Updated: Jul 27
As marketers, what are the trends we'll be working with this year?
Top industry professionals have started offering useful insights and predictions ahead of the game, with customer experience, employee engagement and enhanced content looking to dominate marketing plans. We've been researching what's hot for next year, and here are our top four trends.
Meet Them in the Metaverse
Marketing 101: “Meet your audience where they are, not where you are.” - and if you're trying to appeal to the younger generations, the metaverse is where you'll find them.
It’s fair to say that most marketers haven’t quite made up their minds about how to tackle the metaverse. The ability for full human immersion in a digital world might seem like it's a way off, but it's closer than you'd think - and it has the potential to be a powerful marketing tool.
In the metaverse, users can navigate a world where connected, virtual experiences either simulate the real world or imagine worlds beyond it. Using technologies such as virtual reality, the metaverse offers a new flavour of human interaction for families, communities and businesses. The most well-known metaverses currently reside in the gaming industry and are solid examples of the art of the possible - Roblox and Minecraft, anyone?
But the metaverse isn't just a world to play games in. Using metaverse-driven experiences, businesses can extend their presence and products, while also maximising opportunities to engage with consumers. The metaverse makes virtual product showrooms, and even full virtual shopping centres, a possibility for brands looking to demonstrate their products in more immersive and innovative ways. For example, in property marketing, the metaverse can be used to let potential buyers tour and view properties they're interested in from the comfort of their own homes.
Simply put, the metaverse offers consumers the chance to get “hands-on” with products in ways that weren't previously possible and no marketer should be left behind.
Story-Driven Content Visualisation
Visual storytelling is here to stay. Why? Research shows that people prefer visual content to plain text.
According to Vengagge:
65% of us are visual learners.
Coloured visuals increase people's desire to read content by 80%.
93% of all communication is visual. This is why visuals attract our attention and affect our attitude.
Our brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text.
Science helps explain why: the human brain not only processes visuals faster, but most people retain and recall pictures more effectively. This phenomenon is known as the picture superiority effect and it explains why 62% of millennials say they're more interested in visual search than any other new technology. The growth of image-focused social media platforms in recent years is more than a coincidence.
Sticking to the theme of this being an Interactive Insights article, interactive technology is a hugely effective at telling stories visually, and here's a taster:
The phrase ‘people buy from people’ has been around for decades, probably because it's true! We all know how important communication is, and conversational marketing is predicted to remain important for marketing strategies in 2023.
HubSpot Co-Founder Dharmesh Shah says,
"Conversation marketing is not new. Not only have we long been having conversations with customers - even the term itself has been around for at least a decade. The reason for the renewed interest in conversational marketing is that because of advances in technology and shifts in consumer behaviour, conversational marketing can now happen at scale. We can have direct, one-to-one conversations with individual customers on their timeline - not ours."
So, it's all in the tech. Sales and customer service teams are chatting with customers through instant message on a plethora of platforms now, but they don't want to talk to someone following a script. They want communication that's specific to their needs and situation and that resembles the same type of interactions they have with friends and family. This all centres around other trends too, like the need for personalisation and more human-centred interactions.
The Social Responsibility Priority
According to Hubspot, 45% of marketers planned to invest in social responsibility content in 2022. This is increasing to a massive 89% in 2023, which is almost double the year before.
This uplift in priority is easy to explain too - social responsibility, transparency and ethics matter to the modern consumer. In fact, 1 in 2 Gen Zer's want companies to take a stance on social issues, including racial justice and LGBTQ+ rights. Millennials are on board too, 41% want companies to advocate on issues such as income inequality and climate change.
When companies showcase how they're trying to make a positive impact on the world, it has a strong influence on consumers purchasing decisions. Plus, their efforts can actually make a difference to people and the planet, so let's call that a win for 2023 - and beyond.