Each year, it seems there’s one topic that dominates marketing conversation, and 2023 is no exception. In recent weeks, AI technology, and in particular tools like ChatGPT and Midjourney, have forward-thinking marketers devising entirely new approaches to their role, and others wondering if their job is about to be replaced by a machine.
When I asked my agency colleagues for their B2B predictions for 2023, no prizes for guessing which topic cropped up most often. Whether your role is content, design, media, MOPs, or marketing strategy, most in our organization think AI is about to change the way you work.
Here’s what we’re expecting in the new year:
“In the next 12 months, AI is going to fundamentally change B2B marketing. With its ability to automate tasks, personalize content, and deliver rapid insights through predictive analytics, AI will revolutionize the way we marketers do our jobs. AI is already making content creation much faster, making it easier to produce content that is personalized and targeted to a specific profile. In general, AI will make marketing more efficient and effective, and companies who leverage it fully will realize a competitive advantage.”
— Koka Sexton, Vice President, Client Services
“2023 will be all about brand building. Customers and prospects might have a basic concept of what a business does, but rarely is there a clear understanding of why they should work with that business specifically. What does the company stand for? Why do they do what they do? Who are the people behind the business?
Solution- and product-focused messaging has its place, particularly at the tail end of the sales cycle, but initial engagement will be built on companies connecting with audiences at a human, emotional level.”
— Lynn Dodds, Vice President Creative Services
“Marketers will be rushing to figure out Google Analytics 4 (GA4), how it’s different, and what’s important. The current fixation on bounce rate and time on page will be replaced with a focus on events, to better show true engagement and performance. This new approach will influence how landing pages are built and optimized as marketers leverage more and different data.”
— Alan Brocious, Director of Paid Media
“In a tough economy, marketing dollars are being closely scrutinized, and marketing teams will be under increased pressure to operate efficiently. In 2023, companies will hit pause on “wide net” marketing programs and gravitate toward ABM (Account-Based Marketing) and other highly-targeted tactics that are more focused on high-value, high-propensity accounts.”
– Jon Emminizer, Vice President, Business Development
“The AI-generated design revolution is in full bloom. In 2023, I expect the hype cycle to give way to a maturing of experience. AI will have a dramatic effect on stock images, as marketers are suddenly able to create scenes with specific people doing very specific things at a specific camera angle, and so on.
As with early desktop publishing, design quality may suffer initially, but we’ll also likely see more art and images that look “organic” — even if created by AI. In the coming months, expect to see an improvement in composition as the technology matures and design professionals warm to a new way of working.”
— Court Patton, Creative Director
“In 2023, we’ll see a continued optimization and streamlining of the martech stack. Particularly in the current economic climate, companies will look to remove underperforming technologies, and swap out others to improve overall marketing performance. AI and machine learning tools will enter the fray to increase effectiveness and boost efficiency. Companies will opt for a more integrated approach to tech investments that helps ensure marketing and sales are working towards the same goals and driving better business outcomes.”
— Michelle May, Director, Marketing Operations
“In writing circles, ChatGPT is the talk of the town. I know a lot of creatives are afraid AI tools will take their jobs, but it’s not going to happen. Brands need to have unique voices to stand out in a crowded marketplace and the human element will be essential. In 2023, writers and artists will find ways to leverage AI to help with the “drudge work”: iterative headlines, testing variants, outlines. Using AI tools as a springboard will give us more time to do — and improve on — the things we truly love!”
— Annette Gallagher, Associate Creative Director
“Live events will rise significantly in 2023. People are tired of being inside and are ready to travel and network with colleagues again. Industry conferences were hit hard from 2020-2022, but we’re already seeing a renewed interest amongst our clients in on-site and hybrid (on-site + virtual) events.
Companies will also be producing smaller, but more elaborate and sophisticated in-person events that include wellness zones, customized journeys, and digital/interactive components. Event marketers will invest more in on-site technology (video recording, streaming/hosting, interactive displays, social interaction, live polling) to increase interaction and ensure that show content has a longer shelf life.”
— Sandi Settle, Group Account Director
“Demand generation has become increasingly sophisticated and yet there’s a tendency to deploy many programs in tactical or siloed fashion. In a tough economy, companies will realize greater impact by creating integrated campaigns that are unified by a single, powerful idea and then activated through an aligned, orchestrated series of programs, content, and plays. This omni-channel approach will allow companies to amplify and reinforce key messages, more deeply engage audiences, and generate greater business outcomes.”
— Garrett Lawrence, Chief Marketing Officer