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Six marketing trends that are worth following in 2023 and beyond


  • Deep dive into always-on and emerging trends that continue to shape our marketing worlds
  • Practical advice on what each trend means for marketers
  • A solid Research-Advise-Make-Activate (or similar) framework will always be the trendiest thing to do

We’re going to be completely honest here: not all trends are worth following. Like leg warmers, saggy pants, and visor caps, some can be short-lived, unpredictable, and downright regrettable. However, trends are a useful way to make sense of a world that is constantly changing and evolving (currently at breakneck speed). After all, it’s human nature to classify, categorize and identify patterns within the new and unfamiliar.

The key is to know which ones have real influence and staying power – those that will go beyond trendy to become strategically imperative.

It’s a tricky process, one that is easier said than done. Here are our top six trends that will continue to shape our futures and how marketers can best respond to them.

1. Automation and AI disruption

Arguably the most overwhelming, worrying but also super exciting trend of all is the recent explosion in the fields of automation and AI. From passing law and business exams to designing apps in seconds and learning a user’s writing style, these developments are promising to transform the world as we know it.

We recently explored this topic in detail from an SEO perspective and our advice remains the same: be curious, not afraid. At the moment, great expectations are outstripping real-world applications and we’re lacking actual use-cases to filter through the noise, hype and hypotheticals. For our clients, we’re focusing on helping them to identify those small, individual use cases where we can safely experiment with AI and automation: see where it takes us, where it adds value, what doesn’t work, and what worst-case scenarios could look like. Over time, these learnings will accumulate and eventually give rise to large-scale innovations, changes and transformations.

We already know that AI and automation show immense potential in two areas: analyzing large quantities of data to identify patterns and predict trends, and automating repetitive tasks that free us up to focus our energy on areas that machines cannot replace (like original thoughts or content, creative or people-focused activities, strategy or conceptualization).

Always remember, no trend can ever replace a solid Research-Advise-Make-Activate (or similar) framework and, however you choose to employ AI and automation, it must first and foremost make strategic sense.

What does this mean for marketers?

  • Take it slow: a gradual approach means that you can safely test, experiment, hypothesize and learn.
  • AI does not equal intelligence: instead, it’s a “what next” engine that relies on humans to feed it context and the right framework before it can produce any outcome.
  • Strategy always comes first: no trend is worth pursuing if it is not aligned to your broader objectives or strategic purpose. AI and automation is not for everyone (at least not yet) and, in these cases, the trendiest thing to do is to not be trendy at all.
  • Take the first step: a great place to start is to evaluate your current processes and common tasks to find opportunities where tools like ChatGPT-4 could improve efficiencies and outcomes. By identifying bite-sized tasks that can be enhanced or automated, the eventual sum will deliver a repeatable and more profitable workflow going forward. Incremental improvements can lead to big gains!

2. Be everywhere

Rapidly changing consumer behavior and digital landscapes, together with the constant need to be in different places for different audiences with different tactics and strategies is arguably the modern marketer’s biggest headache. Adding to the challenge is that you need to accurately anticipate what your customers want, have the agility of a superhero when it comes to channel allocation, and achieve all this with the same (or smaller) budget.

Bringing us to our second trend: efficiency in the face of increasing complexity where service consolidation is the name of the game. In other words, we’re seeing an increasing move towards singular, full-service agency partnerships who cohesively support the entire picture - from PR and SEO to content and digital strategies - and pull every string in the same direction. The approach also brings far richer data, insights and critical thinking into the mix that is often difficult in a silo approach where different agencies are focused only on their area of tactical expertise.

What does this mean for marketers?

  • Understand the full customer experience and map out the multiple channels that are now an inevitable part of how consumers engage with our brand, products and services.
  • Customer experience typically involves multiple departments/areas, and it’s not uncommon for each to have different goals and KPIs. Make sure you not only understand this structure, but that everyone involved is aligned and working towards the same outcomes.
  • Identify the different ways in which potential customers want to receive information and ensure your message is consistent across all touch points.
  • Be agile in both your channel allocation, as well as marketing strategy.

