Top marketers from United, Disney and Mastercard on the trends that will define 2023
From macroeconomic shifts and in-person experiences to web3 and streaming, these are the trends shaping the direction of the industry in 2023, according to leading marketers.
Marketers are already crossing the dots and dotting the i’s in the fourth quarter and looking to the year ahead. But setting key brand goals when the industry — and the economy as a whole — is undergoing major disruption and facing countless unknowns is no easy task.
The Drum asked top brand marketers at the ANA Masters of Marketing conference in Orlando, Florida this week about where they are investing time and resources in 2023. Here’s what they said .
Raja Rajamannar, Director of Marketing and Communications at Mastercard
The priorities for 2023 are to really be able to navigate headwinds – be it from recession, inflation, supply chain disruptions that are happening or the ongoing war. These are the things… that have a profound impact on people’s lives.
So the main priorities are to make sure that our marketing strategies are in tune with the realities of different countries and continents on the one hand – and also to make sure that whatever we do, we measure returns in an incredible way and connect the dots between the marketing actions we take and the business results that occur. Attribution is very critical, so we can confidently say, “Hey, we’re doing the right thing by putting more money into this, or we’re optimizing in a different way.”
Another priority for me is talent. The reality is that it’s getting harder and harder to attract top talent, especially those like Leonardo da Vinci who understand the art of marketing, the science of marketing, the technology of marketing and the numbers of marketing. It’s a lot to ask of a single individual, but it’s exactly what is needed. And when you can’t find people like that, how do you make sure your own team is equipped, trained, and upgraded? If I put everything in a list, it would be at the top of the list.
Jennifer Donohue, Senior Vice President of Disney Advertising Local
The explosion of streaming has only accelerated the rise of addressable advertising. By nature, local is addressable – advertisers want to connect the right consumer with the right message at the right time by leveraging data insights to create a more accurate view of audiences. These capabilities are only getting stronger as the streaming audience continues to grow.
[Driving] greater engagement with consumers locally… will be particularly important as brands navigate an uncertain economic environment that could impact their businesses regionally. By putting a local perspective on an advertiser campaign, brands can leverage regional nuances that include product availability, weather, and seasonal implications that create greater relevance in messaging.
Soyoung Kang, Marketing Director at Eos
One of the main common threads I see in many conversations I have is the degree of uncertainty marketers have about what 2023 will look like. Although we are an ever-evolving industry and there are there are so many new things coming our way, we all try to temper our enthusiasm for all the innovations in the industry. [because we don’t know] what will happen to the whole economy. But I would also say that now is the best time to test because, frankly, it’s probably going to be more efficient than in a booming economy. If things turn out to be tougher on the macro side than we would like, then the lessons you are learning now in smaller ways can still help fuel your business when things pick up, which will be inevitable. This is the kind of advice I would have for marketers: despite the fact that the climate has been very uncertain, try not to reduce your test and learn program and your learning program, because it It’s actually the best time to learn when things are going badly. relatively quiet.
I am [also] interested… in understanding what is the right way for us to dip a toe into web3 and the metaverse. Literally, every time I say those words, I feel like I’m holding my own gaze — like, oh my god, yet another marketer talking about Web3 and the Metaverse. But the reality is that there are pockets where our consumer…is actively engaging. And we just want to make sure that we’re testing our ability to connect with our audience in those places in a measured way.
On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, third-party retail media is the other massive area that we are looking at very carefully. The landscape changes quite drastically. There’s so much innovation in retail media, and for us to be able to close that loop with how we talk to consumers, how we market to consumers, and follow them through the shopping journey is somehow amazing.
Andrew Springate, Marketing Director at Keurig Dr Pepper
Personalization is at the forefront, whether it’s personalized messages or unique offers. This is only possible when you build capabilities around what is a fact, not a trend, that marketing today and tomorrow requires mastery of data analytics. A great example of this [for us] is Pepper Perks’ digital platform, where we can cultivate meaningful relationships and deepen brand loyalty while engaging and rewarding Dr Pepper fans with exclusive flavors.
[As far as our focus in 2023], it starts with putting the needs of consumers first. Then we challenge ourselves to go even further as a modern marketing team. For us, this means leveraging agile media so we can deliver the right messages, at the right time, through the right channels leveraging the best data analytics. And never forget that content is king – so the bar for engaging and relevant posts is growing every year.
Sharon Otterman, Chief Marketing Officer at Caesars Digital (Caesars Sportsbook)
Many trends that we will see [involve] this continued focus on return on investment. Whether or not you believe there is a recession, many marketers – even though [has to do with] last-click attribution media – looking for their return on investment. With all the new privacy policies and laws, [marketers are focused on] figure out how we get what we want out of these media deals.
Plus, the content and storytelling continue to be hot. More and more, we are all becoming media companies in our own way so we can tell really good stories. And content has never been better than it is today, with more people and more companies [creating content].
The experience continues to matter today – people still want to shake hands and see the brand, experience the brand and taste the brand. Being out there and talking to consumers is a really big thing, and I think that’s going to continue. People are now out after two years and they want to relive things.
This combination of experience, storytelling and the search for a good return on investment are the main themes that will hit home next year.
Maggie Schmerin, Managing Director, Head of Global Advertising and Social Media, United Airlines
[At Cannes Lions this year], the big theme was the attention economy and, ‘How do we capture people’s attention with all this going on?’ Contextualizing our message – which we weren’t doing much before the pandemic – is something that… our teams are really focusing on.
A great example is that we really focus on our sustainability message – and that’s a tough message. It is complicated. It’s not necessarily the most important thing people think about when browsing their news feeds. But it’s important to us as a company; we invest more in sustainable aviation fuel than any other airline in the world. [Our marketing around that] really helps differentiate the story we’re telling.
When you think about where travel brands — hotels, airlines, destinations — have been advertising for a while now, it’s sort of the same traditional mix. So how can we really break away from this? We’re really focusing on even more examples of this popup message. How can we really go beyond our category and be seen as a great brand and a great business leader in America and around the world?
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