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What marketers need to know to prepare for 2023

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What marketers need to know to prepare for 2023

Well, friends, it’s that time of year again. If you’re a retailer, I hope you’re hanging in there, all your campaigns are going according to plan, and the screaming-down-the-hall moments are few and far between.

This also is the season when anyone with a blog, a column or a webinar will start predicting what will happen in marketing in 2023. I’m not immune to that, but I’m also honest enough to admit nobody really has a clue right now. 

There’s so much we don’t know about what will happen in the next 12 months. One thing is for sure: We definitely can look forward to many twists and turns in the online space and the real world — again. 

So, instead of predicting, I’m going to look at what marketers should remember as they plan for 2023. I hope my insights will give you some direction, help you set some goals and put you in the right frame of mind in the next five minutes before somebody comes down the hall to request another Black Friday email campaign.

A global recession is coming

No matter what American politicians say, a recession isn’t just a U.S. concern. It’s happening everywhere. It poses another challenge for email. But email can rise to meet it, just as it emerged as a winner in the COVID-19 pandemic. 

I’m a big believer in staying informed whether it means reading marketing, economic and political news or keeping an eye on the five screens in my office, each of which streams different information. So I’ve been on top of news stories reporting that some companies are already pulling back some ad spend. Others are investing in processes now to get ahead should we hit recessionary headwinds. 

Because email proved its value in the pandemic, I don’t expect email budgets will get eviscerated to fund other channels. But we’ll test the concept that email is still recession-proof. 

That doesn’t mean email will emerge unscathed. But we email marketers should get ready for a different kind of challenge. Companies could go back to their pandemic tactics, in which they invested in email to keep customers informed and build authentic relationships. Or they could revert to their business practices in the 2008 recession and just discount everything in a mission to save revenue targets.

We’re dealing with a lot of uncertainty right now. We could be in a recession that in some parts of the world doesn’t even look like a recession because of high job growth, even with a higher-than-normal inflation rate.

So now we have to look at how email can live up to its recession-proof reputation. Our twin challenges will be the evolving state of the global economy and how we can adapt email to survive. 

The email channel itself will survive. What remains to be seen is whether we can retain the primacy email has gained.

Dig deeper: 5 email marketing lessons learned in the pandemic

Segmentation will help increase revenue from inflation-weary customers

Consumers pulled back on spending during the pandemic. Now, inflation is driving similar cutbacks. Reduced consumer spending puts even greater pressure on email marketers to perform.

Retailers are responding to their bargain-hunting customers by launching holiday campaigns even earlier this year. I saw many campaigns in early October that I would normally expect to see closer to November. 

Consumer spending predictions are all over the board this year, too. The most optimistic say holiday spending will rise 4% to 6% over 2021, while others expect consumers will either hold the line or spend less. 

I expect retailers will pull the usual levers to capture more holiday spending — heavier discounting, higher email frequency or some other tactics. But instead of pulling on those levers indiscriminately, marketers should rethink and revise their list segmentation to keep revenue flowing reliably. 

Segmentation represents an untapped market across the board for motivating and incentivizing consumers to spend their money with you instead of your competitors.

Segmentation comes into play with the customer data platforms (CDPs) and advanced analytical tools. Email marketers can use these tools to fight both recession-driven budget cutbacks and reduced consumer spending.

Use what you learn about your customers — what works and what doesn’t — to support requests for resources to support segmentation and win higher priority in the marketing tech stack. 

Although marketers worldwide might encounter a global recession in 2023, lower consumer spending could finally force us to become smarter marketers, not just “more” marketers.


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The pressure will be on CDPs to prove value

Customer data platforms, or CDPs, have been around for a while, but they’re just now moving into the reach of middle-level brands and full implementation at the enterprise level. But we still don’t know whether they’re the savior for data-driving marketing or the latest shiny object.

In 2023, I expect we’ll see the proof point for CDPs and whether we as email marketers can use them to transform our email campaigns into messages that elevate the customer conversation. 

