Few marketing trends last forever. In reality, they come and go at rapid speed — and marketers must adapt.
Because marketing is always evolving, your marketing playbook should, too. But if your strategy looks the same as years prior, it’s time to do some housekeeping.
Here, we’ll cover five marketing trends that are losing steam and how marketers can respond.
Marketing Trends That Might Not Survive in 2023
Celebrity endorsements on social media.
The heavily filtered Instagram aesthetic.
Audio chat rooms.
Long-form videos for social media.
Marketing in the metaverse.
1. Celebrity endorsements on social media.
Have you ever seen a sponsored post from a celebrity on social media and thought, “Do they really use that?”
For example, Beyond Meat’s collaboration with media personality Kim Kardashian became a viral moment in 2022, but for all the wrong reasons. After releasing a promotional video of Kardashian sampling its vegan products, viewers were quick to accuse Kardashian of “fake chewing,” leading many to question the authenticity of her endorsement.
The problem is not that Kim K is clearly not a fan of Beyond Meat and is only doing it for the check.
While celebrities offer more exposure, consumers need to trust the celebrity and believe the endorsement is authentic. But building that trust is getting harder.
Research shows that trust in celebrity endorsements is decreasing. Only 44% of Gen Z-ers trust endorsements from a celebrity or athlete. This number drops to 38% for Millennials.
Unsurprisingly, the same study found that influencers are more trusted as brand spokespeople. We predict social media influencers – specifically micro-influencers — will start dominating this space.
Micro-influencers have a smaller following than traditional celebrities, but their audience is highly engaged. On top of that, they are seen as “everyday” people, so their audience is more likely to trust their recommendations.
Brands are catching on: more than 56% of marketers who invest in influencer marketing work with micro-influencers.
2. The heavily filtered Instagram aesthetic.
If you’ve scrolled through Instagram recently, you may notice the aesthetic is changing.
Gone are the days of heavily filtered photos and perfect Instagram feeds. Nowadays, influencers, brands, and everyday users are pivoting towards a more unedited look.
What’s the reason for this pivot? Many users feel a sense of fatigue over the highly processed aesthetic that has dominated the platform for years. The Gen Z crowd, in particular, values authenticity over appearing too polished online. It’s no surprise they gravitate to TikTok, where raw and unfiltered content is the norm.
Brands are starting to take notice of this shift. Skincare brand Glossier, for example, plays into the “anti-aesthetic” movement by sharing candid shots, unedited photos, and even cute animal photos.
Although this is just a shift in aesthetics, it points to a bigger trend with young consumers: they crave authenticity from brands. In other words, snapshots of avocado toast and heavily filtered selfies won’t cut it. Instead, brands must explore how to appear more accessible and relatable online.
3. Audio chat rooms.
Audio chat rooms — like Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces — surged in popularity during the start of the pandemic, when many people were seeking opportunities to connect with others.
Fast forward to today, and more than a quarter (29%) of marketers are planning to stop investing in audio chat rooms in 2023.
From a marketing perspective, the biggest problem with audio chat rooms is that users prefer to speak with people — not brands. In fact, only 7% of Gen Z consumers prefer audio chat rooms for discovering new products.
Audio chat rooms are also losing popularity with younger audiences. Only 14% of Gen Z consumers have visited Twitter in the past three months, and a slim 13% have visited Clubhouse. If your audience skews younger, it’s worth exploring other strategies.
4. Long-form videos for social media.
It’s no secret that short-form video has dominated the social media landscape this year, and it will continue to pick up steam in 2023.
Of course, this isn’t to suggest long-form video doesn’t have its place — or that it’s going extinct. Longer videos can offer more information about a topic, product, service, or brand.
However, the challenge is keeping your videos engaging enough to hold the audience’s attention. Shorter videos, on the other hand, work well on social media because they align with the fast-paced attention spans of online audiences.
5. Marketing in the metaverse.
Marketing is all about experimentation, and the metaverse became a new playground for marketers to explore. However, this initial excitement seems to be fizzling out.
