Being a marketer keeps you on your toes. No day is the same, and no campaign is the same either. Not to mention, what works today isn’t necessarily going to work tomorrow. And just because one brand’s campaign was a viral sensation doesn’t mean it will work well for your brand. As 2023 draws nearer, now is the time to plan ahead and think about next year’s marketing strategy.
Of course, this is a big ask. With the rise of digital marketing and e-commerce, new platforms and capabilities are appearing every day. No sooner have you gotten a handle on one strategy than you’re being asked to master the next. Alongside this, customers are constantly looking to be engaged in fresh, exciting ways. While there isn’t an end in sight to this cyclical pattern, there are ways to get ahead of it.
The key is to plan as much as possible, laying down the foundation for your marketing strategy. This should include time for testing and implementing. With that in mind, keep reading to learn three marketing practices you should focus on in 2023.
1. Emphasize Customer Experiences
You likely already know the importance of unparalleled customer service. With so many brands competing for the same consumers, standing out is challenging. The better you treat customers from the start, the more likely they will return to you. For 2023, the focus continues to be on excellent customer service but it’s also about creating exceptional customer experiences.
Providing such experiences can seem daunting to marketers. Yet this is an opportunity for you to be creative and play outside of the sandbox, so to speak. You might host informative webinars every month to chat about new products. Or you could partner with an influencer for a special collaboration. Whatever experience you aim to provide, remember to put your customer first.
Tied to customer experiences is retention marketing. Essentially, retention marketing is the tactics you implement to maintain relationships with current customers. Aligning retention marketing with customer experiences is a sure way to keep customers coming back for more. It’s also a way to entice customers to remain loyal to your brand.
2. Activate and Educate Employees
This may seem a bit backward, but focusing on employee activation is actually a solid marketing strategy. Employees who are loyal to their employers are more likely to share about the brand to their network, saying positive things about it. This is essentially word-of-mouth advertising, which is a premier marketing tactic.
Activating employees will look different for every business. However, a good way to start is with training and education. The more your employees know about your brand’s products, the greater chance they have of telling others about them. This can lead to better customer service, better customer onboarding, and a better sense of internal brand advocacy.
Once employees are well-versed in your brand and product lineup, they can lean into other marketing tactics. For example, employees can get involved with writing blog and social media posts. You may even discover an employee who is terrific at creating buzzworthy TikTok videos and can tap them for assistance. Marketing is a team effort, and activating your employees can help propel your business in 2023.
3. Tap Into Conversational Marketing
The days of “Yes, sir” and “No, ma’am,” are largely over. Customers today want to talk to brands like they talk with their friends. A brand representative reciting a formalized script seems out of character and off-putting. Customers want to be treated like actual human beings, and they therefore expect brands to engage with them personally.
This is known as conversational marketing, and it uses dialogue-driven activities to interact with site visitors and current customers. The key here is interaction. Customers want to be heard, and they expect brands to listen to their concerns and feedback. They aren’t looking for a sounding board per se, but rather an open and honest dialogue with brands and brand representatives.
Chatbots are a simple tool you can implement to begin interacting with consumers in real time. These bots offer a way to immediately answer consumer questions about certain products, thereby smoothing the customer journey. Other forms of conversational marketing include Live Messenger, livestreaming video, social activations, and SMS text messages.
Nobody knows what 2023 will bring. However, after the disruption of the last few years and the possibility of an impending recession, brands can expect to face challenges. Going into the new year with a strategic marketing plan can help you prioritize your brand’s initiatives. It will enable you and your team to remain focused on your goals and priorities.
As you think ahead, remember that customer experience should drive your strategy. Without your customers, your business won’t go — or grow — anywhere. Secondly, focus on your employees and determine how they can contribute to the company’s marketing efforts. Lastly, engage your customers in conversation, treating them like real people. Together, these tactics will help you head into the new year feeling prepared.