If you are here to learn the top ways your business can build a community on Discord in 2023 you are in the wrong place. Here at (un)Common Logic, we do things a little differently, so this will not be your average blog post on digital marketing waves to surf through the new year.

During 2022, the US economy experienced the highest levels of inflation in 40 years. Households felt the pain of higher prices on food, fuel, and everyday household goods and both consumers and businesses are looking for opportunities to reduce spending. A study conducted by Gartner concluded that marketing budgets fell to 6.4% as a percentage of total revenue in 2021. While budgets grew in 2022 to 9.5%, they were still below pre-pandemic levels of 10.9% which means that CMOs have had to learn how to make more out of less just like everyone else.

Performing updated market research, refining target markets and customer profiles, and reevaluating value propositions will provide new opportunities for brands to lean into value-based messaging. Ecommerce companies may want to emphasize sales, coupons, rebates, or bundles to grab the interest of a consumer base looking to minimize their spending while B2B companies may want to underscore ROI and growing market share.

The last couple of years have been challenging in the digital marketing space as well. Navigating through a pandemic, inflation, supply chain shortages, and trends that are rapidly changing among consumers hasn’t made it a smooth road. We’ve got your back with 3 key strategies for 2023 that will guide you in a time of agility and rapid adaptation.

Get Your Digital Marketing Strategy in Order

How do you transform your marketing efforts to make the most out of your marketing budget? First and foremost, it is critical to establish a strong foundation upon which to elevate your digital marketing success. That foundation is a robust marketing strategy.

It’s important to understand the current larger business challenges every marketer needs to consider when putting a strategy together. Some of the challenges that marketers will face in 2023 include:

  • Establishing or growing a presence across multiple channels efficiently
  • Having seamless customer and website experiences
  • Transitioning into a cookieless world

As an online marketing agency that supports clients across a wide range of industries, one of our biggest observations from 2022 was that it was the year of the most site migrations, indicating that many businesses have already begun implementing changes to improve their customers’ online experience. Given the challenges listed above, businesses that take advantage of the opportunities below will stand above the competition:

  • Making compelling content in display, print, and video
  • Gathering first-party data to make more accurate data driven decisions
  • Understanding how to visually target and meet audiences in their purchasing journey
  • Diversifying in multiple channels to increase brand awareness

“2023 will be one of the most rapid years of change, growth, and opportunity in the digital marketing industry. Advertisers can stay ahead by having robust first-party data and audience modeling capabilities, unique and compelling creative and video content, and a diverse media and channel strategy to meet more potential customers on the ever-evolving platforms of their choice.”

–   Donna Lagow, Director of Client Operations

Going into and throughout 2023, we recommend clients diversify more than ever before: plan to invest at least 35% in channels like programmatic and social. Social media is an especially great place to expand because of the walled garden phenomenon.

It’s common to revisit strategy on a quarterly basis. But with the slower economic market, now is the time to fully re-evaluate your efforts with a holistic approach. What does this entail? Consider the following checklist to help build successful digital marketing campaigns in 2023:

  1. Align customer lifecycles and segmentation to business objectives
  2. Establish Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that determine success
  3. Create content grounded in storytelling
  4. Maintain a robust Search Engine Optimization (SEO) program to improve visibility
  5. Carry out pay-per-click advertising (PPC) across the marketing funnel
  6. Continue a strong conversion rate optimization (CRO) program to maximize your online marketing efforts
  7. Refresh your website to be hyper-personalized to your customer journey
  8. Implement cross-channel social media marketing (SMM)
  9. Run email marketing nurture campaigns by segment

Build on a Data-Driven Mindset

A strong marketing strategy is your critical foundation for success. But without accurate data, you cannot measure goal achievement and drive informed decisions to adapt your strategy to market changes and consumer behavior. It’s common to hear digital advertising and social media marketers complain that they can’t accurately report or track conversion actions. 

What are these conversion actions anyway? 

They are whichever actions you’ve chosen to be of value to your business. They could be online purchases or content downloads, lead form fills or incoming calls.

Continuing to build a data driven mindset is a must lean into strategy throughout 2023. Being able to leverage first-party data, maintaining a constantly refreshed customer list, and understanding how customer profiles change will all be necessary in a cookieless environment.

