Cavalcade of 2023 Digital Marketing Predictions

Stu Eddins

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After perusing the web and listening to questions from Stamats clients, we’ve collected this list of marketing digital predictions for 2023. Explore what’s to come, what’s already in the works, and what is yet to be determined in the world of general digital and search engine marketing, analytics, and display advertising.

General Predictions

  • Decentralized social media: The Twitter meltdown has caused many users to try finding a social space that isn’t managed by a corporation (Mastodon for example).
  • Conversion rate optimization (CRO) will shift from an experimental practice to one tied directly to the bottom line. Not “Did we improve the conversion rate?” but “Did we make more money?”
  • Chatbots will be found on more websites as cost of implementation comes down and the need to establish relationships with visitors increases. Chatbots might be able to play a role in the acquisition of first party consent
  • Augmented reality will continue to emerge as an expected part of brand experience.
  • Email will once again become a key outreach platform, though tactics MUST be reimagined. About two-thirds of email opens occur on mobile devices. Make sure your email content works and looks good across devices.
  • Engagement, experience, and content must improve if tracking people through cookies is no longer an option. Some forecast that influencer marketing might also play a greater role.

SEM, Analytics, and Display Ad Predictions

To one degree or another, all see 2023 as a tough—if not significantly bad—economic year. One outcome, CPCs will increase between 15% and 20% in Q1 as the volume of prospects decline but the count of competitors remains steady.

In Google Performance Max News

Expect Google to automate even more with Performance Max (P-Max) campaigns leading the way:

  • P-Max levels the playing field, allowing even small advertisers access across all Google properties. This could result in more competition—from less skilled advertisers who rely on out-of-the-box automation.
  • P-Max shifts the digital marketing paradigm. You are no longer driving the car; instead, you’re telling the driver (Google) where to go.
  • Google will likely add brand controls to P-Max in 2023. Today, to prevent P-Max from cannibalizing branded organic search, you must request brand blocking from your Google rep one P-Max campaign at a time.
  • Keywords aren’t going away but now they are signals in P-Max, not precise targets. Broad match coupled with Audiences, negative keyword lists, and well-defined goal actions already perform better than phrase or exact match keywords in non-P-Max search campaigns.

In Other News

  • ‘New User’ counts will skyrocket, but that’s a false flag since even first party cookies now expire sooner. Focus instead on total users and sessions. When possible, create events that would indicate a New User.
  • Cookie consent: Current best practice is to fire cookie consent agreements no sooner than 5 to 8 seconds after arrival to avoid CLS penalties. A better idea is to wait 30 seconds.
    • Reason 1: It’s less annoying to the visitor.
    • Reason 2: Waiting reduces bounce rate.   
  • In 2023, remember that it’s OK to avoid the bleeding edge:
    • Most tech companies will be spinning out beta tests tying to stabilize performance in what is expected to be a tough economic year.
    • It’s OK not to be first. Apple didn’t create the first, second, or even the third personal computer. Nor the first MP3 player, or the first smart phone.

Watch on Demand: How Will the Death of the Third-Party Cookie Affect Your Digital Marketing?  

A Word About AI

AI will dominate MarTech as governance, attribution, and targeting tools buy into machine learning even more. AI platforms will take their first steps into ad creative, both image-based and text:

  • Search ads that write themselves based on the advertiser’s goals and what the search platform knows about the search user.
  • Image-based ads instantly generated from host site descriptions and the advertiser’s provided messaging.

Everybody now has access to AI (Dall-E, ChatGPT, etc.), so consumers have already been exposed. The year 2023 is when marketers need to embrace AI features and stop trying to work around or against it. Attribution models will become far less accurate and predictable, even with AI incorporated. Soon, you may need to shift toward internally generated data to determine marketing success.

Creative Matters More in 2023 and Beyond

To maintain similar acquisition in 2023 and beyond, marketers will be forced out of the bottom of the funnel upward. Video content, image content, and ad copy matter more now and will continue to increase in importance as ad targeting becomes less specific (demographic, interest, cookie-based) and more contextual.

Video trends:

  • Tik-Tok and YouTube Shorts will be the battle ground platforms
  •  Vertical video format will increase in importance exponentially
  • Shorts has 2B monthly active users, Tik-Tok 1.2B.

YouTube Shorts are not yet setup for ads, but that could be coming soon. Shorts are forecasted to be the “killer app” in 2023. YouTube Analytics is the secret advantage, far better and more actionable data then Tik-Tok’s backend information.

Want to discuss any of these predictions or your own ideas? Email us to schedule a call with me.

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