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The Marketing and Innovation Trends to Watch and Ride for 2023

By Gavin Heaton

With massive growth in digital enablement, transformation, marketing technology, automation and big data, it’s easy to see why marketing and innovation have been joined at the hip. And while we have a clear sense of the power of data driven marketing, the data and results are simply an accounting for the behaviours of our consuming audiences – the business to consumer and business to business buyers that keep us all in work.

So how do we look beyond the blur of eye wateringly large numbers to understand the trends, impacts and insights that could inform our future strategies and business models?

Datareportal’s Global State of Digital Report

Each year, Datareportal in partnership with Meltwater and We Are Social, produce a comprehensive analysis of the global state of “digital”. This report aggregates the changes in users and user behaviour around the world, looks at the social media platforms and performers and explores the trends to be found in the massive pool of data washing around the planet’s ether.

The 2023 report is the largest ever compiled – and you are welcome to read the extensive report here. But the Datareportal team have very conveniently distilled this information, identifying 10 top takeaways.

At Disruptors Co, we work with clients who sit at the intersection of innovation and marketing – where new products and new business models are not only ideated and explored, they are actively taken to market. This means that we look not only for the trends, but the meta trends – the behaviours driving the trends, the data and science that informs the analysis, and the creative communications and collisions that create market impact.

Behaviours to watch out for

As we look towards the year ahead, building on the Datareportal report, we expect to see movement around the following behaviours:

  • AI creates new marketing jobs – artificial intelligence is gaining momentum with a once sceptical business and marketing community. And while AI can be easily adapted towards repetitive marketing tasks, we expect to see a raft of newer, higher order roles appearing. After all, we’ll need the early adopters to quickly transform their knowledge into practices and insights.
  • Climate innovation creates new categories for investment and growth – while governments and policy makers appear to be dragging their heels towards Net Zero targets, the business community (and the insurance industry) are already baking in new models to their financial and investment planning. Expect to see a doubling down of new climate-focused innovation, startups scrambling to deliver infrastructure options and consumers building confidence in their climate choices.
  • Online activities decline as live events gain momentum – as Datareportal indicate, there’s been an unexpected fall in patterns of online engagement. We expect this to continue, with a corresponding uptick in live events and attendance. After all, we’re emerging out of years of confinement and pandemic caution – and we’re now realising that the “social” in “social media” isn’t as much fun when it’s 100% online.
  • Social media continues to grow – surprising many who were expecting a plateau. Understanding the driving need to connect with others, build trust in networks and make decentralised decisions will put both marketers and entrepreneurs in a better market position. Double down on insights and strategy.
  • Truth in content – with mountains of misinformation rapidly circulating, brands and innovators will also need to carefully review and assess the data and sources they rely upon. Add to this the propensity of AI to rapidly produce content that stretches the truth, we expect it to be an interesting year in content marketing.
  • Growth ambition stalls then returns – as business shudders out of years of pandemic isolation, we need to re-remember what it takes to grow and thrive individually, professionally and collectively. Expect to see some false starts before clicking into gear.

There’s bound to be other behaviours and activities we have missed. What have you seen? What do you expect?

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