The year 2023 has proven to be full of challenges for marketing professionals. The inflationary crisis, combined with the emergence of generative artificial intelligence and the ever-increasing demand for digitalization, has forced marketers to adapt. To support businesses in this new year, HubSpot has produced a report on the state of marketing which looks at the major developments of recent months, and the emerging trends. To produce its report, HubSpot conducted several surveys, questioning 124 respondents in France and more than 1,200 across the world, both in B2B and B2C. Here are the key data to remember.

How marketing has evolved in 2023

Faced with heavy workload, marketers are banking on AI and automation

The development of artificial intelligence has, without a doubt, represented the major upheaval in the field of marketing in 2023. The emergence of ChatGPT, which appeared at the end of 2022, has revived interest in generative AI technologies. On a daily basis, marketers have taken advantage of these tools to gain efficiency, particularly in a context of a sharp increase in workload. To optimize their time, professionals have also made extensive use of automation tools.

Marketers have never been so busy, which is why it’s important to use automation to save time and energy. Marketers work on average on 5 campaigns at a time, and on a total of 7 campaigns per quarter.

The end of third-party cookies is approaching

Google Chrome should disable third-party cookies during the first quarter of 2024, while continuing to develop its alternative, Privacy Sandbox. For professionals, the year 2023 was therefore an opportunity to prepare for this change, by adapting their data collection strategy. Thus, 83% of marketers say that evolving data confidentiality constraints have impacted their marketing strategy this year, and only 12% confirm that their activity does not depend on third-party cookies.

To rethink their marketing strategy without third-party cookies, professionals are exploring several avenues:

  • Universal identification (envisaged by 61% of respondents),
  • Advertising on social networks (52%),
  • First-party data (45%),
  • The Google Topics API (42%),
  • Contextual advertising (35%).

Marketing: major trends and strategies to adopt

2023 saw the emergence and consolidation of numerous trends in the different fields of marketing application. HubSpot offers an overview of developments in the areas of content marketing, social media and video marketing, and the lessons to be learned for the next financial year.

Content marketing: continue to invest despite rising prices

HubSpot recalls a basic principle of marketing: market share is proportional to exposure. In other words, the more a brand advertises, the higher its market share will be. The report indicates that investment in content marketing has been – and still is – the best way to stand out in the context of the inflationary crisis. Indeed, many market players having chosen to limit their advertising spending, this allowed others, who maintained their investments, to strengthen their position.

During a recession, brands that maintain their budget
promotional achieve a dominant position. For example,
if all companies in your category decline by half
their promotional budget, your own budget, which represented
10% of total exposure now represents 20%.

In terms of advertising content, HubSpot suggests a few ideas:

  • Publish organic content: the public is waiting for useful and relevant content, which will keep your audience engaged.
  • Focus on notoriety: by promoting your referencing and your notoriety, rather than short-term promotional actions, you will place yourself in a favorable position during the recovery.
  • Generate emotions: Content focused on empathy, humor and emotion will have a greater chance of reaching audiences.

Social networks: favor original content

If social networks undeniably remain a channel to exploit for marketers, “their use does not always have a direct impact on sales”, in particular due to a random algorithm, recalls HubSpot. According to the professionals interviewed, the 5 main challenges on social networks are as follows:

  1. Reach their target audience (30% of respondents),
  2. Find ideas for new content (24%),
  3. Create lead-generating content (23%),
  4. Measure the return on investment (22%),
  5. Create engaging content (21%).

Furthermore, TikTok continues to fully establish itself in the practices of professionals. In fact, 72% of marketers believe they have increased their presence on the social network during the year. The standardization of different platforms, also partly due to the explosion of TikTok, has also posed a dilemma for companies: should we recycle content and share it on several platforms? According to HubSpot, this strategy is a losing one, given that “effective marketers are 27% more likely to personalize content for the platform they share it on”.

Video marketing dominated by short content

Video marketing is booming. The report notes that this format is the most popular among marketers surveyed. However, they highlight three main obstacles to creating videos: lack of time (for 39% of respondents), lack of strategy (33%) and lack of budget (31%).

Unsurprisingly, and as the success of TikTok suggests, short videos are preferred, with 83% of specialists surveyed considering that the ideal format for a short video should be less than 60 seconds.

To discover other top marketing trends, you can download the full report. You will also access the experts’ forecasts for the year 2024.

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Source : cstdbill

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