What will 2023 bring for marketers?

Wrike's CMO on collaboration, breaking down silos, and agile targeting

It’s been another challenging year for marketers…

The current economic crisis has created an unforgiving landscape, as shrinking budgets have been met with growing expectations. Industry-wide cutbacks have also resulted in dramatic decreases in spending and marketing leaders and teams around the world are now under pressure to do more with less while searching out new and innovative channels in an increasingly saturated digital market.

However, with times of hardship often comes opportunity and, as we enter a new year, it’s a chance to start fresh. While we don’t know for certain what’s around the corner, there are few trends that marketing professionals should be aware of as we get into 2023.

Trend 1: There will be major shifts in buying (and selling) behaviour

The heightened economic uncertainty will have a huge impact on buyer behaviour. Marketing teams will likely discover that, next year, reaching new customers through highly personalised, authentic touchpoints won’t be enough. Instead, there will be a massive shift in focus to prioritising existing customer health. We’re already seeing the likes of Forrester predict that three times as many CMOs will make this a top priority in 2023.

In order to be successful, marketers need to have a deep understanding of where their customers are at in their spending journey and what they are willing to spend on, as well as be able to quickly react to changes in that demand to capitalise on cross-sell and upsell opportunities.

Trend 2: Hybrid work will come with growing pains

Over the last two years, many teams have benefited from the shift to hybrid work. So much so, that nearly three quarters of marketers say they’ll never go back to working in an office full-time. This has introduced a new wave of communication and collaboration tools across marketing departments to keep teams better connected.

But while the adoption of new tools was necessary over the course of the pandemic and beyond, it’s created long-term collaboration challenges. As we move into the new year, marketing teams will need to prioritise the use of solutions that offer a single source of truth and enable asynchronous work to gain greater visibility into work happening cross-functionally. For example, collaborative work management platforms ensure that individuals are aware of exactly what they are contributing to a project, meaning fewer mistakes, greater consistency, and a shared knowledge of what others are working on. They help marketing teams keep things on track, leading to a reduction in the Dark Matter of Work — or work that is unaccounted for and costs marketing teams $69M per year — and an overall increase in productivity.

Trend 3: Marketers will take the lead on breaking down business silos

In terms of business strategy, marketing must be thought of as a strategic driver of business, rather than a support arm. Marketers work with every department across the organisation. That means marketers don’t think in silos, they think cross-functionally. To demonstrate true leadership, marketing will need to partner more closely with sales to deliver maximum ROI, as well as with product teams to ensure their 2023 roadmap is built with customer retention and expansion in mind. As one of the biggest champions of collaborative work management within their organisation, marketers hold the power to bring teams together to achieve shared goals.

Trend 4: Operational infrastructure and data management strategies will need adjustment

Thinking more tactically, the end of third-party cookie tracking is near which poses a unique challenge for marketers. Teams will need to prioritise building out operational infrastructure and strengthening their data management strategy to minimise fall out and identify new ways to reach customers.

For example, at Wrike, we will be relying heavily on building profiles for our CDP that can be used for audience matching and look-alikes. As for tracking, we are already having discussions about cleaning up our data and infrastructure so we can better capture the data needed for these profiles. Bottom line: digital teams need to be smarter and more agile with their targeting, to get ahead of this shift and ultimately run more successful, targeted programs next year and beyond.

New year, new opportunities

As we enter a new year, marketers will need to bring their A-game. Accelerating time to market, driving ROI, and executing multi-channel integrated campaigns while optimising resources will be key. In order to deliver impactful work, marketing teams will need to plan effectively, aligning on goals and increasing visibility across all projects. It is only then that they will be ready for whatever awaits them in 2023.

Featured image: Unsplash

Esther Flammer, CMO, Wrike

Esther Flammer is Wrike’s Chief Marketing Officer with 20 years of marketing experience. Esther has led numerous marketing organizations, earning her a spot on the Denver Business Journal’s 2021 Outstanding Women in Business list. She’s driven acquisition at high-growth technology companies like Conga (Apttus), Convercent (OneTrust), and Return Path (Validity).

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