Vendors have sold CDPs as the gateway to customer intent, purchase propensity and data orchestration. Next year, we will see whether CDPs bridge the gaps between data lakes and CRMs, resulting in more intelligent marketing and boosting messaging automation, targeting and personalization.

But this move also could end up shifting priorities away from email. Historically, email has been stuck at the far end of the investment dinner table, waiting to see what’s left on the platter when it finally reaches us. 

We might learn that CDPs do give us easier access to data for segmentation and personalization. Or we could find out that the money companies spend on installing them is wasted without the data, technical structure or know-how to manage them.

Dig deeper: How to manage email addresses in a customer data platform

Martech stacks will get a lot more scrutiny

This year, my agency was insanely busy working with both long-term and new clients on their tech stacks. Not just their email platforms, but all of their adjacent and connected systems.

Many of these clients were unhappy with their technology and asked us to find new vendors or move to new ones. 

We all know how the pandemic accelerated digital transformation. Your tech stack might be a casualty if it hasn’t kept up with the changes. I heard clients say, “We aren’t agile enough.” 

Or, “This platform doesn’t help make us smarter.” 

Even, “This platform isn’t complex enough for all of our needs now.”

Some companies outgrew their systems, too. The pandemic forced them to react faster and communicate better with customers, employees and stakeholders and forced many to push their systems beyond their limits. 

Today, many of our clients want technology that’s better, faster, more complex and more capable to meet their needs because they have evolved and need support that can meet them where they are now.

I expect more companies will examine whether they have the right technology and look to see what else is out here and what they can get to meet their new demands.

As part of this re-examination, we also will see companies using more of the technology they’re already paying for.

Maybe you saw Gartner’s study that found companies use only an average of 42% of their tech stack capabilities, a figure that’s actually down from a slightly less dismal 58% in 2020. 

When I worked at Responsys, we found platform usage was actually closer to 10%. Back then (I’m older — “then” was 2007), marketers didn’t know how to use all the advanced features, many of which are standard equipment today.

If you’re dissatisfied with your tech stack, figure out whether it truly doesn’t meet your needs anymore or you just haven’t used all of its capabilities.

Before you start looking for new tech providers, go to your vendors and ask them to show you their latest demos. They’ll be happy to do it. Challenge your providers to show you what you should be using but aren’t yet. You’ll understand your tech capabilities and limits much better.

Dig deeper: The secret to building a useful martech stack

Looking to the future

As usual, I could be full of crap. Not about asking your vendors to audit your tech use — that’s always good advice — but for everything else, it’s what I’m seeing in my work, in the news and in talking with other marketers. 

Plus, I’ve been through a recession, COVID, the birth and evolution of the internet, the Amazon wave, consolidation in the email space and so much more. That also informs my views about what will happen. 

My focus is always on marketers and what they need to think about when planning for the coming year. 

So let’s get back to it and knock out the rest of our 2022 plans. Don’t forget to celebrate with your team, whether by taking them out for drinks and dinner or supporting your remote staffers. 

Tune in next month for my annual December motivation and year-end reviews!


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.



About The Author

Ryan Phelan

As the co-founder of RPEOrigin.com, Ryan Phelan’s two decades of global marketing leadership has resulted in innovative strategies for high-growth SaaS and Fortune 250 companies. His experience and history in digital marketing have shaped his perspective on creating innovative orchestrations of data, technology and customer activation for Adestra, Acxiom, Responsys, Sears & Kmart, BlueHornet and infoUSA. Working with peers to advance digital marketing and mentoring young marketers and entrepreneurs are two of Ryan’s passions. Ryan is the Chairman Emeritus of the Email Experience Council Advisory Board and a member of numerous business community groups. He is also an in-demand keynote speaker and thought leader on digital marketing.

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Everything You Need to Know About Google Search Essentials (formerly Google Webmaster Guidelines)

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Everything You Need to Know About Google Search Essentials (formerly Google Webmaster Guidelines)

One of the most important parts of having a website is making sure your audience can find your site (and find what they’re looking for).

