16 marketing trends and strategies for 2023

Team Asana contributor imageTeam AsanaJanuary 10th, 20237 min read
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2023 is set to be an interesting year in marketing as trends shift to accommodate new technology and buyer behavior. These 16 marketing trends will impact your marketing strategy for years to come.

From black and white newspaper ads to keyword analytics, marketing trends come and go as brands learn to leverage new tech. In this ever-evolving landscape, brands can’t just rely on their tried-and-true marketing best practices. Consumer values and preferences have shifted, with effective marketing tactics following suit. 

With new technologies and consumer behaviors, 2023 is set to be an interesting year in marketing. Below are 16 marketing trends and strategies to give you an edge over your competition.

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Up-and-coming types of marketing

1. Long-term influencer-brand relationships

Historically, one of the best marketing strategies is word-of-mouth advertising. People are more likely to try a product or service if someone they know and trust recommends it. Influencer marketing, which involves a collaboration between a brand and an individual with a specific niche and large online following, takes that concept and modernizes it for today’s new digital era.

[Inline illustration] How marketing professionals think about influencer marketing (Infographic)

93% of marketing professionals use influencer marketing for reasons like: 

  • Increasing brand awareness

  • Building trust and authority

  • Reaching their target audience

  • Driving conversions

  • Generating leads

  • Setting a new trend

  • Connecting to a wider market

While this form of social media marketing isn’t new to 2023, brands are seizing the opportunity to build more authentic connections with their target audience by appointing long-term “brand ambassadors.” These mutually beneficial relationships allow the brand to build lasting relationships with their influencer partners, while the influencers can maintain trust with their audience by promoting the same brand over time.

Read: 7 steps to complete a social media audit (with template)

2. Live streaming and video-based content

Video-based content is becoming a key focus area in social media marketing because it can capture a viewer’s attention for a longer amount of time compared to static posts. From TikToks to Instagram reels, marketers are using bite-sized videos to drive engagement and increase brand awareness among millennials and Gen Z.

Live streaming is also proving to be an effective marketing trend. According to one report, consumers spent around 548 billion hours streaming through mobile devices in 2021. When paired with influencer marketing, live streaming allows potential customers to engage with influencers familiar with the product, talk about the product, and make the purchase all while watching the stream.

3. User-generated content

From TikTok trends to #OOTD posts, user-generated content is the new word-of-mouth. This type of content is original and brand-specific, created by consumers rather than brands. Unboxing videos, makeup reviews, branded hashtags, and photo tags are all examples of how brands can take advantage of user-generated content. 

Because anyone can create user-generated content, adding this tactic to your marketing strategy can take your brand’s authenticity to the next level. Consumers are 2.4 times more likely to trust user-generated content compared to content created by brands—proving that now’s the time to prioritize authenticity in your marketing strategy. 

4. New targeting solutions

Google is set to phase out third-party cookies by the end of next year due to rising privacy concerns. Cookies play a role in target marketing by tracking a user's behavior across the web so marketers can deliver a customized experience. In order to remain relevant, brands are testing alternative targeting solutions to continue developing highly personalized content and ads.

5. Agile marketing

As the name would suggest, Agile marketing is an approach inspired by the Agile methodology. It’s a way of working that involves rapid iterations rather than one big project. 

Agile marketing emphasizes real-time collaboration (over silos and hierarchy) and is designed so that marketers can respond more easily to change. 

Benefits of Agile marketing include:

  • Flexibility to adapt to change due to iterative planning

  • Ability to deliver value early and often by grouping individuals into small cross-functional teams that can finish projects autonomously

  • More focus on customer value and business outcomes as opposed to activity and output

  • More data-driven decisions thanks to an emphasis on experimentation

  • Better transparency and collaboration through visualized workflows and frequent touchpoints

Marketing to customer expectations in 2023

6. Cohesive customer experiences

Customers expect a personalized, tailored experience that speaks directly to their needs. At the same time, marketers must avoid looking through a campaign-only lens since customers don’t interact with brands through a single method or channel. 

Marketers must understand specific interactions in the customer’s entire journey and focus on a complete experience, not a point-in-time campaign. 

One way to better understand your user experience is to create a customer journey map. A customer journey map is a visual representation of how a customer acts, thinks, and feels through the buying process and can be a valuable tool for creating a cohesive experience. 

7. Improved user experience across devices

User experience, or UX, is more than just a popular buzzword. It refers to how a person feels when interacting with a system. Good UX design provides a positive experience that fulfills a user’s needs and keeps them loyal to the product or brand. 

Your website (and/or app) is arguably your most valuable marketing asset, and a great UX can make all the difference when convincing top-of-funnel consumers to become customers. When designing your site, keep the layout simple, include easy-to-use navigation, and don’t overwhelm users with too much information on the main landing pages. You should also be optimizing your website for mobile, especially since more than half of users worldwide use their phones to browse the web.

Some examples of current UX design trends include:

  • Minimalism and “blanding,” or websites free of intrusive advertising and popups  

  • Voice-activated interfaces

  • Hands-free controls

  • Animated elements to add intrigue

  • Block web design

  • “Scrollytelling,” or telling a story as the user scrolls 

  • Bold colors

  • Video content

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8. Voice search tactics for SEO 

Marketers are beginning to leverage voice search as a search engine optimization (SEO) tool. These digital assistants are designed to answer short, informational queries such as “Who sings Bohemian Rhapsody?” and “What’s the weather in San Diego?” but they’ve also started to process more customized searches, like “What coffee shops are open near me?” and ”Do they serve chai lattes?”

Businesses are responding by changing how they frame information. To answer reader’s questions based on intent, creators are opting for more conversational question-and-answer formats. This way, when consumers use voice search, they’ll get high-quality, accurate responses more quickly. 

