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10 Marketing Predictions for 2023

Digital marketing is constantly changing, but in the last two years its evolution has gone into overdrive.

From new ad platforms to privacy restrictions to powerful AI software, there are enough marketing innovations on the horizon to make your head spin.

Fortunately, it’s our job at Smart Marketer to keep track of this stuff.

So to give you a competitive edge in 2023, I’ve joined with 6 of the smartest marketers I know to give you our takes on where the industry is now, as well as our biggest predictions on where things are headed from here.

I’ll go first. 🙂

Molly Pittman, CEO of Smart Marketer

Prediction 1: Consultative marketing is going to take off in 2023!

I’m kicking off this post with one big prediction, which is that consultative marketing is going to drive a lot of sales for the companies who are willing to embrace it.

What the heck consultative marketing?

It’s the evolution of the quiz funnel. But while a quiz might tell you what Disney princess you are (fun!), it usually delivers trivial info so that marketers like us can get social engagement or an email address.

Unfortunately, the average quiz funnel doesn’t:

  • Educate your prospect on their pain points, or how your brand can help solve them
  • Give you personal information on your prospect to use in your marketing
  • Help you pre-sell and/or recommend products

A consultation, on the other hand, is more personal, and an in-depth quiz that helps you learn about your prospect by helping them learn about themselves.

It helps your prospects understand:

  • What are their pain points?
  • What transformation are they looking for that has led them to your website?
  • What do they feel is standing in the way of that transformation?

Not only does consultative marketing help you develop an emotional connection with your customer, it helps both you and them to better understand how your brand can serve them.

This kind of touchpoint has really only existed in person before, but now we’re seeing it done digitally by modern brands like Prose.

And at Smart Marketer, we’re encouraging our clients in the nail, skincare, and other health/beauty niches to use consultative marketing to gain a competitive advantage.

This is why my big prediction for this post is that consultative marketing will really take off in 2023!

Brett Curry, CEO of OMG Commerce

I think the marketers who win in 2023 will do two things:

  1. Obsess over their top 3 business metrics
  2. Find a way to stay aggressive with your top-of-funnel acquisition efforts

Top 3 Business Metrics

The first step is to identify the top 3 most important metrics for your specific business.

At OMG, the main metrics we focus on are:

  1. Services per client – When clients trust us to provide more than one service, it indicates a healthy relationship. As a result, it creates longer-lasting partnerships.
  2. Department gross margin – Each department has a P&L. Hitting our gross margin per department goal has the biggest impact on our bottom line.
  3. Customer retention rate – This shows how successful we are at keeping clients long term.

For your brand, key metrics are more likely to be:

  • Average Order Value (AOV) – One of the hardest metrics to fudge or misunderstand.
  • Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) – What’s the true cost to acquire a new customer? You might need to use a 3rd-party tool like Northbeam or Triple Whale to figure this out.
  • Lifetime Value (LTV) – How much revenue are you driving in the first 3–6 months of a new customer relationship? By attracting the right customers and improving your email and SMS efforts, you can likely increase this metric.

Top-of-funnel Acquisition

In addition to following your metrics closely, you also want to invest significant energy in customer acquisition (especially as the economy tightens).

Consider these ways to improve the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns:

  • Create more engaging assets.
  • Refine your retargeting strategies.
  • Capture email leads (and follow up effectively).
  • Optimize your landing pages and campaign structure.

Do all of the above, and I’m confident your brand’s revenue will grow in 2023!

Tommie Powers (aka Tommie Traffic), Revenue growth strategist

Well, I have two predictions for 2023.

Prediction 1: Winners in AI will use it to further improve a proven process or system that already exists.

At the moment, most people are being distracted by AI rather than using it as leverage.

Don’t get me wrong — I’m a huge believer in AI, and have been for a long time.

But that’s why I’m trying to encourage my clients, partners, and mentees to use it the right way.

To get the most leverage out of AI in 2023, you need to use it to improve our current systems and proven processes, rather than trying to dream up novel applications for it that will probably just waste our time.

Prediction 2: Vertical integration will matter more than ever for ecommerce brands.

This is something I’ve known about for years now.

The brands that embrace vertical integration will create real value in an economy that’s becoming tougher and tougher.

For instance, I recently invested in a hemp farm that’s vertically integrated — from the soil to the consumer, with control over every step of the process in between.

This is how I’m putting my money where my mouth is. Hemp and cannabis is a space I know about, so doing the deal was a no-brainer for me because I understand the company’s structure.

Kasim Aslam, Founder & CEO of Solutions 8

When it comes to paid and organic traffic, the game board is about to flip in some really exciting (and potentially dangerous) ways.

Organic Traffic

First, we’ll see a tectonic shift in SEO.

Between AI-driven content and Bing’s introduction of ChatGPT in the search results, there’s no way SEO as we know it can survive.

I think this is going to be a great opportunity for ambitious brands that are willing to do the work, snapping up whatever the equivalent of a “top spot” might be for AI-driven results.

This will also hurt a lot of companies that have worked hard to establish their ranking.

Paid Traffic

Then in terms of paid traffic, we’ll see market leaders continue to lose their dominance.

