer:Extreme customer centricity as the central philosophy
A score of 7.3 out of 10 will not be enough to win the heart of the 2023 consumer. Only extreme customer centricity will guarantee success. Extremism may not be a good thing where politics and religion are concerned, but in marketing 2023 it is an absolute necessity.
Going extreme means facing several challenges:
Extreme in the basic aspects: extreme customer centricity is often associated with exotic ideas but such ideas only work when the foundations are solid. Step one consists in compiling an inventory of all the annoying little customer frustrations and dealing with them one by one. A top-notch basic experience is the cornerstone of extreme customer centricity.
It’s all about ‘influence’, not ‘influencers’: Every customer exerts influence. The illusion that a few select influencers determine the perception of an entire industry belongs to the classical school of thought. Treating all customers the same is exactly what brings about structural positive conversations. Focusing solely on ‘influencers’ may even have the opposite effect. Remember what happened with Yoep Van ‘t Hek and T-Mobile.
Symbols of extremism: once a company exceeds expectations with regard to basic service levels, that company needs symbols of extremism. They are ideal conversation starters because they give satisfied customers something concrete to use when recommending your product.Zappos’s 365-day return policy, e-retailer Coolblue’s offline stores and KLM’s 30-minute reply policy to tweets are examples of such symbols.
Developing this philosophy amounts primarily to reevaluating customer processes. It boils down to optimizing the functional relationship. The additional challenge in this regard consists in adding a personal touch. Even the most expertly executed process feels impersonal without a smile.
Friendly people can give a personal touch, and so can smooth communication and the occasional ‘random act of kindness’. It’s not hard to come up with but all the more difficult to implement properly.
And finally, extreme customer centricity is not about online presence or online customer service, although this is obviously part of the package.
In the meantime, it is clear that 80 to 90% of your online success depends on your offline behavior. In 2023, a successful company will no longer differentiate between online and offline channels.Technology integrated in marketing & service
Extreme customer centricity is a conscious investment on behalf of a company and technology can be of help on three different levels:
Further improving the customer experience: new technology can enhance the customer experience. Technology can bring stunning innovations. For instance, Disneyworld is currently testing new Mickey suits. The suits are interactive and the guests can talk to Mickey. The suits create a new customer experience for the young and old.
Increasing efficiency: technology can streamline certain processes. For instance, technology can help service evolve towards a self-service environment where the customers themselves can solve problems more quickly and efficiently. As a result, customer satisfaction goes up and costs go down. Ordering hamburgers at McDonald’s via the interactive screens is another example: waiting times are shorter and McDonald’s needs fewer staff.
Generating more profit: Amazon adjusts its prices several times a day and this process is fully automatic. This perfect price strategy adds turnover and customers know that Amazon offers the sharpest prices 24 hours a day.
‘Data’ will obviously be one of the buzz words for marketing 2023. Compiling customer data will help companies achieve each of the three goals described above. Data will become the new oil, as it were. The richest company will be the one with the best data and the ability to use that data to maximum effect.The future of selling will be selling without actually selling
Snagging consumers will become more and more difficult. Today, consumers go looking for interaction with no more than five brands. Technology is making it increasingly easy for consumers to shield themselves from commercial messages.
Being extremely relevant is the only way of keeping the consumer’s attention chúng tôi first dimension is the rise of inbound chúng tôi bank recently reported that 95% of customer interactions originate with the customer. In other words: the pull model has already replaced the push model.
Data are absolutely invaluable in order to be relevant. Your company will need to create the perfect personalized message on the basis of data if it is to earn the consumer’s attention.
It’s quite funny, really: the foundation of marketing 2023 was described in the 80s, back when CRM and direct marketing were hot. Today we can finally execute what was described back then. The philosophy is sound and modern technology makes it possible.
A second dimension consists in offering relevant content. Content tells a story and gives people something of value.
It’s less and less about your own product and more and more about what consumers can do with that product. The new sites for Kraft and Coca Cola already carry out that message. In both cases, the product itself has been pushed to the background and both sites look more like a digizine than a website. This is selling without selling.
Four principles are essential to success:
1. Invest in your own media: link your content to your own media instead of letting it float around on the internet. Try to lure consumers to your own platforms to consume content.
2. Content as bait for data: content is a bit like baiting the hook when going fishing. Many companies are simply throwing worms into the water: a fish comes along, swallows the worm whole and it’s gone. By attaching that bait to a hook, customers get hooked in when trying to take a bite out of the worm. Use this metaphor in your content marketing and capture data through your content.
3. A mix of big and small stories: sharing stories on a day-to-day basis is part of the 2023 marketing philosophy, but take care to alternate between big and small stories. Red Bull are the undisputed masters in this respect. They come up with amazing stunts from time to time, but they also maintain a content flow that suits the brand. Both aspects are important.
4. Design, design, design: content should be relevant but, more than anything, it should be well-designed. There’s a phenomenal difference in impact between a classic story and an engaging story. Designers will become increasingly important in the years to come.Three dimensions to benefit a ‘bigger’ cause
Even a company that excels in each of these three dimensions (extreme customer centricity, technology and selling without selling) has no guarantees of success in 2023.
First of all, you need a personal touch (see above), but you should also identify a common goal for the consumer and your company.
Pampers has chosen to tackle a few nasty diseases with the consumer’s help: for every Pamper sold, a child in a developing country is inoculated, thus creating a common objective for consumer and company to work towards. As for Triodos bank, the company leaves its customers with no doubt what their money is invested in. Triodos only invests in projects promoting durability.
This kind of ‘bigger cause’ appeals to consumers. A global study by InSites Consulting clearly showed that consumers expect three things from a company: 1. Do good for your own customers, 2. Make a profit and thereby do good for your own staff and 3. Do good for society.How does your marketing department rate on these three dimensions?
Ask yourself the following questions: How does my own marketing department rate on these 2023 dimensions? How many companies do I know today that do well on each of these three dimensions?
And then, of course, there’s also the key question: how do I rate on these three dimensions?
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