2022 was certainly a year for the books. Marketers have faced unprecedented challenges following a global pandemic and rapid digitalization, including a switch to hybrid work and transition challenges posed by employee turnover during the Great Resignation. New market trends also necessitated a fundamental shift in the way we work, engage our buyers, and connect with customers. 

Turbulence ahead

2023 is shaping up to be just as challenging, but we see an opportunity for growth if planning is done both thoughtfully and creatively now. 

A recession is on the way, and it’s looking to be an unavoidable one. We’ve seen hints of it on the horizon as well, with the US Labor Bureau reporting a labor productivity decrease by 4.1% in the second quarter of 2022, while hours worked increased by 2.6%. Wrike’s own research also demonstrates how most marketers are still working in silos, which contributes to mounting stresses and burnout while we juggle multiple tasks, systems, and applications. 

As marketers, most of us know what that means — increased internal pressure on ROI and performance, decreased budgets, and changing buyer behavior. However, these incoming challenges are far from insurmountable. Marketers are a resourceful, tenacious kind — and as always, a little planning and foresight can go a long way in meeting new expectations.

Here are the five most critical considerations for any marketing teams looking to tackle a challenging 2023 and establish their department as a primary driver of business in the year to come. 

  1. Accelerate time to market
    Do more with less — sound familiar? It'll be a necessity as teams race to beat the competition in a highly competitive market that's more conscious than ever about their budgets and bottom line. A study from McKinsey & Company discovered that being late to the market by six months can potentially cut earnings by up to 33% when compared to an ideal, earlier launch. Don’t fall behind — plan in advance, and execute on time.
  2. Stay focused on ROI
    It’s not always easy for marketers to demonstrate ROI, but doing so and optimizing it will put you ahead of the curve. With organizations holding teams accountable for every dollar spent, being able to maximize the utility of each cent of spending will not only help your department survive and thrive, but give your campaigns the edge against fierce competition.
  3. Execute omni-channel campaigns
    New challenges and a recession doesn’t mean you should reduce your marketing footprint – consistent messaging across all available channels, specified for each audience, is still necessary. Companies with omnichannel engagement strategies retain an average 89% of customers compared to just 33% for companies without. Omnichannel strategies are also essential to eliminating silos among different marketing functions — keys to driving productivity and efficiency during a time when they're needed most.
  4. Optimize resources 
    Newfound attention on budgets and resources makes optimization key. Time and money management will make or break many marketing departments this year. Three things to focus on to make sure you make it:
           - Accurately measure project resource needs through campaign resource planning
           - Workload optimization based on team availability, capacity, and strengths
           - Clear-cut, no-nonsense budgeting 
  5. Keep employees happy
    Unengaged employees are unproductive employees — this is particularly true for marketers, who happen to be a creative bunch that need the time and space to think big. Employee burnout can contribute to churn and turnover as well, costing companies serious time, resources, and funds needed to replace them and train new employees. 

And a bonus tip — establishing a single source of truth is the answer to ensuring visibility and efficiency across your projects and teams. The good news is that most of us already know this. 86% of business leaders made it a top three priority to create a single source of truth for the information and activities ongoing in their business functions. 

Opportunity to lead

It’s undeniable that 2023 will be a challenging year for many of us, but it's also a huge opportunity for marketing teams to set a precedent and take a more strategic role at the head of the organization. 

What will set us apart is our capability to better understand and speak to our customers, especially during a tricky situation like a recession. By nimbly responding to changes in demand and long-term shifts in consumer values and attitudes, and navigating changes within our own business, marketing teams will have an exceptional opportunity to emerge as a north star for their organizations to look up to. 

In part two of this blog series, I’ll discuss the marketing trends to watch out for this year. Look out for my top tips to factor into your 2023 planning!