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Code Milk’s B2B marketing predictions for 2023

Code Milk’s B2B marketing predictions for 2023

The job of a marketer is always changing. Markets shift, new trends emerge, and buying habits become unrecognisable if you’re not keeping up. This pace of change is what makes marketing challenging but keeps things interesting.  

The last few years have brought a pandemic, global supply chain issues, growing climate concerns, and now an emerging recession. Technology has advanced and firms have innovated.

As businesses and consumers have responded to these enormous challenges, we’ve seen the acceleration of trend cycles and ever more extreme and abrupt shifts in buyer behaviours.

This means marketers not only have to keep a close eye on changing markets, environments, buyer habits, and pain points, but set their sights on the future.

By projecting your marketing figures, and predicting trends for the year ahead, you can stay quick on your feet and more swiftly align your marketing strategy to this ever-changing environment.

If we peer into our marketing crystal ball, these are the predictions we can make for 2023.

What trends should I look out for?

The growing influence of Gen Z 

People broadly refer to Generation Z as the generation born from the mid to late 1990s to the early 2010s, putting them age-wise in a range from school-age kids to young adults in their early twenties. They are already hugely influential and fast becoming the largest consumer group.

With a huge sway over household purchasing decisions and broader cultural trends, and high expectations for their brands, businesses need to take action to appeal to the Gen Z consumer.

Gen Z have some distinctive consumer habits that distinguish them from older generations. As a group, they are tech-savvy, financially pragmatic, and informed consumers who care about sustainability, value individualised shopping experiences, and have less brand loyalty than previous generations. 

Marketing in 2023 will mean paying close attention to Gen Z habits and behaviours, not least because where Gen Z go, the rest of the marketplace soon follows.  

For more ideas on appealing to Gen Z, see our blog on brand strategies for Gen Z

Social selling

Retailers have long taken advantage of social media marketing, but social selling is now exploding in popularity. 

Consumers often use social media to discover brands, research products and interact with customer support. Now, in a trend partly driven by Gen Z, customers are increasingly opting to buy directly from social media. They see an item advertised and want to be able to buy it instantly in-platform. This approach has begun to spread to older consumer groups and to B2B products and services. 

A major appeal of social selling (or social commerce as it’s often referred to) is that it is frictionless. As people casually browse, whilst scrolling through an app on their smartphone, want to be able to interact with ads to sign up for or purchase something they like without being navigated elsewhere. 

Social selling should be a natural extension of your social media marketing strategy in 2023. Effective social selling and marketing offer the consumer a consistent, branded, seamless, and very carefully strategised experience. 

AI and data-driven marketing

Data transformed the world of marketing. Now, as marketing teams work with squeezed budgets, they will have to rely on data to inform their marketing strategies to improve their ROI.

AI-assisted analytics can supercharge data, providing key insights on customer needs and habits, to forecast their future behaviour. 

These enhanced insights will make for more effective and targeted B2B marketing plans in 2023 that can help market to consumers in the more personalised way that they increasingly expect. 

Increase in privacy regulations

A big challenge for marketers in the coming year will be working out how to give consumers the personalised shopping experience and social commerce they want, as well as the privacy and data security they now expect.  

Though EU’s GDPR and California’s CCPA are now a few years old, the approach from consumer’s regulators and Big Tech towards data privacy is still mid-transformation. 

In 2010, only 10% of the world’s population had modern privacy regulations protecting personal data. By 2023, 65% of the world’s population will have personal data privacy regulations, according to Gartner. This means your marketing strategy for 2023 will need to take privacy regulations carefully into account.

Rise of user-generated content and influencer marketing

While branded content forms the basis of brand and content strategies, today’s B2B customers expect more content variety and user engagement. People want to hear voices other than brands themselves. That’s why leveraging user and influencer content is a powerful weapon in your marketing arsenal. 

User-generated content can range from Q&As and reviews to surveys, social media posts, photos, and videos. There are lots of benefits to user-generated content (UGC for short). UCG is authentic, cost-effective, cultivates brand loyalty, and can even give your web presence a big boost in search engine performance. UGC can build a sense of authenticity and trust, because though curated it’s not designed by a brand itself.  Similarly, influencer marketing operates because it relies on someone your customer base already trusts, boosting credibility and brand awareness. 

93% of marketers agree that content created by consumers performs better than branded content. With it being clear that the UGC trend will continue to infiltrate the B2B market, it would be wise to incorporate user-generated content in your content and social media marketing strategies for 2023.

Key takeaways 

So there you have it—our B2B marketing predictions for 2023. These are the trends that we see growing in the B2B space in the year to come.

  • B2B branding strategies will shift, incorporating new buyer personas and behaviours as the influence of generation Z continues to grow. 
  • B2B social marketing strategies will expand into social commerce. 
  • B2B content marketing strategies will incorporate more user-generated content and influencer marketing.
  • Digital marketing strategies as a whole will be informed and empowered by data and AI-powered data analytics. These insights will help cash-strapped marketing teams get a better ROI. 
  • Data privacy will become a key concern, as online privacy becomes a major talking point in parliaments and in the press. At a time when consumers expect an ever more targeted, personalised experience, they care about data privacy regulations more than ever. Any digital marketer worth their salt will place a premium on privacy when creating their strategies. 

Whether it’s refreshing your branding strategy to incorporate Gen Z consumers, or expanding social media marketing into social sales, if you’re looking to step up your B2B marketing game in 2023, we can help. Get in touch.