The good news is that Google Search Essentials, formerly called Google Webmaster Guidelines, simplifies the process of optimizing your site for search performance.

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Salesforce rolls out new edition of Marketing Cloud for small businesses

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Salesforce summer 2023 release: The business executive's guide

Today Salesforce announced Marketing Cloud Growth, an edition of Marketing Cloud designed specifically for small businesses.

With help from AI, this edition makes it easy for marketers to segment audiences, create and execute email campaigns from text to image, optimize campaign performance and create unified customer profiles. It also has a prompt builder that can store and manage known reliable prompts for organizations.

Dig deeper: 70% of SMB marketers willing to pay more for tools with AI or automation

Salesforce developed the new edition by looking at the most common use cases for which small businesses frequenty don’t have the people or resources. This includes things like personalizing campaigns and advanced testing.

The company is also letting small businesses (those with fewer than 200 employees) that have Sales or Service Enterprise Edition “get started with Data Cloud at no cost.” Marketing Cloud Growth will initially be available in the U.S. and Canada and is expected to roll out to Europe, the Middle East and Asia by the end of the year.

Why we care. First of all, small businesses need all the help they can get. This creates an opportunity to start using AI within a centralized marketing workflow rather than importing content from independent generative AI tools. Perhaps it’s also a sign of Salesforce moving to compete with platforms (can we say HubSpot?) that more overtly court SMB clients.

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Elevate Your YouTube Channel: Top 4 Video Editing Tools

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Elevate Your YouTube Channel: Top 4 Video Editing Tools

Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools

Launched in 2005, YouTube now stands as the second largest search engine after Google.

Almost 2.7 billion people use YouTube worldwide every month and 87.7% of those users access it on their mobile phones.

Owing to the large number of video content available on the platform, you want to ensure that yours stands out.

To make it happen, you need to master effective content creation tips, use fantastic lighting, and invest in powerful video editing software.

There are tons of editing tools on the market that promise amazing results. 

To help you cut through the noise, I’ve curated a list of the 4 best YouTube video editing software.

Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, there’s something for you. Keep reading.

1. Movavi Video Editor

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Top on the list is the Movavi Video Editor, one of the best YouTube video editing software for beginners.

It enables you to create compelling videos using advanced tools like audio correction, motion tracking, and chroma key without requiring any technical knowledge.

Additionally, you’ll find several ready-made YouTube intro videos and a large library of background music and audio clips.

Although the user interface is easy to navigate, Movavi still provides video tutorials to make you feel confident while editing.

Movavi runs on Windows (versions 7 to 11) and Mac OS X (10.15 or higher).

Key Features

  • AI background remover: Replaces backgrounds without a green screen
  • AI motion tracker: Sticks effects and images on moving objects
  • Precise frame cuts: Makes cuts with precision and attention-grabbing montages in one click
  • Color correction: Boosts colors so viewers can stay glued to your YouTube channel
  • Overlay effect: Offers 13 blending modes to create professional-looking videos
  • 4k resolution: Saves videos in ultra-high quality form
  • YouTube Integration: Saves you time by sharing videos directly to YouTube

Pricing

Movavi offers a generous free plan and three paid plans with different sets of features. Here are the prices for various plans it offers:

  • Free
  • Video Editor: $49.95/year
  • Video Editor + Effect Packs: $155.95/year
  • Video Suite + Effect Packs: $94.95/year
1708399564 966 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools1708399564 966 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools

Usability

Easy to use

Tool Level

Beginner/Intermediate

2. Adobe Premiere Pro

1708399565 365 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools1708399565 365 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools

If you’re looking for the best YouTube video editing software that can transform a basic clip into a ready-to-upload video, Adobe Premiere Pro is your best bet. 

It integrates with all the apps in Adobe Creative Cloud to help you streamline your workflow.

Adobe Premiere Pro boasts an extensive range of features, from color correction tools and visual effects to collaboration tools for teams. 

Also, you can optimize the export settings to preserve the quality of your YouTube videos when you share them online. 

