Happy New Year!
As we begin yet another rotation around the sun, many marketers will be putting their 2023 plans into action. 2023 will be a unique year for many; we’re still living in ‘post-pandemic’ times, but we have added geopolitical tensions and economic uncertainty to consider too.
Six Google leaders have shared their trends and predictions for the digital marketing world in 2023. Are these predictions reflected in your digital marketing plan?
- More inclusive media planning
– Nishma Robb, Senior Director of Marketing, Brand, and Reputation, Google U.K.
It isn’t ground-breaking news that marketers should gear their efforts towards their intended audience, however, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that inclusivity is what consumers want to see. Consumers want to see and hear people like them, that they can relate to, but they also want to experience environments that are familiar to them.
To become more inclusive with your media planning, you need a good understanding of the breadth of your audience and the diversity within it. Check any keyword or topic exclusions and consider whether they contain any potential bias that can easily be removed. Are the different channels that you’re utilising reaching the entirety of your audience?
For 2023, consider what actions you could take as a brand in order to provide support to underrepresented voices and communities.
- Advertise with purpose
– Mailine Swildens, Director of Creative Works in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, Google
Alongside brands being relatable, consumers also have a strong want for them to be making a difference in the wider community. Many brands claim to be making a difference, often through the way they manufacture their products or the ways in which they treat their employees and customers, but in 2023, making a promise or commitment just isn’t enough for consumers: they want to see action.
When advertising in 2023, think about what your brand truly believes in. When brands have a platform that can inspire influence, highlighting an important cause can be a great way to connect with your consumers and bring some humanity to the brand. However, if you’re going to make promises to your consumers, ensure that these promises are authentic and supported by long-term actions.
- Privacy and peace of mind
– Matt Brittin, President of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, Google
As technology continuously progresses, we find more and more of the world online. This has a multitude of benefits for both brands and consumers, but as we find ourselves online more, the priority of online privacy becomes increasingly important.
Google research shows that ads perform better when brands respect consumers’ privacy. Further research found that 43% of consumers would switch to a different brand after a bad privacy experience. It seems that when consumers lack control of their data they can become sceptical of digital marketing, which is obviously bad news for brands.
In 2023, be sure that your brand offers its customers easily accessible and simplistic tools to manage their data and privacy. Your customers are at the heart of your brand, so making sure that they feel secure online should be of utmost priority.
- It’s Gen Z’s world
– Julia Hoffmann, Director of Creative Lab for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, Google
‘Gen Z’ are those born between the years of 1997-2012. The term ‘It’s Gen Z’s world, we’re just living in it’ is thrown around the internet quite commonly. This is due to Gen Z being the first generation to properly grow up with the internet and the other modern technologies that accompany it, compared to Millenials (born between 1981-1996) who were likely introduced to these technologies as they emerged and therefore needed to learn and adjust to the new possibilities presented.
Gen Z utilises technology and the internet in different ways than the generations before them, meaning brands often need to plan their marketing strategy around this if they plan to target Gen Z consumers. With ever-changing needs, the most relevant platforms for Gen Z prove to be those that are versatile, visual and engaging.
In 2023, stop trying to bring Gen Z into your world: if you want to target this generation, you have to meet them in theirs. Similarly to advertising with purpose, maintain authenticity, as this is a characteristic that’s a proven winner with Gen Z. Take time to understand their wants and needs, and embrace the diverse worlds that they inhabit.
- Embrace augmented reality
– Stephanie Horton, Global Marketing Director of Commerce, Google
Immersive experiences are rising in popularity; we’re seeing augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) more and more these days for a variety of applications. Although the technology was aimed towards the gaming community, as we’ve seen with the recent Metaverse developments, there’s space for brands to utilise these technologies too.
As previously stated, many brands are developing new methods in order to attract Gen Z consumers. It’s predicted that by 2025, more than a third of Gen Z will be shopping with AR. That may be two years away, but one of the best ways to succeed with an emerging marketing tactic is to be one of the first brands to do it well.
Start experimenting with immersive experiences in 2023: learn what works for your brand and what doesn’t, to then start refining your efforts and building a strong marketing strategy that will yield good results. If you get ahead of the game now, you’ll be a step ahead once emerging AR technology reaches more widespread adoption.
- Short-form videos
– Dyana Najdi, Managing Director of Video and Display for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, Google
New social media platforms emerge regularly, and although not all of them take off in the way the creators would have hoped, some make a real name for themselves, becoming important contenders for social media marketing. At the moment, it’s the platforms that allow for short-form videos that are finding the most success.
Short-form, ‘snackable’ content is a hit for consumers, but simply producing a short, promotional video and expecting success is not the best method. A cleverly made video can attract attention whilst promoting a message, all in under 60 seconds. Leverage storytelling best practices and experiment with video structure to find what works best for both your brand and your audience.
I hope these predictions have helped you identify some areas to experiment with throughout 2023. Not every suggestion is going to fit with every brand model or target audience, so don’t stress too much about implementing everything in this list. Instead, just be aware of these considerations, and remember to consistently improve both your brand and your marketing efforts in line with what your consumers want and need.