With the unexpectedly rapid recovery of 2021 and 2022 in the rear-view mirror, and inflation slowing as we entered 2023, we are left with a big question mark on where the economy is headed. Will inflation plus rising interest rates trigger a recession, or will the Federal Reserve’s policies deliver the “soft landing” everyone desires? In either scenario, businesses are likely to spend more conservatively and look for highly measurable marketing tactics that have the largest impact on the bottom line — i.e., exactly what direct marketers aim to do regardless of economic conditions.
Here are some of the top ways we expect businesses to benefit from direct marketing in 2023:
Increased emphasis on B-to-B marketing: According to the White House, over the last two years, Americans have applied to start 10.5 million new businesses, the strongest two years on record. Layer onto that the fact that B-to-B markets have higher-value purchases and it’s easy to understand the rapid growth of the likes of LinkedIn and Amazon Business and the high demand for business credit. Expect to see even more b-to-b direct marketing that mirrors consumer marketing tactics.
Continued boom of influencer marketing: With more social channels than ever and an incredible ROI, the influencer industry grew to $16.4 billion in 2022. According to eCommerce Fastlane, it is responsible for an ROI of $5.20 for every $1 spent on this type of marketing. Given the fact that mega-influencers can charge upwards of $10,000 per Instagram post, micro- (10,000–50,000 followers) and nano-influencers (1,000–10,000 followers) who charge between $10 and $500 per post are creating a new market.
Increasing engagement of DRTV with OTT (aka streaming) advertising: With the expansion of ad-supported tiers of streaming services (Hulu, Peacock, Paramount+, Netflix, etc.), marketers can now target specific audiences with more personalized ads. OTT advertising also reaches beyond the connected TV and onto whatever device the consumer uses for streaming (tablet, phone, laptop, etc.). According to Forbes, OTT represents the fastest growing segment in local media with a predicted increase of 57.4% in 2022.
Increased use of artificial intelligence: AI is working its way into marketing analytics to optimize campaigns and is already widely used by Amazon and others to recommend products based on predictive analysis. We’re also well aware of AI’s ability to generate real-time customer communications via chatbots. In fact, we decided to ask ChatGPT from OpenAI to help us out with our blog topic. Here is the ChatGPT response to “What are some direct marketing trends for 2023?”:
- Increased use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to personalize and optimize direct marketing campaigns.
- Greater emphasis on customer data privacy and security, as well as compliance with regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).
- More companies are expected to use omnichannel marketing strategies, which integrate multiple channels such as email, social media, and text messages to reach customers.
- Companies will use more data-driven approach to make real-time decisions which will be more accurate and relevant to the customer.
- An increase in interactive and immersive experiences, such as augmented reality, virtual reality, and interactive video, to engage customers and boost conversion rates.
- Use of social media influencer marketing will be more prominent as it can be an effective way to reach target audiences and increase brand awareness.
- More companies will turn to chatbot and messaging apps to communicate with customers, as they can offer a more conversational and personal experience.
Impressive! ChatGPT aligned with all our top trends with a peculiar emphasis on AI and chatbots. Apparently, shameless self-promotion is something we can expect from AI. If only it could predict a recession or at least tell us what the Fed will do in each quarter of 2023.