29% of marketers plan to stop marketing in the metaverse (e.g. Horizon Worlds and Roblox) in 2023. In addition, more than a quarter (27%) plan to stop leveraging VR and AR.
Although the metaverse is intriguing, it’s proving difficult to execute. The equipment is expensive, the hardware is uncomfortable, and adoption is slow.
That said, the metaverse is still in its infancy. As it continues to evolve, things could turn around.
Back to You
Marketing is always evolving, so your marketing playbook should, too. As we inch closer to 2023, it’s essential to take stock of which trends you want to leverage, and which ones are better left behind.
This afternoon, HubSpot announced it would be making cuts in its workforce during Q1 2023. In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing it put the scale of the cuts at 7%. This would mean losing around 500 employees from its workforce of over 7,000.
The reasons cited were a downward trend in business and a “faster deceleration” than expected following positive growth during the pandemic.
Layoffs follow swift growth. Indeed, the layoffs need to be seen against the background of very rapid growth at the company. The size of the workforce at HubSpot grew over 40% between the end of 2020 and today.
In 2022 it announced a major expansion of its international presence with new operations in Spain and the Netherlands and a plan to expand its Canadian presence in 2023.
Why we care. The current cool down in the martech space, and in tech generally, does need to be seen in the context of startling leaps forward made under pandemic conditions. As the importance of digital marketing and the digital environment in general grew at an unprecedented rate, vendors saw opportunities for growth.
The world is re-adjusting. We may not be seeing a bubble burst, but we are seeing a bubble undergoing some slight but predictable deflation.
Kim Davis is the Editorial Director of MarTech. Born in London, but a New Yorker for over two decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space.
He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020.
Prior to working in tech journalism, Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.
Happy customers love to share their experience, but sometimes they need some encouragement to do so. The cool thing is, once they do, they become even more loyal to your brand.
So, at this stage of the Customer Value Journey, ask people to share their positive experience with your brand by writing a review or sharing a social media post.
Once you get to stage seven, the Customer Value Journey is going to get a whole lot easier for you. This stage is all about learning your customer’s experience, and building up your testimonial database.
The most important part of this step is asking these four questions.
What Was Your Life Like Before Finding Our Solutions? What Challenges Were You Facing That Caused You to Consider Us?
These questions are great not only because it gives you some really good stories, but because it gives you some insight on how you can provide similar prospects with that AHA moment. Understanding the average day of your clients is important in reflecting on your Customer Value Journey, and helps you understand what really set you apart from your competitors.
What Key Features Had the Biggest and/or Fastest Impact?
Not only is this going to get you to really specific stories, you will understand the specific things you provided that gave the biggest impact. The answers to these questions will not only give you great insight and testimonials, it will provide you with ideas for new lead magnets. This part is a new Entry Point Offer goldmine!
What Has Been the Impact or Results in Your Life or Business Since Using Our Product or Service?
This is a fairly broad question, and that’s why we put it after the others. You will have already gotten all of the specifics out of the way with #1 & #2. But when you ask this question, this is where you get the most valuable stories. You can use this part as testimonials, as an order form, as a sales page, this part is testimonial gold.
If You Were Asked to Justify this Purchase to Your Boss or a Friend, What Would You Say?
This is our favorite question by far. If you had to go back in time and justify this purchase, what would you say? I promise you what we’re going to find is a lot of great ideas for the jobs that your product or service has done. You’ll get a lot of great ideas for your core message canvas. This question is about backfilling all of the assets that you may not have. Here you’re going directly to the customer who are already happy, and using their justifications to help you sell to new customers.
Hopefully you now understand just how valuable the Advocate stage could be, as well as the key questions you need to ask to get your customers talking. Here’s how it works for our example companies.
When it comes to fashion we all love to show off our outfits. So a good example for Hazel & Hems would be to have customers write reviews for a discount code or points towards their next purchase.
Better yet, follow up with the customers to ask them to share and tag themselves wearing the items in a social media post and providing them with something valuable as a reward.
