If it’s your job to promote and grow your business, staying current on the latest industry trends is essential. From retailers to manufacturers, every company uses marketing tools to make meaningful, engaging connections with their existing customers and attract new ones, too. The key to getting it right is continuously aligning your marketing program to meet your customers where they need and want you to be.
But just when you think you’ve got a handle on the latest digital technology, direct mail is gaining momentum, and personalization matters now more than ever. So, which channels should you use to grow your brand in 2023? Start by understanding the latest marketing trends and then incorporate those touches that best align with your brand and connect with your audience.
These Marketing Trends Should Be on Your Radar in 2023.
Digital technology will continue to drive and shape brand marketing in 2023. Forbes tags AI as the ringleader: “Artificial Intelligence (AI) powers all marketing. One of the quiet trends in digital marketing over the last few years has been AI being integrated into almost every digital marketing channel. Algorithms determine the social media posts you engage with, the search results you see, and even the ads displayed to you. AI is making marketing smarter, connecting consumers to the exact right products and messages.”
So, what does AI look like as part of your brand marketing program? You might use a chatbot on your website or social channel to answer user inquiries, gather more data about your prospects and customers, and then develop more targeted messaging to reach them—personalized content is where it’s at.
Focus on Digital.
According to HubSpot, the top five marketing channels include social media, website/blog, email marketing, content marketing, and influencer marketing—all digital. So, if you’re not prioritizing your brand’s digital strategy, the time is now.
- 93% of online experiences start with a search engine. (Forbes)
- For every $1 spent on email marketing, you can expect a $38 return. (Forbes)
- Businesses with 40+ optimized landing pages get 12X more leads than those with only 1-5 landing pages. (Hubspot)
Combine Print + Digital.
Even in today’s digital age, the power of print media is still prevalent. Studies show that print amplifies digital channels: When print advertisements are combined with email, there is an average 49% increase in sales and a 125 % increase in inquiries. (Harvard Business Review) And marketers using three or more channels in campaigns earn 90% higher customer retention than those using a single-channel campaign.
Whether you’re printing product labels, postcards, or catalogs, a simple way to incorporate a digital element is to use a QR code to drive engagement. Today’s digital print innovations are driving the on-trend print applications for 2023, including shimmering techniques, laser cutting, eco-friendly inks and dyes, as well as 3-D printing.
More Direct Mail.
While digital fatigue certainly contributes to the draw of direct mail, the rise projected for DM in 2023 is tied to its innate ability to make compelling connections with consumers: Direct mail allows greater personalization and can be linked to proximity campaigns, connecting with individuals or businesses within a specific geographic region for an ultra-local appeal. Plus, direct mail is effective:
- Nearly 90% of Millennials love receiving mail.
- 57% of Millennial respondents acted on direct mail offers.
- More than 70% of Gen X consumers feel mail is more personal than online digital communications and are more likely to read promotional mail than emails.
Rethink Product Packaging.
According to Nielsen, 64% of consumers try a new product because the package catches their eye, and 41% will continue to purchase a product because they prefer its design. In 2023, packaging design trends include interactive elements like QR codes, personalized labels, and transparent elements.
This year, green packaging is good for business. 66% of all US consumers — and 80% of adults under 34 — willingly pay a premium for sustainable products. They’re paying attention to the packaging too. On-trend in eco-packaging design is environmentally friendly materials and clever, smart labels to shrink your carbon footprint.
Prioritize Brand SWAG and Promotional Items.
We all love a good giveaway. Statistics back it up, with 60% of consumers saying that they regularly keep a promotional product for two years, and 85% of product recipients did business with the advertiser who gave them the item. In 2023, trending in branded promo and apparel is a greater emphasis on health and wellness items, family gift products, and sustainable choices—with outerwear and performance gear ranked as the top gifts and giveaways employees and customers want most.
According to Microsoft’s 2022 Work Trend Index, “85% of leaders say the shift to hybrid work has made it challenging to have confidence that employees are being productive.” To help boost morale and promote employee engagement and productivity, branded SWAG and promo are a big part of successful onboarding efforts and employee culture kits that incent and build brand loyalty.
Align Your Social Channels.
From the continued rise of influencers to social channels as search engines to the popularity of reels, there’s a lot to keep up with regarding social marketing. But know that every trend is not the right fit for every brand—instead of blanketing all social channels, research and find where your brand content best fits.
- Influencer marketing generates 11x more ROI than traditional marketing channels.
- 62% of Instagram users say they use it to research brands and products (Facebook takes 2nd place with 55%).
According to Entrepreneur, social media stories should now be a priority over newsfeed posts because stories have brief lifespans that make them more exciting and allow you to form a stronger bond with your audience.
Create Short-form Video Content.
Now more than ever, the power of video is undeniable.
- Landing pages with video content convert 86% more often.
- Posts with videos get 157% more search traffic than those that don’t.
- Video content produces the 2nd highest ROI for B2C brands.
Today, quick video snippets are thriving in all age groups and demographics on platforms like TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook. The three main places to focus your inbound marketing efforts for video content: TikTok, Instagram Reels or IGTV, and YouTube Shorts. Whether you outsource your video production or manage it using a phone or tablet, make video a priority in 2023.
Learn more: Access Shamrock’s 2023 MARKETING TRENDS REPORT.
A final thought about brand marketing in 2023.
Always, arriving at the right marketing mix for your brand is a delicate balance: It is equal parts understanding the trends (what’s working today), connecting with your prospects and customers where they’re spending their time, and testing content on various channels to see what’s working well.
If you’re not getting engagement on Instagram, try other channels. If email has always been your go-to, but direct mail is getting better returns, consider putting more of your time and efforts into resonating media. And if you need to talk through your plan or brainstorm new ideas to improve your reach, we’re here to help.