Facebook (obviously) and even Google have already been dropping consistently in terms of market share.

This is an amazing opportunity for advertisers because ad networks are going to have to start fighting for our dollars, maybe for the first time ever.

Here’s what I expect:

  • TikTok will expand its ad program to be more robust and improve their targeting.
  • Apple will introduce an ad program that’s positioned to be an immediate market leader and cause massive shake-ups across the paid traffic industry.
  • ChatGPT (or other AI-driven response engines) will open up the potential for additional real estate that could be monetized as a paid traffic conduit.

2023 will continue to bring exciting opportunities for media buyers to exploit new traffic avenues!

Mike Rhodes, Founder & CEO of WebSavvy

Prediction: Strategic thinkers will get the most benefit from AI.

We all know that AI is taking off in a big way, and that it will help us write faster, code faster, and draw faster — but it doesn’t automatically make us think better.

So your job in 2023 is to get better at asking the right questions.

And the key ingredient to do that? Your imagination!

Mix that with a large dollop of curiosity, and AI will help your brand to fly.

You see, I’ve been studying and speaking about AI in marketing since 2017, and I’ve discovered that the vast majority of businesses aren’t ready to become “AI businesses”.

Why?

Because they’re not analytical, and because they don’t value data enough.

So what’s really needed to take more advantage of the AI tools that are readily available is more strategic thinking.

Ask yourself:

  • How can I automate the mundane?
  • What can I eliminate?
  • Where can you weave AI and other tools into my workday to give me back my time?

When you do more thinking, you’ll improve:

  • How you work
  • What you work on
  • How your team works together
  • How you continue to serve your clients

So spend more time thinking in 2023 to produce better results for your brand.

Damien Watts, Omnichannel expert

In 2023, we’re focusing on ChatGPT and any new tools that can provide new ways to generate marketing ideas for our partners and clients.

That’s because our goal is to be able to provide clients with copy for landing pages, ad copy, video scripts (i.e., the things that take the longest) faster.

Speed of execution is the aim.

We’ll also be taking a deeper dive into YouTube shorts and TikTok, as those proved to be our best performing platforms in Q4 of 2022.

Lastly, we’re moving away from agency work.

Instead, we’re forming strategic partnerships where we take over all marketing operations for a brand, allowing us to build, grow and scale the operation.

2023 will be an exciting year for savvy marketers looking to run ads on new channels.

John Grimshaw, CMO of Smart Marketer

I have three 2023 predictions for you!

Prediction #1: Apple will launch their Broad Advertising Platform.

We’re about to see the culmination of Apple’s strategic moves with the launch of their advertising platform.

Since iOS 14.5, I have been predicting this change and I think this is the year it finally happens.

They’ve tested small expansions in recent years with their App Store ads, so I expect we’ll see a brand-new platform launch this year to let you bypass any of the previous tracking issues.

Time will tell how consumers respond to this after Apple’s aggressive pro-privacy messaging in recent years.

Prediction #2: People will try to scare you into spending money by mentioning ChatGPT.

This technology is futuristic, loaded with (theoretical) practical uses, and changing fast enough that it’s hard to wrap your head around its potential.

I have been in marketing long enough to know that fear is a powerful motivator.

Which unfortunately is why I expect the theme of 2023 in marketing education to be, “WHY CHATGPT WILL LEAVE YOU JOBLESS… unless you buy my course.”

We’ll be resisting the temptation at Smart Marketer, but as you start to see this type of messaging in emails, blog posts, headlines, and products, keep 2 things in mind:

  1. People said digital advertising would be the end of marketers, but it’s spawned a whole new subset of skills, roles, and opportunities.
  2. Buyers have honed their BS detectors in response to the dramatic rise in marketing touchpoints in the last 20 years. If you can’t share authentic stories about your products and services, or if ChatGPT is writing them for you, potential customers will sense that and disengage accordingly.

Also, please do not have ChatGPT write blog posts that you use as final drafts.

Google’s tools are smart enough to detect when a robot has written your site content. This practice may open you up to bad SERP rankings at best, or search blacklisting at worst!

Prediction 3: Your email marketing is broken (and fixable!)

In 2022, email marketing was run through the woodchipper thanks to Apple’s iOS 15 changes.

But so many brands didn’t realize that they were having trouble since open rates stayed more or less steady.

That’s because iOS 15 artificially inflates open rates, so when these changes went live, performance dropped and dropped while the warning lights stayed nice and green.

But the reality is that nearly 60% of the businesses I personally reviewed last year were affected, and their reach and engaged audiences were decimated.

So it’s worth taking 20 minutes to review your email performance from 2022. Start by asking:

  • Was total email revenue flat or down compared to 2021?
  • Did your click rate drop while your open rate stayed flat?
  • How did click rate change for your most engaged audience?
  • Did you see some of your emails hitting spam rather than the inbox?

If you sense something is wrong, I have good news: it’s super fixable!

I personally worked with at least two dozen businesses and saw them turn their email performance around.

I cover the big picture strategy to reset performance in this blog post:

How We Learned to 2x Email Revenue, 4x Clicks & Avoid the Spam Folder.

If you think something’s wrong with your email performance but you’re not quite sure what, then definitely give this a read!

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