If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. You’ve heard this adage before, and it couldn’t be more true than when it’s applied to marketing planning. Without a thought-out strategy, a pulse on new marketing technology, and revenue-focused approach, you’re at the risk of falling short of your 2023 marketing goals.
We polled leaders in the B2C and marketing/ad tech spaces to get their tips for smart, effective marketing planning, and their answers are just what you need to inform your strategizing.
1. Invest in Content
My advice would be to plan to invest more in content than you think you need. Attracting and retaining customer attention is more important than anything else these days with customers having dozens of options to choose from in any given industry. The best way to stay top of mind is with unique and engaging content.
2. Focus on Brand
Brand and quality are key. As we move into 2023, the macro-economic climate is still unsteady. Brands that focus on brand recognition and quality will be better positioned to win sales from consumers who are balancing cost and need. We’re seeing this brand building come to life through the continued increase of UGC content, social advertising and channel diversification.
3. Explore and Test New Channels
Marketing budgets are getting a face lift in 2023 - while some brands may want to pare down their portfolios to bare bones, highly-efficient channels, testing should not fall to the back burner! It'll be important for brands to continue exploring (and measuring!) emerging channels, carving out spend to achieve incremental reach and down-funnel conversions in new ways. Finding an avenue to unlock video, particularly with TV, OTT, and YouTube, should be a top priority in the diversification and advancement of a brand's media mix.
4. Make Your Dollar Go Further
When deciding where to allocate incremental marketing budget in 2023, consider where your next dollar will go the furthest, not which campaigns have the best ROAS. For example, a small test in a new channel may drive better incremental ROAS than increasing the targets on your search campaigns, even if your search campaigns have very strong overall ROAS.
5. Use AI Intentionally
AI is buzzy right now, but the quality isn't there yet for producing final creative assets. The opportunity in 2023 is in disrupting the creative briefing process. There's a world of difference between providing a vague vision of what you want, and providing an actual prototype generated by AI. When you can provide an image and copy that's nearly there, you don't need to commission rockstar writers and designers to fill in the gaps in an obscure brief, you just need sound editing to make assets production-worthy. This has the potential to bring down costs by an order of magnitude, exponentially increasing the number of creative tests you can run.
6. Optimize for “Second Zero”
We all know that "creative is the biggest lever on paid social platforms". Meta recently announced that the actual "hook" (or amount of time it takes for people to decide if they want to watch your ad) is more like 1.5 seconds. So concentrate your focus on how your ad is formatting on second zero: are you using a split screen? What messaging are you using and with what fonts and color? Can you understand the core of what your ad will be about in under 2 seconds? There's MANY questions to ask, but spending more time on second zero will help drive the performance of your ads.
7. Double Down on Your Most Scalable Channels
Experimentation and testing have their place in every marketing strategy, but prioritizing reliable channels that consistently deliver solid performance is key as well. In 2023, focus on how you can further optimize the most scalable channels, such as non-brand search and shopping/PMAX.
8. Focus on Driving Sustained Growth
Days of growth at any cost are behind us. With rates increasing and markets tightening up, the focus for 2023 (and beyond) for marketers should be on driving sustained profitable growth by looking at LTV metrics vs. relying purely on CAC. Having sophisticated measurement tools will enable marketers to shift in this direction. On the creative front, short-form videos will continue to dominate & investing in micro-influencers and UGC-style creative should be an integral part of marketing plans going into 2023.
9. Keep Digital Fatigue in Mind
Digital fatigue is real. People are inundated every day with hundreds, even thousands, of digital ads and emails. The brands that win in 2023 will be the ones that discover innovative ways to engage consumers even when they're not staring at a screen. Connecting with people in the real world is a powerful way to differentiate your brand while also driving incremental reach and performance.
Don’t Forget to Measure
No matter what channels or tactics your strategy includes, you need a way to measure their effectiveness. Reach out to us today to learn how our diversified approach to measurement helps you track spend and ROI and get a realistic picture of your marketing performance.