Digital marketing techniques to lean into

9. Conversational marketing

Instead of directing people to lead capture forms and waiting for a response, conversational marketing uses targeted messaging and AI automation to engage with people when they’re on your website. 

This digital marketing trend employs intelligent chatbots with machine learning and natural language processing (NLP), allowing customers to have a two-way conversation with a brand. Shifting from an asynchronous way of marketing to real-time conversations presents a major learning curve as conversational marketing grows in 2023.

10. Interactive content

If you’ve used the internet within the past decade, you’ve likely come across interactive content without even realizing it. Gone are the days of static posts and passive consumption—today’s audience wants content that demands attention. Marketers are developing dynamic, two-way experiences that encourage active engagement from their target audience with content such as:

  • Interactive infographics

  • Quizzes

  • Games

  • Calculators

  • Contests 

  • Assessments

  • Interactive maps

  • Interactive videos

81% of marketers agree this low-cost, high-impact content strategy is much more effective at grabbing potential buyers’ attention than static content, but the benefits don’t stop there. Interactive content is a great trend to try if your content marketing goals include:

  • Enhanced audience engagement

  • Improved customer learning

  • More leads and conversions

  • Increased brand loyalty

  • Streamlining the customer experience

11. VR-based tools and apps

In 2021, Meta (formerly Facebook) unveiled their up-and-coming metaverse. This fast-tracked the need for marketers to implement hybrid and mixed-reality experiences into their marketing mix. Virtual reality (VR) marketing allows brands to promote their products or services using VR technology to create a simulated but realistic experience. 

While many brands have successfully used augmented reality (AR) tactics to attract customers, like Sephora’s Virtual Artist app and Ikea’s AR app, few have designed a completely immersive virtual reality experience that would require a VR headset. 

Virtual try-ons and branded Instagram filters will continue to have an impact on 2023’s marketing landscape, but expect to see even more innovative VR marketing tactics take center stage this year. 

12. AI for better trendspotting

According to a recent study by Razorfish, three-quarters of marketers fail to use behavioral data for online ad targeting. New technology is working to make this data more accessible and affordable for small businesses.  

Artificial intelligence is poised to make a huge impact in many industries within the next few years. Marketing professionals are now leveraging AI methods such as data models, algorithms, and machine learning to better understand their target audience. This data can help marketers optimize spending, customize and target content, and personalize their customer experience. 

Marketers are already reaping the benefits of AI technology, such as:

  • Smarter, more targeted advertisements

  • Accurate trendspotting and predictions

  • Better understanding of buyer behavior

  • Increased customer retention and loyalty

  • Enhanced self-service capabilities

  • Higher ROI through effective targeting

13. Incorporating the Internet of Things (IoT) 

The Internet of Things (IoT) has taken off in recent years and is now broadly accessible (think Alexa and Siri). This term describes a network of “things” that are connected through sensors and software for the purpose of connecting and sharing data with each other over the internet. 

According to Cisco, 500 billion devices are expected to be connected to the internet by 2030. This means marketers should start thinking about how to incorporate IoT and artificial intelligence into their programs to maintain omnichannel marketing across channels their potential buyers will be using.

Bringing your brand identity into your marketing 

14. Emphasis on social responsibility and reputation

Consumers today prioritize brands that practice social responsibility by balancing their money-making initiatives with socially beneficial practices. 

According to one study, over half of U.S. consumers now factor values into their purchase choices. What’s more, 66% of consumers are willing to pay more for goods from brands that demonstrate social commitment. 

Marketing professionals have made it a point to highlight social responsibility efforts in their marketing campaigns to attract customers who want to make a positive difference with their purchases. Examples include:

  • Promoting recyclable packaging

  • Promotions that spread awareness of societal issues

  • Directing portions of profits to charity

  • Running one-for-one campaigns to donate products to those in need

  • Having company-sponsored community services or activities

  • Promoting fair trade

  • Advocating for social justice 

15. Representation and inclusivity 

Marketing and advertising professionals have made great strides in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts in the last couple of years, but it’s still an issue that will need to be improved in 2023. It’s more important than ever to ensure your marketing tactics don’t alienate portions of your target audience.

[Inline illustration] 3 reasons to add DEI efforts to your marketing strategy (infographic)

According to a study by Facebook, 71% of consumers expect brands to promote diversity and inclusion in their digital marketing strategies. Companies such as ThirdLove, Nike, and Bumble are leading the “inclusive revolution” with innovative campaigns featuring individuals of varying races, body types, ages, sexual preferences, and more. 

The benefits of DEI marketing are twofold: 

  1. Your business becomes a positive force toward furthering diversity and inclusion efforts.

  2. Resonating with a larger audience will lead more people to trust your brand, value your authenticity, and hopefully purchase from you.

16. Emphasis on consumer privacy

Among recent controversies regarding privacy and security, many reputable companies are developing new systems to ensure customers feel secure when providing their personal information. While identity theft and data breaches have always existed, the rise in cyberattacks has consumers realizing just how vulnerable their data is.

While this isn’t exactly a marketing technique, increased data security allows customers to sign up for services, demos, white papers, etc., without worrying about data leaks or identity theft. If generating qualified leads is your marketing goal for 2023, you may want to look into upgrading your privacy software.

The last couple of years had a drastic impact on marketing trends and best practices. Today’s consumers value authenticity, transparency, privacy, and inclusivity now more than ever before. And with advanced technology like VR and IoT becoming mainstream, marketers have an opportunity to tie these values into their messaging in new, innovative ways.

What separates successful marketing teams are their workflows: end-to-end processes designed to streamline processes and help teams meet their goals. With workflows, leaders can rebuild marketing teams as nimble, impactful, and adaptable business units.

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