There’s much to be said for looking forward into the coming year, as opposed to looking back. After all, every new year comes with its own set of hopes, expectations and even promises. With that in mind, here are four New Year’s-inspired resolutions which every digital marketer should take to heart to make the most of 2023:
1. Embrace the increasing automation (and opportunity) on the duopoly, aka Google and Facebook.
The good news? Marketers have an outstanding upside to quickly establish baseline returns and make smart budget decisions with new, machine learning-driven “black box” products on both Google (Performance Max) and Meta (Advantage+ Shopping). While optimization and reporting capabilities on both remain quite limited compared to traditional campaigns, the key to deploying these products quickly is a flawless product feed, coupled with thoughtful product and audience segmentation where possible and accurate goals. The latter is particularly crucial — while these tools offer tremendous opportunity to meet targets, advertisers must know their margins and customer lifetime values in order to maximize the impact.
2. Use your time wisely thanks to expanding retail media opportunities.
With the time saved by automation on the aforementioned “big two,” marketers could focus on maximizing revenue on Amazon.com and other retail media networks, such as Walmart and Roundel, among others. It's a fragmented ecosystem to be fair, and each platform requires its own time to invest in and develop a ROI-positive strategy. To this end, marketers should take the time now to educate themselves on the most relevant platforms to their brand, forecast the effort and impact, and create a testing road map for the coming year. If the retail media possibilities feel tapped, consider looking into Uber, Marriott, or other expanding networks. The goal this year is to have more always-on partners in the portfolio than just Google, Meta and Amazon!
3. Social commerce gets increasingly personal, so lean in.
To put it simply, consumers like personalized advertising and shopping experiences — not to mention personalized communications — and arguably their demand for both will only increase in 2023. In fact, Twilio’s 2022 State of Personalization study reported that 62 percent of consumers would walk away from a brand if they were delivered an unpersonalized shopping experience, nearly a 20 percent increase since 2021.
All to say that the increased demand comes with added pressure to utilize artificial intelligence to support such efforts — as well as pressure to build digital strategies led by first-party data. With the removal of Universal Analytics and shift towards Google Analytics 4, marketers should consider how they can maximize their customer data to drive brand loyalty and user engagement. This will continue to be incredibly important as TikTok makes bigger bets here and commerce comes into its own.
4. Don't Forget about brick-and-mortar!
While in-store shopping may not yet be back to pre-COVID levels, it's strengthening and any momentum from the holiday period will certainly carry through to 2023. The key areas of focus include offering hybrid shopping experiences (e.g., in-store pickup) and closing data collection gaps. When it comes to that last piece, ensure that in-store cohorts are being segmented from online audiences and analyzed and messaged appropriately. Please, please, please don’t lump them altogether.
It’s especially important for marketers to fully grasp the impact that digital activity has on brick-and-mortar retail when they’re attempting to strike a balance between the two, and split their efforts accordingly. If a significant halo effect isn't being attributed to online activity, this can lead to underinvestment and diminishing returns over time. Constantly conduct incrementality and causal impact studies to ensure that the value of your digital campaigns in-store is both clear and recognized.
Andrew Sandoval is vice president of biddable media at Croud, a global, full-service digital marketing partner, combining data, technology and creativity to drive business for ambitious brands.
Andrew Sandoval is the vice president of biddable media at Croud. He will be tasked with leading search, social and programmatic across the Americas as Croud reaches a pivotal time of expansion. Sandoval brings with him over 12 years of experience in digital media. He cut his teeth in digital at Performics, rising through the ranks while working on large search and social accounts, including Nestlé and American Express. Most recently in his role at Media Kitchen as Director, Biddable Media, he helped evolve the paid search practice into a cross-channel biddable team while growing the agency significantly.