Same-Same but Different: Advertising Trends That Will Have Real Impact in 2023

Fortune telling 2023 with a crystal ball in a hand, festive atmosphere for happy new year party or award ceremony or other celebrations, 3d illustration stock photo

By Aaron Goldman, CMO, Mediaocean

Since the early days of the pandemic, marketers have been forced to become increasingly agile with their strategies. Amid ongoing and increasing inflation, as well as the worsening cost-of-living crisis, consumer confidence is taking a serious hit. The looming threat of a recession on the horizon is leading to many businesses taking precautionary measures to conserve resources.

As we’ve seen time and time again, marketing budgets are typically one of the first to be slashed in challenging times. As we head into 2023, there are three developing trends that brands can incorporate into their strategies to make a positive impact.

Amazon Prime and recline

We’ve seen streaming services explode onto our screens in the last decade. Netflix began offering subscribers the option to stream a selection of its movies and television shows in 2007, however, the major turning point came in 2013, when it debuted its first original series: House of Cards. The popularity and growth of streaming services in general has snowballed ever since. In particular, the forced confinement experienced during the pandemic created a perfect environment to accelerate this demand.

Despite previously dominating the market, Netflix has seen fierce competition, of-late, from the likes of Amazon Prime, Disney+ and whole host of streaming players as well as traditional broadcasters. In addition to growing competition, the cost-of-living crisis is fuelling consumer churn. Netflix and Amazon Prime alone lost almost 800,000 UK subscribers between April – June this year, with many cutting back on subscriptions to reduce spending.

In an effort to counter this trend we’ve seen Netflix and Disney+ launch ad-supported tiers and all eyes are on Amazon to make the next move. Moving into 2023, we’ll see brands adopt third-party ad serving and dynamic creative optimisation across a converged TV and video landscape. This will provide greater control over ad placement and creative sequencing as well as additional data for targeting and measurement.

Being social, the BeReal way

Despite changing formats, or perhaps because of them, the influence of social media continues to grow. As such, social advertising will play an increasingly important role in brand marketing strategy. In recent research we conducted through TechValidate, we saw that paid social will see the most growth of any advertising channel in 2023.

What remains to be seen is how that spend will be allocated among social platforms and, once again, agility is the key to success for marketers. Over time, change has been the only constant in social media. While platforms from the early noughties such as Friendster and Bebo (which attracted millions of users at the time) now cease to exist, the rise of newer platforms such as BeReal and TikTok have upended the status quo. BeReal has now grown its user base from 10,000 to over 15 million in the last year alone and TikTok is closing in on 2 billion. As a marketer, being aware of what’s going on across the most popular platforms, even if you’re not utilising all of them, is essential.

It is these newer platforms which represent a new generation and their expectations of the brands they engage with. BeReal in particular is indicative of the demand for authenticity that we’re seeing across younger demographics. Moving into 2023, we can expect to see brands exploring new platforms, but it’s important to remember that not every brand needs to be present on every platform, especially if target audiences are elsewhere. Marketers should pick channels based on where key audiences spend time and select content accordingly. Publishing unrelatable content on an irrelevant channel is likely to do more harm than good. And not all the platforms have the same advertising opportunities. In the case of BeReal there are none today, but expect that to change.

Cookie cutting breaks the mould

Third-party cookies have been slowly declining in use for several years, and this will undoubtedly continue into 2023. But marketers have yet to fully embrace cookieless strategies writ large due to ongoing delays in Google Chrome deprecation. Even though the current timeline for Google is 2024, the time is now for marketers to get ahead and adopt the right tools for an alternative approach.

Moving into next year, we’ll see the introduction of more advanced solutions for cookieless retargeting, personalisation, and measurement. As ever, an omnichannel approach will be the key to success for omnipresent brands and the marketers that can build a complete picture of consumers without cookies will take the cake. Sorry for the mixed metaphor!