Marketing leaders enter the new year with an imperative to drive growth in a volatile environment so it's important to stay up-to-date on the latest marketing trends to ensure their strategies are effective and relevant. In this blog post, we have tailored a few key trends to watch out for in 2023.

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With increased pressure to promote efficient growth in turbulent times. In December, Gartner published a comprehensive article outlining the key trends affecting CMOs in 2023. Those trends include:

  1. Shifting customer behaviors increase uncertainty
  2. Heavy collaboration between different departments or functions within an organizations
  3. Disruptive market dynamics corrupt brand value

The current environment demands that CMOs enter 2023 with a relentless focus on customer value, a purposeful evolution of the marketing function, and continuous brand value optimization. CMOs must take decisive action to prioritize their investments and strategy for the upcoming year to fulfil the enterprise mandate of fostering growth in the face of ongoing disruption.

1. Shifting customer behaviors increase uncertainty


This can include changes in purchasing habits, preferences, or the channels through which they engage with a company. When customer behaviors shift, it can create uncertainty for a company, as they may not be able to predict how these changes will impact their business. This uncertainty can make it difficult for a company to make informed decisions and plan for the future. 

Amid inflation and economic uncertainty, customer demand and buying behaviors will fluctuate unpredictably. Inflation is driving cost-cutting behaviors, with 30% of consumers buying more store brands, and almost a fifth reducing in-person shopping visits in favor of digital buying, according to a Gartner survey of more than 1,500 consumers in September 2022. This will challenge established brands to maintain brand preference, premiums and loyalty.

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In addition, the majority of consumers and B2B buyers will increasingly withhold the personal data necessary to effectively track demand or respond with multichannel engagement, exacerbating CMOs’ data challenges. Evolving regulatory and technical safeguards of consumer data privacy, including browser cookie deprecation and new privacy features in iOS and Android, are also making proven digital marketing tactics obsolete.

It is essential for businesses to stay attuned to changes in customer behavior and to be prepared to adapt to these changes in order to maintain a competitive edge. Marketing leaders should create a digital customer value exchange to provide mutual value on digital channels throughout the full cross-channel journey. Enhance the effectiveness of digital marketing by seeking opportunities for personalized engagements that genuinely help customers throughout their end-to-end customer journeys.

2. Heavy collaboration between different departments or functions within an organization

When cross-functional collaboration is difficult, it leads to worse outcomes for the organization as a whole. In other words, if it is difficult for different departments or functions to work together effectively, it can negatively impact the overall performance and success of the organization. This could be due to various factors such as communication breakdowns, conflicting priorities, or a lack of resources. 

Strategic marketing priorities, such as innovation, customer experience (CX), and digital commerce, have transcended functional boundaries and are now enterprise-wide priorities with complex cross-functional execution. Shared priorities may draw funding away from marketing departments that have yet to see their budgets return to pre-pandemic levels and taxes already-strained marketing teams, resulting in lower performance against critical marketing goals.

Gartner did a survey of 405 senior marketing leaders on March 2022 and found that those who describe their approach as “independent” outperform self-described “collaborators” on annual revenue targets by almost a quarter. While marketing leaders believe they should take a collaborative approach in theory, those who do in practice are less likely to exceed their customer acquisition goals.

CMOs must adapt team structures and skills to advance new cross-functional operating models. Streamline operations, establish common key performance indicators (KPIs), and orchestrate messaging throughout the customer experience for greater effectiveness of marketing, sales, and other customer-facing teams. 

3. Disruptive market dynamics corrupt brand value


When forces and factors that shape and influence a market or industry become disruptive or unstable, it can erode or weaken traditional sources of brand value. Disruptive market dynamics can cause these traditional sources of brand value to be less effective or relevant, potentially leading to a decrease in the overall value of a brand. 

Due to new forces like disruptive market entrants, raised audience expectations, and the simplicity of digital learning about unfamiliar brands, traditional sources of brand value like brand reach, positive brand sentiment, or perceived differentiation is under pressure. Every step of the conventionally linear path to brand value is complicated with disruption for audiences:

  • Awareness: Disruptive market entrants require established brands to reposition themselves to remain competitive, challenging all brands to build and maintain awareness through emerging channels and innovative strategies.
  • Consideration: In a survey conducted by Gartner in June and July 2022 of about 2000 employees, consumers, and B2B buyers, more than half of respondents indicated that choosing a well-known brand is now less crucial than it was three years ago.
  • Brand Loyalty:  The same survey revealed 75% of audiences have searched online for information about a previously unfamiliar brand while shopping, and only 15% of audiences report being committed to a given familiar brand, eroding the value of having a strong brand at the point of decision.

It is important for businesses to be aware of and adapt to changes in market dynamics in order to maintain and enhance their brand value. “CMOs must redefine and quickly demonstrate the value of brand investments in a volatile environment,” McIntyre said. “The strongest driver of brand commitment is a single meaningful brand experience, even with unfamiliar brands.”

About iGoMoon for Marketers:

iGoMoon provides the objective, expert advice, and proven tools that CMOs and other marketing leaders need to seize the right opportunities with clarity and confidence, and to stay ahead of the trends that matter. With in-depth research and analysis, iGoMoon helps you focus on the opportunities with the greatest potential to deliver results. More information on services is available here.

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