Happy New Year, everyone! All of us at Communications Strategy Group (CSG®) would like to wish you a bright and busy 2023. The old year comes to a close with multiple industries on uncertain footing due to global disturbances (recessions, technology shifts, military conflicts, Taylor Swift ticket shortages, take your pick), but that won’t stop us from issuing our traditional industry outlook post to guide businesses and marketers in different sectors over the next 12 months and beyond. While no one knows the future in detail, least of all with as many factors up in the air as there are now, we still like to think that expertise can help you sketch the outline of things to come by way of 2023 marketing trends.
So, we’ve consulted the experts of CSG in our different strategy groups for their 2023 marketing strategies, trends and outlook across education, healthcare, financial services and aerospace industries. These strategic insights capture where our teams expect to focus their attention, and what marketing approaches they expect will rise to the top in the days ahead. Here’s to new beginnings!
General Marketing Trends in 2023
Let’s start with some information about the strategies, platforms, priorities and challenges that are likely to affect all of our clients throughout 2023. Attracting and converting leads in any industry in the near future will likely involve several — or all — of these macro-trends, and marketers will, as always, have to adapt their firms to suit the changing landscape that these trends create.
Diversification and Omnichannel Marketing Remain Important
Executing marketing that meets the needs of the modern consumer requires a balance between the plethora of channels, platforms, venues and vendors available for different purposes. Companies that can coordinate their physical and digital assets well and deliver consistent messaging through diverse forms of communication set themselves up for success, by providing a satisfying customer experience and building relationships whether in person or on a mobile device. In 2023, a one-size-fits-all approach cannot compete with a balanced campaign consisting of, for example, mobile alerts, in-store promotions, email newsletters and social media content tailored to different channels for different audience segments.
Search Engine Switch Ups
Google recently implemented a major algorithm update to optimize search results for helpfulness. This has left marketers everywhere even more anxious than they were before to provide content that is not only visible but valuable. “Is this helping you?” we ask, peering over our audiences’ shoulders as they try to read. “Does it have too many keywords? Do you want more emojis? We can do the woozy face one!”
…but seriously, what we have always considered the winning approach to content marketing has not changed with the update: campaigns in 2023, like before, should deliver clear, authoritative content designed with users’ needs in mind, rather than the preferences of search engines. We expect the trend toward helpfulness to persist as algorithms become more and more sophisticated.
Video’s Stock Continues to Rise, Especially Short-Form Video
We are alive to the irony of using a blog post to tell you that text-based marketing is losing ground, but that is the case: a wealth of evidence shows that video is an increasingly important component of modern promotional strategies. Copywriting at the moment plays a large role in marketing campaigns (and probably always will, ironies be damned), but video is likely to take up an ever-bigger share of marketers’ focus in the coming years. More than 80% of all online consumer traffic now flows to video. LinkedIn members watch video ads three times more than static ads. The vast majority of marketers have come to terms with this new world order.
We expect to leverage video assets with greater frequency than ever for our clients this year, so they can deliver easily repurposed content in the way audiences prefer. Instead of choosing video over writing or vice versa, marketers will probably be tasked with finding the optimal balance between mediums across different platforms (see the above point about diversification).
A final nuance: within the category of video marketing, short-form, vertical videos à la TikTok will be an auspicious sub-category. Now that Gen Z’s legendary love of TikTok has inspired imitative formats on other social channels (Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts, etc.), the door is open for companies to reach audiences with bite-sized content across the full breadth of their social campaigns. These kinds of videos are comparatively cheap to make, have a low bounce rate, and can do wonders for consumers’ relationship with brands.
In addition to these general trends, we see a few noteworthy patterns in specific industries. Here are some of the 2023 marketing strategies and trends we will be exploring for our clients across the industries we specialize in:
Aerospace and Aviation
It’s a confusing time for the aviation sector. Amid high fuel, labor, and materials costs, demand for air travel is nearly back to pre-pandemic levels. Companies that can harness the pent-up energy of travelers getting back to what they love after COVID-19 may not just weather this challenging period but come out of it in better shape than they went in. However, doing so will depend in large part on operational efficiency, and marketing is part of that. Campaigns that target audiences precisely and address their most pressing concerns rather than lesser ones will help keep costs for companies from ballooning and straining services offered. Also, effective crisis communications plans will continue to pay for themselves when things don’t go quite as planned (Southwest’s holiday adventure, anyone?).
Meanwhile, in aerospace, we see new opportunities, and new obstacles. From space solar power to earth observation, the growing list of applications for aerospace technologies means more companies fighting to stake their claim on a rapidly growing market. We predict that companies competing for business and capital in this environment will make a bigger effort than ever to polish their communications in a way that helps them stand out to consumers and investors.
With global markets in uneasy condition for a variety of reasons, from rising interest rates to the war in Ukraine, B2B financial services marketing in 2023 will focus on automation to reduce costs while B2C marketing informs consumers about increased convenience, increased protection against digital security threats and the increased personalization possible through companies’ omnichannel initiatives.
Healthcare companies will continue to navigate policy changes, the rise of retail health clinics, emerging remote delivery systems and worker burnout in 2023. All these factors will show up in the marketing within the industry. We expect to see campaigns from these companies emphasizing the convenience and personalization made available to a healthcare consumer through their products and services (including the remote delivery options), and the ways they can promote healthcare workers’ fulfillment and boost retention. Look for AI and automated solutions to get major attention as hospitals search for ways to keep costs down as well.
The online education market is projected to grow rapidly through 2026. Schools will rush to capitalize by diversifying their digital course options, and a flood of campaigns touting the benefits of individual programs is likely to follow. SEO optimization and content marketing will rule the day, with short-form vertical videos (remember?) being used more and more to introduce faculty, host live Q&As, promote curriculums and highlight positive student experiences.
Get in Touch!
The team of industry experts at CSG wants to help you make this year the best one yet! For more information about the industries we handle or the services we provide, reach out to us.