New Year’s resolutions serve as a way to set intentions for the year — while you might not hit that lofty goal you set on Jan. 1, it’s a reminder of what you hoped you’d accomplish for the year. Regardless of its completion date, it’s nice working toward a goal. (And if you’re one of those people who hits their New Year’s resolution by February, well, good for you.)
With the New Year coming up, we wanted to get a sense of New Year’s resolutions marketers may have set for 2023.
Digiday spoke with six marketers — we contacted over 25 but few were available, pushing off the request, citing late Q1 planning with the unpredictability of the economy — to get their goals and what they’ll be focused on next year. Here’s what marketers are hoping to change in 2023:
It should come as no surprise that marketers want better measurement in 2023. Proving out the effectiveness of ad budgets has always been important — and difficult — and it’s only gotten more so following privacy the changes following the iOS 14 update.
“[Measurement is] the crux of all the problems,” said Zola CMO Victoria Vaynberg. “The sheer number of platforms and their shortcomings — it’s increasingly hard to understand the effectiveness of any campaign.”
Vaynberg continued: “That coupled with trying to drive performance metrics and brand growth, all those things come back to measurement. It’s really challenging and it feels like there’s no standard in the industry. That’s the one thing I hope can evolve the most next year.”
The economic uncertainty as well as the ongoing privacy changes and its ripple effects certainly factor into marketers’ top desire to improve measurement in the New Year.
“We’re heading into a year with a lot of uncertainty, and it will be critical for marketers to be able to credibly connect the dots between marketing actions and business outcomes,” said Mastercard CMO Raja Rajamannar. “It will not only help prove ROI to the C-suite, but also prove that turning down marketing investments will adversely impact the business.”
When asked what she hopes will be better in 2023 with measurement NHL CMO Heidi Browning quipped, “Everything” adding that, “this year will be interesting as our industry adapts to the changes in technology and privacy laws. We also need consistent measurement and ROI case studies to validate our investment in the creator economy.”
Metaverse and Web3 ambitions
Improving measurement and justifying ROI also factors into newer investment opportunities like that of Web3 and the metaverse, two topics that marketers expect to continue to be buzzy next year.
“2023 will be an important year for establishing effective measurement of nascent platforms and technologies — like the metaverse,” said Rajamannar. “This is critical for us to understand our impact and to consider future investments as part of a broader marketing mix.”
For now, marketers say they are committed to exploring Web3 and the metaverse — though whether they intend to actually do so remains to be seen. Marketers have long said that there aren’t enough use cases to build a foundation.
“As a marketing industry, we need to continue to explore, experiment and learn what works,” said Rajamannar. “Even though the looming economy can make marketers nervous about investing in newer platforms, my advice is to have a basic understanding of all emerging tech and prioritize a few technologies like AI or Web 3 and monitor the ecosystem to ensure you adjust quickly if and when needed.”
It’s a similar strategy at Roblox, where execs will focus on connecting with Gen Z, said Barbara Messing, chief marketing and employee experience officer at Roblox. “We’ll also continue enabling our developer community to expand their work with brands, share their expertise, and build virtual items and high quality immersive experiences for users to enjoy globally,” she added.
Social search and safeguards
The question of brand safety when it comes to social platforms has re-emerged as a prime concern for marketers in recent months, especially for Twitter following Elon Musk’s takeover of the platform. Marketers said they hope platforms curb misinformation and put safeguards in place.
“Social platforms have been under a lot of scrutiny from advertisers,” said Rajamannar, who later added, “We’ll have to consider carefully how to minimize reputational risk and come together as an industry to put safeguards in place.”
Another place of exploration for CMOs is TikTok and determining how to capitalize on its popular search functionality for users.
“It finally clicked to me how well search works on TikTok and how valuable that is,” said Vaynberg. “That’d be my resolution, how to best understand those two things and be the wedding experts for everyone who is searching for specific wedding content.”
Build on what’s working
Aside from recognizing the possibilities with search on TikTok, marketers are leaning into — and will continue to prioritize next year — content strategies that do well on the platform and with younger generations.
“If you’re trying to reach millennials or Gen Z on social media, a solid video strategy is a non negotiable,” said Lia Habermann, CMO of Fit Body App, adding that making sure the content appears more “raw, relatable” to resonate on platforms is key. “We’ve gone from needing to produce everything in-house to having an array of options, whether it’s reaching out to customers who’ve been posting about us or hiring UGC creators and influencers.”
Some marketers are also looking to take their creative to a new level in the New Year, building on what has been working but finding ways to stand out more.
“My resolution for the business next year is to be a bit more confident,” said Duncan Blair, CMO of direct-to-consumer furniture brand Article. “Over the course of our history, we’ve let our products speak for themselves and been a bit reticent about shouting to the rooftops about how great we are … [we’ve] earned the right to talk more boldly.”
Blair added that using bold creative with more direct messaging may be timely for the brand. “In general, quality furniture has been very expensive,” said Blair. “What’s resonated with people is that we provide great value. Going into 2023, the economic situation looking uncertain, there’s a real opportunity for us to be a bit more bold and confident.”