2023 Marketing predictions
As we kick off 2023 and start to turn plans into actions for the year ahead, it’s time to consider what it will have in store for marketers. In this uncertain economic climate, it’s sure to be a year full of challenges and in some cases, teams are likely to be tasked with achieving the same (or more), with less budget, fewer resources, and the right skills to deliver impactful marketing.
With this in mind, what should marketers be prioritising in their plans for 2023?
Focus on your customers
It’s no secret that engaging your customers is key to the continued success and growth of any business. There are numerous studies demonstrating that it costs 5-25 times more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing. Then why is it that businesses so often forget to include customer marketing in their plans?
Management of the customer lifecycle can help your business to maximise the revenue potential of each client. Marketing teams should focus on deploying a communication or contact strategy that focuses on cross/upsell opportunities, retention and renewal. This may include:
- A welcome series
- A loyalty program
- A retention campaign
- A renewal nurture program
- A win back campaign
Maximise and prioritise efficiency
Marketing efficiency isn’t just about how to bring down CPC metrics on your ads, or how to boost your Customer Acquisition Cost, it’s about how to maximise all the resources and skills you have as a business. This is wider than just the marketing function. Collaboration and alignment across all the stakeholders who are part of the revenue generating engine is key.
It’s also important to monitor and track your sales efficiency metrics to be able to implement improvements (win rate, average sales cycle, meeting booked –> meeting attended rate, demo requests –> revenue, etc.).
Protect and invest in your team
With businesses becoming more mindful about the ever-changing economic conditions, it can be difficult to continue to keep employees motivated and invested in your company. With fewer opportunities for travel, promotions and bonuses, companies need to look at new, innovative strategies for attracting, retaining and developing talent.
Remember, it’s not just about salary – the creation and maintenance of a people-focussed healthy work environment is a priority. It only takes one bad work environment for people to understand just how important a healthy environment can be. With many teams facing hiring freezes, budget cuts and an increased pressure to contribute to pipeline, employee welfare becomes of paramount importance. Spotting signs of an unhealthy workplace can be difficult, especially with an increase in remote/hybrid working environments, so clear communication with your team is key.
Branding is also important, not just the products or services that the organisation offers – this should also include employer branding. With the support of online reviews, branded social media and other digital resources, employees, investors, customers, potential new hires should feel proud to be associated with your brand.
Consider new markets
An obvious strategy for increasing revenue stability is to consider whether your offering would be attractive to new markets or verticals. The first step is to understand the market you’re trying to penetrate and its nuances, then identify your personas, gain support of sales colleagues, and start to build out your demand generation engine, adapting messaging and formats as required.
Review customer acquisition costs
Onboarding new customers is both time consuming and expensive; 5-25 times more expensive than retaining an existing customer, according to Forrester research. Keep an eye on this cost, and if it becomes unwieldy consider doubling down on customer retention instead.
Audit your tech stack
Auditing your tech stack does more than just save money on the cost of unused platforms. This process evaluates the overall ROI of the Martech platforms within your organisation. Some areas to consider:
- Is the number of users you are paying for reflective of the number of people actually using the software?
- Are you seeing ROI from the technology? What efficiencies is it creating?
- Are there platforms that offer similar things? Can you eliminate one of them?
- Do the platforms fit in with your long-term goals, or were they purchased as ad-hoc solutions in the moment?
Consider the number of buyers in the sales process
Typically, the number of people involved in the decision-making process of a sale is increasing. This frequently lengthens the time a new prospect spends in pipeline. Marketing can play a key role in moving prospective clients through the pipeline funnel.
It typically takes 8-10 marketing touchpoints to convert a prospective customer to an opportunity. An omni-channel approach provides key stakeholders a personalised experience ensuring your brand is top of mind throughout the sales process.
Remember, marketing’s job doesn’t stop once an SQL is passed to sales; there are many tactics marketers can deploy even after an opportunity is created. Work with your sales team to understand which sales enablement tools will be helpful. Help develop battlecards, demo videos, how to get executive buy-in use cases, etc. Educating and nurturing the relevant stakeholders throughout the whole sales process, providing the right content, at the right time, will help decrease the time to close an opportunity.
During this challenging economic period, the role of the marketing operations team has never been more important. Providing data insights, ROI metrics, Martech tool deployments and campaign execution support are critical to the success of an integrated and aligned sales and marketing team in 2023.
Marketing Operations, it’s your time to shine!