5 Digital Marketing Trends for 2023

January 3, 2023

Yes, we’re still talking about TikTok and short-form videos — and despite rising prices, consumer and advertising spending aren’t slowing down.

“Democratization” and “personalization” are clearly the digital marketing buzzwords of 2023. Big Tech is on a downward spiral, demand for tailored content is up (despite the third-party cookie’s upcoming demise) and surprise, surprise — we’re still talking about TikTok. 

Below, check out five digital marketing trends to put on your radar for 2023. 

1. Digital Spending Won’t Falter (It’s Likely to Spike) 

Inflation is still hitting companies hard, and a recession may rear its ugly head in 2023. So, yes, while 50% of organizations plan to slash budgets, only 6% will cut back on tech/digital services — and more than half say they’ll increase investment in digital.  

 Why is this significant? Marketing spend is already at its highest in decades and 12% higher than pre-pandemic levels. In a recent CMO survey, respondents said they expected their spending on marketing knowledge to increase a whopping 89% in the next 12 months — with a particular emphasis on outsourcing to specialists so internal employees can focus on what they do best. 

2. Quality, Not Quantity, in E-commerce 

The pandemic resulted in an unparalleled surge in e-commerce spending; naturally, the situation normalized once storefronts re-opened and purse strings tightened in response to inflation. In 2023, e-commerce will reign supreme again, with 47% of consumers predicting they’ll increase their online shopping volume and 57% believing their personal finances will improve over the next six months. 

So, what’s different in 2023? Quality over quantity, folks. Consumers may plan to spend more, but they also demand better products — two-thirds of consumers say they’ll gladly pay more for sustainable products, and despite overall price increases, most shoppers still say product quality takes precedence over cost. 

3. Short- (and Shorter-) Form Videos 

It’s basically impossible to discuss digital marketing trends without bringing up TikTok. Nearly every social media platform copied TikTok’s short-form video format last year — and there’s no sign of its popularity slowing down. Though Instagram Reels has been a major focus for Meta (the company is even paying users to create Reels), they’ve yet to achieve comparable engagement with TikTok’s 1 billion active monthly users. In fact, compared with Reels, TikTok videos receive 6x more engagement, 44% more comments and are posted as often as Reels. 

Morale of the story: To connect with consumers on platforms where they’re already spending time, join the throngs of companies investing in short-term video in 2023.  

4. Tech Giants Face a Reckoning 

Up until recently, it’s been Meta’s/Google’s/Apple’s world, and we’re just living in it. But things took a turn for the worse in 2022. Meta’s stock value dropped 70%, Apple claimed a $10 billion loss, and YouTube’s ad revenue dropped by $40 billion. Plus, with regulatory pressure tightening and the Senate remaining with Democrats — the party with a traditionally tougher stance on antitrust legislation — 2023 is likely to take Big Tech down a few more notches. In other words, now is a perfect time for brands to reexamine their digital marketing mix.  

5. Preparing for a Cookieless Future 

With third-party cookies going away (if you’re not sure what that means, check out this explainer), smart digital marketers are preparing now for ways to gather first-party data. A primary way to do this is by increasing the number of customer data sources — it’s predicted brands will employ an average of 18 sources in 2023, up from 15 in 2022 and five in 2021. 

 Why fret about gathering data? Because despite 8 in 10 Americans being bothered by brands’ usage of their personal data, another 7 in 10 expect brand communications to be tailored to their interests. Sigh. Give the people what they want, right? 

Need help devising a successful, on-trend digital marketing strategy for 2023? Contact Candor. 

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