Read Part One here.

As we get further into 2023, predictions for the upcoming year are at fever pitch. Will there be a recession? Will it result in a soft landing, as some economists predict? It’s an uncertain time for many industries but especially for marketers, whose departments usually experience some of the first and deepest cuts. 

But a leaner economic forecast is also an opportunity for marketing departments to reset, reflect, and restructure, looking deeply at both predictions for the industry for the coming year as well as at data and analytics on an organizational level. 

This year may not exactly have a rosy outlook, but I believe 2023 will be a time for excellent marketers to excel — and prepare for future growth. Here are my predictions for the year ahead:

Do more with less is the name of the game 

Marketers are all too familiar with this adage, but as they move through 2023, they’ll continue to feel this pressure. We’ve already seen pullback over the last few months as marketing teams have been asked to reduce their budgets. I predict budgets will shrink while teams are asked to maintain the same level of output, if not higher. 

That means teams will need to deliver more with fewer resources, work with greater efficiency, and be able to demonstrate meaningful ROI. This sounds daunting — and it won’t be an easy year by any means — but this is a time when good marketing can really shine. Before you pull the trigger on any new campaigns, make sure your marketing team is aligned on 2023 goals, and make sure you have the right metrics in place to demonstrate ROI. 

Expect major shifts in buying (and selling) behavior

Heightened economic uncertainty will have a huge impact on buyer behavior. Reaching new customers through highly personalized, authentic touchpoints won’t be enough. We will see a massive shift in focus to prioritizing existing customer health (Forrester predicts three times as many CMOs will make it a top priority in 2023), which will outweigh new customer acquisition priorities. 

Marketers need to have a deep understanding of where their customers are in terms of their spending journey and what they are willing to spend on. They will also need to be able to quickly react to changes in that demand to capitalize on cross-sell and upsell opportunities. 

Marketers will need to shift their operational infrastructure and data management strategies

While delayed, the end of third-party cookie tracking is near and it poses a unique challenge for marketers. Teams will need to prioritize building out operational infrastructure and strengthening their data management strategy to minimize fallout and identify new ways to reach customers. 

At Wrike, we will be relying heavily on building profiles for our customer data platform that can be used for audience matching and lookalikes. As for tracking, we are already having discussions about cleaning up our data and infrastructure so we can better capture the data needed for these profiles. 

Bottom line: digital teams need to be smarter and more agile with their targeting to get ahead of this shift and ultimately run more successful, targeted programs this year and beyond.

Hybrid work will still come with growing pains

Many teams have benefited from the shift to hybrid work and nearly three-quarters of marketers say they’ll never go back to working in an office full-time. This has introduced a new wave of communication and collaboration tools across marketing departments to keep teams better connected. 

But while the adoption of new tools was necessary (86% of business leaders agree), it added to the complexity of understanding individuals’ work. Organizations will need to prioritize the use of solutions that offer a single source of truth and enable asynchronous work to gain greater visibility into projects happening cross-functionally.

Marketing will take the lead in breaking down silos

Marketing is not a support arm. It’s a strategic driver of the business, and it works closely with every department across the organization. That means marketers don’t think in silos, they think about how they can work with other departments to attract and retain business. 

To demonstrate true leadership, marketing departments will need to partner more closely with sales to deliver maximum ROI. They’ll also need to align with product teams to ensure their 2023 roadmap is built with customer retention and expansion in mind. 

And, as one of the biggest champions of work management solutions within their organization, marketing departments hold the power to bring teams together to achieve shared goals. Marketing and IT teams have an opportunity to work side by side in 2023 to demonstrate how efficiency and productivity can be improved by bringing all departments together into one digital workspace. 

Leaning on Wrike for work management excellence in the face of uncertainty

Each and every one of these predictions for marketing in 2023 represents opportunities for marketers to innovate, iterate, and excel. But, no matter how creative or insightful marketers are, they won’t achieve success amidst adversity without support.

Wrike was built with marketers in mind and has the features needed to help departments work cross-functionally, maximize resources, and help inform strategy. These features include templates designed to streamline workflows and Custom Item Types that allow you to work the way that suits your team best. 

With a two-week trial, you can discover how Wrike can enable your marketing department to rise above the rest in 2023. 

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