With less than three months left of the year (where on Earth has the time gone?!), we’re turning our attention to 2023 and the digital marketing trends to look out for.
Here’s what we’ll be keeping our eyes on…
We’ve all heard by now about Google’s plans to remove them from its Chrome browser by the end of 2024. And Apple has already rolled this out on iOS 14.5.
So digital marketers will need to be looking at alternative targeting solutions. This will likely involve brands becoming more proactive and creative in gathering zero-party data through a variety of practices and promotions.
Expect to see more polls, conversational pop-ups, and account creation incentives.
The rise of conversational marketing through chatbots will continue into 2023 and beyond for two reasons:
Consumers are accustomed to instant gratification. Real-time chatbot platforms have made it possible to respond to customers quickly.
Chatbots are a great way to collect zero-party data because they encourage customers to provide a whole host of information in an unobtrusive, low effort way.
Gartner expects that by 2025, 30% of outbound marketing messages from large organisations will be synthetically generated. We see this taking hold in customer engagement and support already, with the use of avatars, virtual influencers and chat bots. Generative AI is also being used in ecommerce where we see brands generating human images for customers to try make-up, clothes, and accessories on.
Natural language processing (a subform of AI) will make it possible for chatbots to become even more intelligent and responsive. For customers, it will feel like you are talking to a real human who reacts to their personal tone of voice, the language they use, and their perceived emotional state.
Another area that AI will be used is in generating synthetic content – producing new images, sounds, or information that has never existed before. We can expect this to be used in 2023 across entertainment and business.
Google is on a mission to make Search more natural and intuitive (check out their announcement here). Meaning Search will start working more like our minds by allowing us to combine images, sounds, text and speech into one search.
Here’s an example Google provides: Let’s say you’re looking for a handbag that looks like a donut.
You’ll be able to snap a photo of your Krispy Kreme with Google Lens, and add the word ‘handbag’ to the search to see all the results of exactly what you’re looking for.
Ecommerce marketers will need to focus on adding high-quality images tagged with descriptive keywords, introducing an image search into their online inventory, and even having an image sitemap to increase the likelihood of images being discovered by search engines.
Brick and mortar businesses will need to keep a close eye on the changes Google are making to Maps. They’re evolving the traditional 2D map into a rich, multidimensional view of the real world.
Users will be able to open Google Maps, zoom in on a neighbourhood, see what’s popular, and feel the vibe of the area so that they can pick somewhere that matches their mood. So businesses will need to get super keen on their listings, reviews, and customer content.
Users will also be able to search specific dishes and be shown nearby restaurants serving it. So restaurants will need to pay attention to their menu listings and all the keywords they are using across their site, to ensure they are showing up in these searches.
Since Meta unveiled the metaverse in 2021, brands have been exploring how mixed-reality marketing can enhance user experiences. Many have experimented with augmented reality which makes use of a real world setting – think branded Instagram filters, or eCommerce try-ons like Ikea’s AR app.
In 2023, we will be looking for more examples of completely immersive virtual reality (the type that require a VR headset, not just a smartphone camera). We are particularly excited to see how the hospitality, travel and tourism industries get involved with this type of activity.
Many brands have jumped on this hype already, to connect with the first wave of adopters (likely to be Gen Zs), and to also show their cool by being straight in there with the next big thing.
And it won’t just be through smartphones that users can experience virtual reality and access this content. Look out for more devices like headsets, smart glasses, even full-body haptic suits.
eCommerce marketers should keep their eye on shoppable posts across social channels. We’ve been seeing how product tagging and direct shopping reduces barriers to purchase and shortens the sales funnel.
Moving forward, we are likely to see the rise of shoppable Livestreams, which in China, are predicted to generate $623.29 billion in sales by 2023.
In China, this type of content is already exploding. Influencers Livestream products with shoppable tags and a totally interactive viewing and shopping experience. Viewers chat about the products live, building a strong sense of community. All purchases are highlighted in the chat, building social proof and a sense of FOMO. And viewers can influence the show through polls and direct messages, gamifying the entire experience.
Site speed will continue to be a major indicator of success in terms of search ranking, user experience, and conversion rates.
We talk about why site speed matters, and how to improve it in another article here.
We’ve seen personalisation a lot lately in physical product marketing (alongside many other brands, Marmite and Coca-Cola have offered customers the opportunity to personalise their jars and bottles).
In digital marketing, it has become standard to at least expect your name to be used in communications from brands.
In 2023, expect to see hyper-personalisation from brands that leverages AI, data, automation and analytics to generate customised interactions with customers.
We talk more about why personalisation is so important, and how to leverage it in your marketing, here.
So there we have it: our predictions for the digital marketing trends of 2023. As always, we keep a keen eye on what’s going on in the digital marketing landscape so that we can provide cutting edge insights and services to our clients.
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