February 1, 2023

Marketing and PR trends 2023

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Where should businesses be focusing their marketing and communication efforts in 2023? This is the perfect time to look to the year ahead, and the V Formation marketing and PR experts share their thoughts on some of the trends we’re likely to see in 2023.

Marketing and PR trends 2023There’s no doubting that the current economic outlook is somewhat uncertain, and there can be pressure to review marketing budgets to see where savings can be made. However (as you might expect!) our advice is to think very carefully before making these cuts and instead look at how you could do things differently to make your marketing and PR activities work harder for you – if you want to stay ahead of the competition and firmly on others’ radars, you need to be creative.

Simply walking away from a hard fought-for, hard-won profile, would be bad advice and could be detrimental to your reputation. There is also the opportunity to steal a march on competitors that do scale back their marketing efforts.

A better strategy would be to ensure that you are maximising your return on investment (ROI), not just by making the most of your spend, but also your resources.  You may have to make your budget stretch further, but a well thought through, cohesive and consistent marketing and PR strategy can deliver that for you.

Top marketing trends for 2023

Marketing trends have remained fairly consistent over the last couple of years and we expect this to continue in the main through 2023.

  • Pivoting… selecting the right platforms at the right times to deliver your message.
  • Evolving… using your own data to get to know your audience and what they like.
  • Immersive customer experience… delivering what your competitors can’t or don’t.
  • Data… finding ways of collecting valuable data, interpret and respond/utilise.
  • Tech innovation… using smart technology to deliver your message or service, or work alongside your clients.

Digital marketing continues to grow

It’s accessible to all and, if used intelligently and professionally, can deliver a good return. But you need to think strategically. Use your data and analytics wisely, be proactive and present a professional and polished product.

Platforms such as LinkedIn are slowly generating more tools to allow the user to interact with their audience better.  And whilst the fall-out around Twitter is likely to continue for a little while yet, it is still an excellent communication and engagement platform. Last year also saw a huge rise in the use of short, sharp videos across Tik Tok and Instagram and we expect the use of video to continue on this upward trajectory.

There’s no one size fits all and while there’s no scientific approach to social media marketing, there should be a strategic one!  If you’re wanting to upload content and promote your business or services, think long and hard about your audience – who and where they are and how best to engage them. And if you want to keep them, be consistent in terms of what, when and how you post.

Strategic partnerships

Another trend, and hugely important for a strong digital presence, is the endorsement or alliance with reputable partners or likeminded organisations. For instance, for a start-up organisation, the association and/or website links from the university that you worked alongside/emerged from delivers great support and credibility.

Websites are still the window into any brand or organisation

Making sure your sites are relevant, current and engaging should be a primary objective.  Regularly updating content that delivers your key messages and optimising your website for SEO purposes will help to future-proof your site and ensure your content is findable.  The use of analytics here should play a key part in your marketing strategy to help you measure performance and ensure your efforts are focused in the right areas for maximising ROI.

In person, virtual, or hybrid?

The pandemic changed the landscape for events but we saw in 2022 a steady return to face-to-face events. In-person and networking events will continue to grow in 2023 but with busy diaries, you need to have a compelling reason to get people to attend such as the ERP Today Awards and Fundraising event. More intimate, B2B networking events will be the preferred option for many marketing teams and their guests.

Whilst virtual events may lack the in-person engagement, they do enable businesses to reach a far wider geographic audience and, importantly, they can deliver far better data and insights to marketing teams looking to demonstrate that all important ROI.

Hybrid events are the hardest work as it can feel like you are running two events at the same time. However, get a hybrid event right, and you can create an inclusive and audience-friendly event that really delivers for your business. There are some excellent platforms that have evolved over the past three years to help manage hybrid events.

In PR, the story is similar…

Top PR trends for 2023

2023 is likely to see an increased focus on ROI so creative thinking is essential to maximise use of content, campaigns, collateral, ideas and opinions across all media.  Quality not quantity is not only key in attracting audiences, but in honing your spend and resources.  And, once won, evaluation of the impact of those PR efforts and investment will be essential; analyse feedback and engagement to be able to deliver your strategy.

Media relations

Good relationships with editors, journalists and media contacts are key to ensuring that your features, articles and news pieces see the light of day. It’s no good having the talent or the knowledge to write thought-provoking articles if you can’t then get them seen, or more importantly, read by the right people!

Once published, you want to know its value by knowing where the piece has been featured.  There are software platforms that can provide this information and you will find that professional agencies have these in place. Working with a PR agency may be more cost effective than you think in terms of ROI.

PR also has a huge part to play in the digital revolution.

News consumption will see more online, digital output and so maximising any coverage is extremely important – securing links to online coverage, use of video content and podcasts all support SEO and organic searches. We are also seeing more businesses investing in their own online magazines and customer e-newsletters.  But once introduced, you need to continue to ‘feed the beast’!

The rise in ESG strategies

When it comes to PR content, we’re now looking at the growing importance of business’ ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) strategies as well as sustainability practices, diversity and inclusion and Corporate Social Responsibility.

Knowing what to put out when is key.  For digital PR, we will be encouraged to deliver short, sharp, thought leadership articles/opinion pieces, while for the more mainstream PR platforms, we’re seeing the trend for storytelling – ‘authentic’ customer/client stories bringing the messaging to life.

PR and recruitment

Finally, with one of the biggest negative factors of the pandemic, the talent drain, we’re seeing recruitment and retention as one of the biggest challenges businesses are and will continue to face during 2023.  A positive media profile will have a big part to play in the positioning of your organisation within the market and your ‘employer brand’.

Our message to you

Given our predictions for the marketing and PR trends for 2023, our advice is to NOT cut your marketing spend, but rather consolidate and be creative. Implementing a well thought-out strategic marketing and PR plan and working with the right people who can help you maximise your ROI will ensure you are better placed to weather these difficult economic times.

Don’t assume that working with an agency to deliver your marketing and PR objectives will blow your budget – a specialist agency that understands your organisation’s values, not just its products and services, is likely to help you improve your ROI rather than negatively impact your bottom line.

To find out how you can make the most of your marketing spend and creativity, get in touch with our experts.

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