2023 Marketing Trends

2023 Marketing Trends: The Year of the Rabbit

Kit McKinley

Agency Director

Happy 2023! As the Year of the Tiger draws to an end on January 21st, we look ahead to the Year of the Rabbit, saying goodbye to a roaring tiger and hello to a milder rabbit. In 2022 people may have felt enthusiasm, positivity and productivity, but also restlessness and inflexibility, a year of yang designated by Chinese philosophy. The Year of the Rabbit, however, embodies the yin, which manifests in relaxation, fluidity, quietness and contemplation.

The Year of the Rabbit offers much more than downtime from the fierce, powerful and strong tiger. Let’s remember that the gentle, tame and tender rabbit moves quickly and is quite clever. The crafty rabbit builds three burrows which implies that it not only has many ideas but can adapt to the environment and move very quickly. This allows it to protect itself during times of danger or when the situation is not favorable. The rabbit is an animal that moves steadily toward its goals, regardless of any negativity or problems encountered.

You might be wondering how the Chinese Zodiac relates to marketing. As I look at the 2023 trends, I see so many similarities to last year’s, but yin is receptive, accepting and intuitive. Like a clever rabbit, we learn from experience and build upon it. What does your 2023 marketing strategy look like? Have you continued to grow upon your strategy or started over with a new one? Have you continued with what you have always done or researched alternatives? Is it old or new, trendy or dowdy? There is no need to do a complete overhaul of your strategy, but do reflect on the past year, and if you didn’t see results, consider adding some of the following.

Video Marketing

As stated in last year’s blog about trends, “Video marketing is the future of marketing!” This holds true for 2023. While long-form videos offer in-depth information on brands and their products and services, marketers see short-form videos are more effective. 90% of marketers leveraging short-form videos plan to maintain or increase their investment, and 1 in 5 marketers plan to add short-form videos for the first time this year.

To learn more about incorporating video into your strategy, see The Ultimate Video Marketing Starter Pack.

Influencer Marketing

This is also a carryover from last year. 89% of marketers that currently utilize influencer marketing plan to maintain or increase their spending in 2023, and 17% of marketers plan to invest for the first time in 2023. While collaborating with influencers and industry thought leaders, brands gain awareness and fans from the audience of the influencer. Can’t afford a celebrity influencer? Try micro-influencers, social media promoters that have a smaller following, typically thousands to ten thousand. These smaller audiences are more engaged and tend to lead to more conversions, connecting with audiences and boosting brand awareness.

Learn more with Micro-Influencer Marketing: A Comprehensive Guide.

Programmatic Audio Marketing

74% of people report that they set aside time to listen to audio content on digital radio, audiobooks, and podcasts. Podcasts in particular continue to grow among generations, with 86% of Gen Z reporting listening regularly. Here is an opportunity for marketers to leverage programmatic audio advertising and reach their audience while away from their screens. This isn’t limited to digital audio content but is also used in voice search. Google reports that 27% of the global online population uses voice search, allowing advertisers to serve relevant audio search ads and reach a wider audience.

Learn more about How Programmatic Audio Delivers Transparency And Brand Safety.

Cookieless Future

The cookieless future is coming, and it is now the time to prepare. Google, Firefox, and Apple have all announced that they are terminating third-party data collection. This will leave advertisers to look for other options to obtain the customer data that drives their campaigns. Instead of third-party data, marketers will need to source first, second, or zero-party data. To leverage this data, you will need to understand the differences between them. 

  • First-Party Data is the information on customers and their behavior that a business collects. Examples include demographics, purchase history, customer support, website activity, email engagement, interests, and other behaviors. 
  • Second-Party Data is data collected by a trusted partner. This differs from third-party because you know the source. This ensures accurate data that complies with regulations. A popular second-party data provider is Amazon DSP.
  • Zero-Party Data is informational data that a customer voluntarily shares with businesses. This can include purchase intentions, preferences, personal information, and how the customer wants the brand to engage and recognize the customer. This is very similar to first-party data, but the reference to zero-party data has increased, leading advertisers to know the difference between the two.

Take a look at 5 Third-Party Cookie Alternatives Marketers are Already Using [New Data], and listen to our Trends at Ten podcast episode on the cookieless future.

Contextual Programmatic Advertising

With all of the changes around third-party data, programmatic advertising is drastically growing. New programmatic tools driven by AI and machine learning platforms combine automated contextual advertising with behavioral targeting. By supplying first-party data, advertisers can now train algorithms to deliver more highly personalized ads and improve campaign optimization. As programmatic advertising improves, so do price points and options. 

Learn more about programmatic advertising with 10 Programmatic Advertising Trends for 2023 – What to Expect?

Omnichannel Approach

2023 will see marketers adopting an omnichannel approach to advertising, if they haven’t already. This will be the best way to intercept a customer through the purchasing process at different stages and on different channels, both on and offline. Marketing will have to involve distributing content across various channels and developing ad hoc versions of each piece of content for each medium.

Learn more:  What is Omni-Channel? 20 Top Omni-Channel Experience Examples

Social Responsibility

Another marketing trend you can’t ignore in 2023 is social responsibility and inclusivity. Now more than ever, customers are interested in what a company stands for. 50% of Gen Z-ers and 40% of Millennials want brands they engage with to take a stance on social issues, especially when it comes to racial justice, LGBTQ+ rights, gender equality and climate change. When brands advocate for these issues, it has a strong impact on their purchasing decisions.

Does your website state what your company values and supports? Are there certain social causes it’s obvious your company supports? Displaying these opinions might attract more visitors. Inclusivity: people want to see a brand that accommodates all. With all of this in mind, we see companies’ social media strategies focusing more on inclusive initiatives, promotions and offerings while highlighting causes or missions they support. 

HubSpot reports that 45% of marketers planned on investing in socially responsible content in 2022. This nearly doubled in 2023, with 89% of marketers planning to invest in socially responsible content.

“If there can be a perfect storm of opportunity for strengthening D&I [diversity and inclusion] in organizations, I believe it is happening now,” Hal Gregersen says. “With the pandemic, traditional ways of doing business and of working were upended, and now, barriers to the idea of change are dissolving.” 

Read more on What Is Corporate Social Responsibility?