As the new year begins in a landscape of increasingly saturated marketplaces, both in-house and agency marketing leaders alike are in agreement: In 2023, brand loyalty and authenticity will be king, according to new research from marketing intermediary The GO! Network.
The firm’s new Pulse Check survey also asserts that as challenges of resource and investment continue to loom over in-house marketers, a focus on ‘slow burn’ tactics might seem out of place.
The following opportunities and challenges were identified for marketing communications in 2023:
Investing in customers
Across both in-house and agency marketing leaders, more than 50 percent of respondents chose ‘customer retention and loyalty’ as holding the most opportunity for marketers in the new year—the most popular response selected across the board.
Alongside ‘customer retention,’ other key opportunities in the most popular responses centered on organic growth, with ‘brand-audience engagement,’ ‘community building,’ ‘reputation,’ and ‘organic channels’ all landing in the top 5 results.
A tech disconnect
One point of difference between agency marketing leaders and in-house teams stood out in the prioritizing of tech-led solutions and software in the new year, with 32 percent of agency-side respondents selecting it against just 14 percent of in-house marketers.
As 70 percent of in-house respondents predict no significant change to their budget in the new year, more than 60 percent also believe there will be no significant change to the scope or length of relationships with external resources and marketing agencies.
In-house vs. agency marketing perspectives
Where in-house and external marketers broadly agree on key trends for 2023, disconnects can still be seen. While 40 percent of agency leaders significantly favored the potential for client projects to increase in scope, just 16 percent of in-house marketers predicted the same.
Similarly, when covering the key challenges for the year ahead, agency leaders almost entirely discounted the role of brand-audience awareness (selected as a key challenge by less than 16 percent of respondents), in contrast to 38 percent of in-house marketers citing it as a significant challenge area.
As a blend of anonymous and public contributions, over 150 businesses have contributed to the findings within the report. The full report will be shared in early 2023.