Start by being more accurate and clearer with properly aligned analytics data collection and tracking. If you haven’t already, it’s time to transition to Google Analytics 4, properly setting up tracking tags and conversion events in a way that accurately informs strategic business decisions, to lend insights into how you can better serve and communicate with your target market in today’s personalized world.

What this ultimately does is minimize lost revenue and wasted advertising spend. 

For example, in response to the pandemic, many businesses came up with new products and marketing tactics which led to competing priorities. As a result of this rapid response and lack of historical data, these new offerings were folded into historical marketing and projection models. These misalignments can be costly.

“If you want to have multiple priorities then you absolutely must have different budgets aligned to those priorities and a specific method of measuring each.”

 ~ Annie Duke, Director of Client Operations

So how do you compete in 2023 and ensure you are maximizing strategic insights and ROI?

  1. Perform an analytics audit to ensure you are tracking leads, conversions, and goals accurately in accordance with all marketing objectives and lines of business
  2. Prepare for the next generation of Google Analytics (GA). GA4 will replace Universal Analytics (UA) as the default for measurement as of July 1, 2023. A few notable updates:
    • GA4 will leverage Machine Learning to address data loss concerns related to privacy, cookie, and tracking limitations
    • GA4 will provide more real-time reporting capabilities
    • GA4 will take a more user-centric view of user interactions on both website and app properties
  3. Plan your KPI and reporting requirements to ensure your analytics platform provides relevant and accurate revenue driving insights 

These efforts will set your business up for success in a highly competitive digital world, while also laying the foundation for a critical 2023 effort: building first-party data.

First-party data is brand-owned data, collected with permission from those who visit your site, that allows you to continue to personalize your advertising and marketing efforts. 

Why is this important? Collecting first-party data as much and as soon as possible will prepare you to compete in a cookieless 2023, much like stocking up on hand sanitizer helped us prepare for 2021. 

The Cookieless World

Not that long ago, in a pre-pandemic 2017, Alphabet Inc. Chairman Eric Schmidt focused a Google research team on experimenting with Artificial Intelligence (AI) to design the best possible chocolate chip cookie. Dozens of iterations of feedback allowed them to ‘perfect’ the cookie recipe through AI.

Five+ years later, digital marketers are looking to Machine Learning (a subset of AI) to save them from the death of the cookie. While a cookieless future may be a privacy win for consumers, it is a disruption to digital marketing advertisers who have relied upon third-party data for retargeting and personalization. You may have already experienced an impact as a result of the iOS14 rollout.

“A key focus in any business’ 2023 strategy should be ensuring that you’re being intentional with first-party data collection and preparing for a digital marketing ecosystem with growing measurement gaps as we enter a cookieless world.”

~Richard Clark, Senior Technical Manager

While first-party data gives you exclusive insights into your buyers’ journey, in a cookieless world, it leaves you with a huge gap when it comes to competitor insights, search behaviors, and interest preferences. 

Being ready for GA4 sets you up to access Google’s machine learning expertise and use features like predictive insights to round out critical consumer and competitive analysis.

Not losing a step while entering the new privacy-prioritized digital marketing atmosphere is critical for all businesses going into 2023 and forward. Businesses that understand how to manage and access first-party data accurately will move faster in understanding how to find, target, and meet their target audiences across devices, platforms, and channels. Thus, 2023 presents a great challenge and opportunity to do two very important things:

  1. Have great CRM lists
  2. Understand security and data privacy due to GDPR and other privacy regulations which businesses need to follow

Navigating this new landscape will require that businesses build trust with their audiences and customers through content such as display, print, and video while continuously being creative in collecting insightful first-party data.  Businesses will also have to find ways to store clients’ information safely as Google, Meta, and Apple don’t want to be involved with holding data that is private.

In a cookieless world, filling data gaps by using solutions such as Google’s Enhanced conversions and Facebook conversion API, transitioning from Universal Analytics to GA4, and using other marketing tools will be necessary to accurately measure and predict consumer conversion journeys.

According to Google, “the new Analytics is designed to adapt to a future with or without cookies or identifiers. It uses a flexible approach to measurement, and in the future, will include modeling to fill in the gaps where the data may be incomplete.”

Don’t postpone these efforts! When the masses start to make the strategic moves these changes demand, you’ll already be ahead of the competition.

Contact us to talk about your digital marketing challenges and learn more about the (un)Common Logic approach to digital marketing strategy. 

Want to learn more? Read up on the biggest digital marketing phenomena for 2023.