3. But be real...

It’s a paradox: be everywhere, but be real. The demand for authenticity, transparency and trust has grown exponentially in recent years and, in response, strategic story-showing is becoming a key trend. A step beyond storytelling, story-showing involves full transparency on how your brand is living its truths: career sections demonstrating how employees are treated, honest reflections on goals or targets that haven’t been met, and explaining not only what is important, but why it is important to your brand or company.

This trend relies heavily on PR, word-of-mouth and social as key channels, causing the pendulum to swing from superficial impressions to influencing conversations, emotions and opinions about your brand. The timing couldn’t be better as Google will soon remove third-party cookies with ad targeting becoming significantly less precise as a result. Shifting to first-person, value-driven marketing now will serve your brand well in 2023 and beyond.

What does this mean for marketers?

  • Your corporate website is one of your most strategic story-showing tools. Evaluate every piece of content, how it is positioned and what it says about your brand.
  • Remember that quality brand storytelling isn’t just a case of producing content. It’s about adding true value and, to do this, every piece of content must be evaluated against three audience-centric criteria before leaving the drawing board: “Why should I care?”, “Why should I share?” and “Why should I link?” If the answer to these three questions is not immediately evident, it is likely a matter of producing content for content’s sake.

4. Digitalization acceleration

Turns out our moms were right. No one is perfect and not even the digital world is exempt from this nugget of truth where no single solution will ever be the best at everything. But, as the use of APIs continue to expand, it is becoming increasingly possible to cherry-pick different features from different technologies, and combine them into our very own, hyper-customized super-solutions.

Known as headless architectures, the trend is not entirely new. It will, however, gain exponential momentum in 2023, and those long lists of monolithic, unintegrated solutions will completely disappear over the next few years. Instead, we’ll see an explosion in one-of-a-kind solutions that integrate best-of-breed features and functionalities from different systems into a single, custom-made platform.

What does this mean for marketers?

  • Have a crystal clear understanding of the services and solutions that are critical to the successful execution of your strategy.
  • Be future focused and include your long-term ambitions and requirements into the thought process.
  • Evaluate your current architecture and understand which features from which services are best-of-breed, must-haves, nice-to-haves, and/or irrelevant.

5. Data, privacy and accessibility

Three words that come up in almost every client meeting or marketing discussion: data, privacy and accessibility. Awareness keeps increasing, requirements keep growing, and goalposts keep moving. It’s a tricky landscape to navigate but one that poses immense potential for our industry to challenge itself, innovate and transform old ways of thinking.

Website accessibility is a great example and we recently explored how these standards are driving fundamental shifts in how we think about inclusive design and inclusivity in general.

For our clients, we’re placing a particular emphasis on perfecting user experiences, understanding the type of data they really (and actually don’t) need, as well as workaround strategies or alternative services like Piwik or Plausible that don’t track individual users. Give our recent blog post on Google Analytics and data privacy a read where we explore these hot topics in more detail.

What does this mean for marketers?

  • Know the laws and regulations and how they apply to your particular industry, business or brand. Remember to also take geography into account as different laws and regulations apply to different markets.
  • Dig deeper. Even if you think you are 100% GDPR compliant, do a thorough check especially when it comes to plugins (e.g. Google Maps, Spotify, etc.) and embedded wireframes that could be sending cookies to third parties.


A continuation of the “be real” trend, stakeholder demand for transparent and quantifiable information about a company’s sustainability work is increasing, as is the level of regulation. Currently trending in the USA especially where ESG reporting (the disclosure of environmental, social, and corporate governance) is a hot topic, we’re seeing a similar trend across the globe, including Europe.

Our sister company, Comprend, conducts an annual Capital Market survey with 2022 results showing a clear need for companies to provide more relevant and detailed information on the topic. The top five types of information stakeholders look for (in order of importance) are your latest sustainability report; environmental data, targets and achievements; detailed information on your sustainability strategy; social data, targets, and achievements; and your Code of Conduct.

What does this mean for marketers?

  • Be transparent about your sustainability efforts.
  • Make sure that the information is easily accessible.
  • Where possible, include data and numbers, making sure to put it in context with your strategy.
  • Remember that showing is far more important than telling. Go beyond only reporting what you have to or what is expected.

For a quick-and-easy recap of the above trends, download our 2023 Trend Report Summary. Have a trendy question or need more information? Get in touch with our team of experts.