December 28, 2022

2023 Trends in Digital Marketing

To say that the last few years have been a challenge is an understatement. No matter what section of the planet you live in, or what type of business you operate in it’s been a wild ride. Digital marketing and eCommerce was not immune to this trend. The NASDAQ is down 30% in 2022 after reaching record highs in 2021. Layoffs in big tech companies that have been fairly immune to any market cycle have started to feel the pain. So what will drive this market into 2023? We think it will be driven by 3 key trends;

  1. Economic Uncertainty
  2. Data and Privacy
  3. Artificial intelligence

Let’s break these down a bit to give some context to how these trends will impact your business.

Economic Uncertainty

There are many facets to this trend, but at its base level heading into 2023, there are critical challenges. 90% of CEOs are predicting a recession in 2023. The Federal Reserve is forecasting additional rate hikes to try to tame inflation. This is causing consumer confidence to decrease, as well as digital media spend forecasts coming down as brands try to brace for what may happen. Certainly, this isn’t guaranteed to happen, but the business world and consumers are preparing as if it is going to happen. This creates a challenging environment to operate a business in both as an employer, employee, and consumer. 



We expect businesses to be cautious about investments. This includes advertising spend, or projects that don’t lead to a direct ROI. However, this will also lead to brands looking to invest in things that will help improve conversion, or retention since the value of a sale or a repeat customer is so high. Looking at Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) projects, rebalancing media spend to increase direct response digital media spend, or projects that enable efficiencies in the business (low-code/no-code).


Data and Privacy

In 2022 Apple’s changes to iOS to reduce the ability for 3rd party tracking caused Facebook to lose $10 Billion in Ad Spend (CNBC). This change along with Google’s deprecation of 3rd party cookies over the next 24 months has accelerated a few key changes that brands need to be preparing their businesses for. 70% of consumers are asking apps to “Not Track” them when prompted via an app. This and other cookie policy changes have reduced the total amount of available data to use for both targeting and measurement. However, this has caused a few new approaches in order to evolve with these changes. Some of the biggest for 2023 are;

  • GA4 replacing Universal Analytics - Google is sunsetting its current version of analytics for GA4. This is something that will provide a lot of enchanted reporting capabilities but will come with a large adjustment for users. This migration is something that should be done sooner than later so brands can collect data and begin to adapt to the new metrics and UI.
  • Conversion APIs or Enhanced Conversions - In an attempt to better track conversions across devices and conversion paths, many of social media and search platforms have launched Conversion APIs. This is a way to use server-side tracking and a consumer profile across devices to better understand a user's behavior on a 1:1 basis. Brands are seeing an improvement in the quality of their data. That improved data quality is also improving the ability to optimize campaigns, therefore improving ROI.
  • 1st Party Ad Platforms - A combination of restrictions on 3rd party data and an economy looking for revenue/profits over growth brands are looking to use their first party as a revenue stream. This has led to the creation of additional ad platforms. Netflix, Kroger, Disney+, Reddit, and others have started to offer ad platforms. This is a way to both capture additional revenue streams and subscribers and for advertisers to leverage their first-party data to buy ads against. This should create some additional buying options for advertisers beyond Facebook and Google, especially if it serves their specific audience (Kroger for CPG or Netflix for new movies). 

We recommend brands begin to move on both of these changes quickly. It’s a change in mindset and business approach, but is consistent with the movement of the industry overall and should happen sooner rather than later.


Artificial intelligence

This is probably one of the most obvious 2023 trends I’ve ever written about, but it simply can’t be ignored. First, it was Dali-2, then Chat CPT-3 that really brought AI and it’s possibilities into the mainstream. However, AI has been embedded into both consumer and business applications for a while (For example - Google photos searching by item or name, or Google Ads enhanced bidding). However, now it is moving into areas where brands have a choice to stay the path or find ways to embed AI into their business processes. AI will be embedded into everything we do. The Marketing AI Institute’s Paul Roetzer called out 3 groups of businesses in this AI world; 1) AI Native 2) AI Emergent 3) Obsolete. This is a pretty eye-opening thought about these groups because certainly no one thinks of their business as obsolete. 

If you were going to start embedding AI into your business here are 3 ways to start in 2023;

  • Content writing - Human’s writing content from scratch in most business settings where you are aggregating existing information just isn’t necessary with AI. A great way to reduce costs and increase speed is through content generation. 
  • CRM - Using AI can help to create smarter and more efficient journey for your customers and business. AI is better at predicting what content to what audiences will resonate and create the desired actions. 
  • Creative - Most brands burn out on creative on Facebook or other areas and lack the resources to keep it fresh. With AI you can create multiple iterations quickly and at scale. You can also know much more quickly which will resonate with your customer base. Production and testing costs will be greatly reduced.

2023 is going to be no different than what we’ve experienced over the last few years, a wild ride of unexpected outcomes. The pendulum is still swinging wildly making the future uncertain. However, what we do know is that digital and commerce will continue to be a large part of the future growth path for both consumers and businesses. Hopefully, these trends validate your plans for 2023 or give you some incentive to revisit and adjust in time to be successful in whatever the economy and world might throw at you. 

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us here!

December 22, 2023
Check out our latest webinar "2024 Trends and Predictions." We cover several topics based on our research, client conversations, and additional insight as we head into the New Year.