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The State of Marketing – Mid Year Report

As we approach the halfway point of 2023, it’s a good time for businesses to reflect on the evolving marketing landscape and reassess their strategies to stay ahead in a dynamic and competitive market.

The first half of the year witnessed significant shifts in consumer behaviour, technological advancements, and emerging trends. Let’s have a look at what we should consider for the remainder for the year. But first, let’s quickly recap the biggest factors that have effected the marketing space in 2023 so far. 

BIGGEST FACTORS AFFECTING MARKETING IN 2023 SO FAR

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI)

Artificial intelligence (AI) technology has been on the rise in recent years, with a more predominant surge in the past 6 months, and is set to become even more prevalent in the second half of 2023. These cutting-edge technologies are set to reshape the marketing landscape in profound ways.

AUTOMATION

6 hours is the average amount of time a marketer spends each day on manual, administrative, or operational tasks (Source: Hubspot)

In the fast-paced world of marketing in 2023, automation has become an indispensable ally for marketers in revolutionising the way businesses interact with their audience and manage their marketing efforts. With the increasing complexity and volume of data, automation offers efficiency and precision that manual processes simply cannot match. 

ECONOMIC CONCERNS

The global landscape continues to be shaped by factors such as inflation, supply chain disruptions, and shifting consumer spending patterns. Businesses are facing the challenge of adapting their strategies to navigate these uncertainties while ensuring the sustainability and growth of their businesses. We’re seeing heightened demands on agility and flexibility to evolve to the face-paced nature of the marketing space, and more understanding and insight into consumer’s behaviours to make informed, purposeful, decisions. 

Despite the obstacles posed by economic concerns, resourceful businesses who can adapt their strategies and find innovative ways to resonate with consumers will be well-equipped to overcome the hurdles and drive positive outcomes in the second half of 2023.

WHERE TO FOCUS YOUR MARKETING ATTENTION MOVING FORWARD

PERSONALISATION TAKES CENTRE STAGE

Personalisation has been a buzzword for years, but in 2023, it has become an integral part of successful marketing strategies… and we mean more than just “Hi <name>”. Consumers are now expecting tailored experiences that resonate with their individual needs and preferences which means businesses are finding new ways to tailor their marketing efforts to individual customers. This includes using data to create targeted marketing campaigns, dynamic website content, customised advertising, and offering personalised content, products and services. By implementing personalisation, businesses can create meaningful connections with their audience, improve conversion rates, and gain a competitive edge in the market.

VIDEO CONTINUES TO DOMINATE

People are watching more videos now than ever before, solidifying its position as a powerful tool for engaging audiences. For the fourth year in a row, video remains the most powerful and popular media format for content creation…and, it shows no signs of slowing down. According to HubSpot, 24% of marketers plan to invest more in video than any other media format throughout the rest of 2023, and we think this is only going to grow significantly in the coming years.

Short-form videos, under 60-seconds, is still the preference and generates the highest average watch due to it’s ability to captivate viewers and drive high levels of engagement. Whilst videos up to 5 minutes find viewers dropping off about 50% of the way through (Source: Wistia).

The power of video content allows businesses to tell compelling stories, showcase products or services, and connect with consumers on an emotional level.

CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE IS A PRIORITY

In the second half of 2023, businesses should be focusing on creating a seamless and enjoyable client experience as a strategic priority. Increased competition and evolving consumer expectations, delivering exceptional experiences has become paramount for attracting and retaining customers.

This involves understanding customers/clients needs and preferences, investing in customer/client service and support, offering personalised recommendations and experiences, nurturing relationships, adding more value, and providing seamless interactions across all touchpoints. Investing in customer journey mapping, consumer behaviour insights, data analytics, and AI-powered technologies will enable businesses to gain valuable insights into their customer/client’s behaviour and tailor their marketing efforts accordingly.

Empowering employees to prioritise customer satisfaction and take ownership of customer interactions will also help gain a competitive advantage in the market and enhance your brand’s reputation, driving long-term success.

FUTURE-PROOF AS A CONSCIOUS BRAND

Consumers today are increasingly conscious of the environmental and social impact of their purchasing decisions, and they are actively seeking out brands that align with their values. As a result, businesses need to get on board with this shift towards conscious consumerism. 

·        62% of people are more conscious about where they shop, who they are shopping from and the products they buy – and admitted that they are doing more research than ever before making a purchase.

·        77% of consumers said they are more motivated to purchase from companies that have Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives in place. (source, Harvard Business School).

Embracing sustainability initiatives, social and environmental practices, and engaging in community outreach not only contribute to positive societal change but also attract a growing base of loyal and socially conscious customers; not to mention great employees. By demonstrating a genuine commitment to making a difference, businesses can differentiate themselves in a crowded market, build trust, and create meaningful connections with their target audience. Moreover, embracing conscious branding is not only a responsible choice but also a smart strategic business decision that can drive long-term growth and future-proof your business in a dynamic marketplace.

Check out a recent article I had published on Business Business Business “Conscious Brands are the Future – Are you one of Them?” on how make your business more conscious friendly.

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND AUTOMATION TO LEVEL UP

We’re seeing a lot of conversation about how AI is threatening the role of marketers everywhere. In reality, AI is fast becoming a marketers bestie. The integration of AI and automation is set to revolutionise the marketing world with AI-powered technologies offering immense potential to analyse vast amounts of customer data (quickly), extract valuable insights, anticipate customer behaviour, tailor marketing campaigns to specific target audiences and maximise ROI.

By leveraging automation tools and platforms, we can streamline repetitive tasks such as data analysis, campaign tracking, lead scoring, and content distribution – freeing up time for marketers to focus on strategic planning and creative initiatives. It is important to remember, that it is crucial to strike a balance between AI, automation and the human touch, ensuring that these technologies enhance the customer/client experience and work in harmony with the human element of marketing.

Conclusion

Looking ahead to the remainder of 2023, businesses should focus on creating authentic and meaningful connections with their audiences. This means prioritising transparency and honesty in marketing efforts, and using storytelling to create emotional connections with consumers.

In addition, businesses should continue to invest in technology and data analysis to gain insights into consumer behaviour and improve their marketing strategies. As AI technology continues to evolve, businesses can expect to see even more opportunities to personalise their marketing efforts and create a seamless customer experience… so watch this space.

Are you on track to hit your 2023 goals? Now is the time to take action.

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