Although Premiere Pro is popular among professional video editors, follow the video steps for beginners provided on the platform to learn how to use it. All you need is a powerful computer and willingness to study the available tutorials.

The app is compatible with Windows (10 or later) and macOS Monterey (version 12 or later).

Key Features

  • Text-based editing: Removes pauses with ease
  • Project templates: Retains assets, colors, and branding across multiple projects
  • Speech-to-text conversion: Automatically creates captions and transcripts in over 18 languages
  • Auto reframe: Automatically detects and adjusts aspect ratios to easily upload videos to YouTube
  • Adobe stock library: Offers access to stock video footage, photos, and over 75,000 audio tracks and remix the length to fit your video

Pricing

Adobe Premier Pro offers two paid plans. Here are the details:

  • Premiere Pro: $29.99/month
  • Creative Cloud All Apps: $59.99/month
1708399565 222 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools1708399565 222 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools

Usability

Has a steep learning curve

Tool Level

Intermediate/Advanced

3. Shotcut

1708399565 295 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools1708399565 295 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools

Available on Linux, Windows, and macOS, Shotcut is a comprehensive YouTube video editing software solution. 

It supports various video and audio files, including AVI, WAV, and MP4.

The video editing software is great for complex projects as it allows you to combine several audio, image, and video files into one video. 

Also, editing on the platform doesn’t follow a chronological order; you can make changes at any point.

Shotcut may not be the best editing tool for new content creators because of the learning curve. 

However, the platform has a video editing guide, including a community of Shotcut users who are willing to assist you.

Key Features

  • Native timeline editing: Supports all video and audio formats, including 4k and 8k resolutions
  • Cross-platform editing: Gives you the option to start a project on macOS and switch to Windows without hassles
  • Video effects: Offers built-in effects like auto-rotate, white balancing, timeline fader, and 360° video filters, without installing any plugins
  • Display and monitoring: Ability to preview videos in low resolution to improve the speed of real-time effects
  • Keyframing: Option to define the start and finish points of effects along the video timeline such as transition, sound, and brightness or contrast

Pricing

 Shotcut is completely free to use as it’s an open-source software solution

Usability

It has a steep learning curve

Tool Level

Intermediate

4. Lightworks

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If you’re looking to create the best videos in a short time, Lightworks is the way to go. 

It’s the best YouTube video editing software for beginners who are willing to learn video editing as they grow their YouTube channels.

Similar to Shotcut, the platform is loaded with all the tools you need to go from a beginner to a pro.

You can edit, color correct, add titles, and more using the drag-and-drop interface. 

Also, it’s compatible with YouTube video format and resolution for ease of uploading content.

All versions of Lightworks can work on Windows (8 and later), macOS (10.14 and later), and Linux.

Key Features

  • Universal timeline: Accommodates video footage of any quality, size, or frame rate
  • Flawless audio editing: Offers various audio effects and the option to sync with video for an immersive experience
  • Visual effects: Offers a simplified suite of over 700 customizable motion graphics and titles for easy to advanced editing
  • Easy export and share: Allows you to share videos on YouTube directly from the platform

Pricing

Here are the pricing plans offered by Lightworks.

  • Free
  • Create: $9.99/month
  • Pro: $23.99/month
1708399565 484 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools1708399565 484 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools

Usability

Easy to use

Tool Level

Beginners/Intermediate/Advanced

Pro Tip: According to Attrock guide, the best video maker can offer training resources for non-technical users. This is particularly designed for video marketers who have no high skills in video creation and editing.

Choosing the Best YouTube Video Editing Software

Getting the best YouTube video editing software shouldn’t cost a fortune. 

Platforms like Shotcut and Lightworks offer free tools for both beginners and expert editors.

However, if your YouTube channel is already monetized and you’re willing to spend money on a super-advanced tool, Premiere Pro will be ideal.

Lastly, if you’re ready to level up your video editing game, try Movavi today. You’ll save money while accessing advanced editing features.


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