For Cyrus & Clark Media, hopping on zoom meetings or a streaming service for live talks about them and their business could generate valuable awareness for them, and a live case study for the agency. They can use the questions Ryan provided during this lesson to conduct the interview.
Through deals and coupons, Instacart has saved consumers more than $700 million in 2022. As we dive into 2023, the leading grocery technology company in North America has big plans to help consumers save even more while also helping CPGs generate sales. Instacart recently announced an advertising solution that helps both sellers and consumers called Instacart Promotions. This exciting feature is designed to help drive conversions, boost sales, and generate overall engagement on the app.
Interested in this feature and how it can help your business on Instacart? Read on as we dive into everything you need to know about this ad solution including benefits, how to get started, and more.
What are Instacart Promotions?
Instacart Promotions is an advertising feature that’s now available to all brand partners, including emerging brands, within their open beta program. Promotions give CPGs the opportunity to offer new deal structures, promotions, and incentives with Instacart Ad campaigns. With this feature in place, consumers will have access to more promotions, coupons, and deals that are tailored to them within the Instacart Marketplace.
“With the launch of our new Instacart Promotions, all of our brand partners now have the ability to set up coupons and promotions that can drive meaningful business results while also passing on more savings opportunities to consumers. We’re proud to continue expanding our portfolio with additional self-service capabilities, ad formats that drive results, and measurement that brands need to understand the true impact of their campaigns on Instacart.”
– Ali Miller, VP of Ads Product at Instacart
How Do Instacart Promotions Work?
Promotions, now available in Ads Manager, gives consumers the ability to discover more promotions and savings opportunities within the Instacart app. These promotions now show up directly on product item cards before checkout for easy accessibility. Promotions allow advertisers to customize their campaigns to sync with their goals and objectives whether that be driving sales, building baskets, or boosting trials.
Athletic Brewing, General Mills, Sola Company, and Wells Enterprises (maker of Halo Top) are strengthening campaign performance by pairing Instacart Promotions with ad formats such as Sponsored Product and Display. Instacart Promotions include two new flexible and customizable structures: Coupons (“buy X units, save $Y”) and Stock Up & Save (“Spend $X, Save $Y”).
According to Instacart, in the coming months, the company “will work to further enhance the new offering with new deal structures such as Free Gifts and Buy One, Get One (“BOGO”). The new deal structures will help brand partners run “Free Sample” programs that can win new customers and serve personalized discounts for different customer segments, such as “new to brand” and “new to category.”
Instacart Promotions Benefits
Deliver Value and Savings to Consumers
With Instacart Promotions, you have the opportunity to deliver value and savings that will have consumers coming back for more. With this savings feature, your brand can stand out among the competition and offer a variety of deals to shoppers ie: “Buy X units, Save $Y”.
Hot tip: Ensure you are selecting products for your promotion that are well-stocked and widely available.
Tailor Your Campaigns to Specific Objectives
With a variety of savings options available, your brand can structure deals to fit specific business goals and objectives.
Hot tip: If you’re looking to drive visibility and awareness, try pairing promotions with Sponsored Product campaigns.
Access Real-Time Performance Insights
The Promotions beta program is live and can be accessed within Instacart Ads Manager. Within Ads Manager, advertisers can access real-time insights to maximize performance and adjust campaigns as needed.
Hot tip: Make sure your budget matches your discount and objectives.
“As an advertiser, Instacart’s unique offering to self-manage promotions is so exciting! Historically, making adjustments to offer values and other promotion parameters was a more manual process, but now we’ll be able to easily make optimizations in real-time based on redemption performance.”
– Emily Choate, Senior Specialist, Marketplace Search at Tinuiti
Interested in Instacart Promotions?
With Instacart Promotions, you have the opportunity to reach new customers, build bigger baskets, and drive sales. Interested in testing out the beta program or looking to get started with advertising on the app? Drop us a line – we’d love to help elevate your CPG brand on Instacart.