Although none of us can predict the future and especially in recent years where things have been taking us all by surprise, we can make some safe assumptions on some potential key trends that will continue to make headway into 2023…

TikTok will continue to grow

It’s a no-brainer, TikTok is here to stay and even more, it’s here to grow! Not only is the platform growing in terms of active users it is also growing as a product and will play a key role in everyone’s channel mix moving forward. The influence TikTok is having on present-day culture and on modern-day consumerism is MASSIVE. Everywhere I look I see TikTok references, every sound I hear I hear on TikTok first, and every product I buy well… TikTok made me do it!  What can we expect from this platform in 2023? It seems that TikTok will continue to focus on its content creator program as well as look to enhance its social commerce & shopping capabilities directly from the app potentially unlocking big revenue opportunities for brands that are using the platform correctly.

Moving towards a ‘Phygital’ world

It seems that every year a new buzzword emerges onto the marketing & advertising scene and although this one has been around for a while it is starting to be used more frequently. ‘Phygital’ refers to the blend of our digital world with our physical one, a merge of the two realities. Consumers like all of us are spending an increasing amount of time online whether that be on social for connection & entertainment, on apps for daily conveniences such as shopping, finance & travel, on streaming platforms for content consumption and even at work on our virtual spaces & meetings which means these two worlds are colliding and there is an increase in demand for brands to meet this hybrid approach. It’s no longer enough to have a simple e-commerce website that isn’t fully optimized or to have a lengthy check-out process or to offer cash-on-delivery only…consumers expect a seamless online experience that is then reflected in the physical world as well. If this isn’t the case, then you can definitely expect users to jump ship and interact with competitors that are phygitally savvy.

Privacy & the importance of creative

We are slowly but surely moving to a cookie-less world, gone will be the days where ads will follow you around the internet, bombard you on your social feed with overly branded/promotional ads and intrude on your online space but what does this mean for advertisers and how will we bypass the move to a more private world? The answer is not simple nor is it just one thing, however, one of the most important factors to consider is your creative output and how strong & relevant it is to not only your brand but to your audience. Content that isn’t timely, contextual, relevant, true to value, fit for platform & varied will be seen less by audiences and therefore performance will dip, and we can no longer rely on re-targeting users around the web. We know that creative is now the holy grail of performance marketing, over 56% of your performance is based on your creative (Nielsen Catalina Solutions). Social consumer journeys will become harder and harder to predict with an increase in signal loss which is why apart from your creative a multi-platform creative strategy is also recommended to mitigate risk and reach consumers across the purchase journey, no matter the platform

Consumers are becoming savvier and demand better experiences on social – Innovation in formats 

With the likes of TikTok, reels and other types of social platforms, audiences on social are becoming increasingly savvy when it comes to content consumption and are demanding greater experiences on social. We’ve seen the word ‘multi-sensory’ being used quite a lot to describe a content/creative strategy approach, meaning that we need to be looking at different ways to engage and attract users through the different senses. Tapping into AR formats for immersive experiences that play on touch, sight and hearing and making AR part of your always-on strategy as well as making sure to use formats with sound-on & sub-titles to activate different parts of the human brain are all key to having a much more varied content approach for audiences on social – again here the important thing to remember is to test, test & test again as well as having a mix of content types to keep audiences on their toes!

The Metaverse will continue to be put to the test

Finally, The Metaverse is still a puzzle we’re all trying to wrap our heads around, and there are definitely two camps when it comes to it – some are super excited about the prospect of living in virtual worlds & the opportunities this could unlock whereas others believe it’s just a fad and will soon die out…whatever your thoughts on The Metaverse, 2023 will continue to be a ‘testing’ year for many, we are still quite a way off from being fully integrated into Metaverse living & how it all connects with our day to day but at the same time brands, agencies & individuals will continue to test & push the boundaries of what can be done in these virtual realities. A book I would definitely recommend reading is ‘The Metaverse: And how it will revolutionize everything’ by Matthew Ball.