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MARKETING PREDICTIONS

Why Chief Marketing Officers are in for a very challenging 2023

By our News Team | 2022

To drive growth amid continued disruption, CMOs must act decisively to prioritise their investments and their strategy, advises Gartner.

Marketing leaders will be entering the new year with an even greater priority to drive growth in a volatile environment. 

With this increased pressure to deliver efficient growth during disruptive times, Gartner has identified key trends that will impact CMOs as they go about their task in 2023.

According to predictions published this week by the global research and consulting firm, these trends will include shifting customer behaviours amplifying uncertainty for marketing teams, and disruptive market dynamics eroding traditional sources of brand value.

Marketing Predictions

Browser cookie deprecation is one of the factors making proven digital marketing tactics obsolete. Image by Nicole from Pixabay

“The current environment demands a relentless focus on customer value, purposeful evolution of the marketing function, and continual optimisation of brand value,” said Ewan McIntyre, Chief of Research in the Gartner Marketing practice. 

“In order to meet the enterprise mandate of driving growth amid continued disruption, CMOs must act decisively to prioritise their investments and their strategy for the year ahead.”

Shifting customer behaviours amplify uncertainty

Amid inflation and economic uncertainty, customer demand and buying behaviours will fluctuate unpredictably, Gartner believes.

Inflation is driving cost-cutting behaviours, with 30% of consumers buying more store brands, and almost a fifth reducing in-person shopping visits in favour of digital buying, according to a survey of more than 1,500 consumers in September 2022. This will challenge established brands to maintain brand preference, premiums and loyalty.

In addition, most consumers and B2B buyers will increasingly withhold the personal data necessary to effectively track demand or respond with multichannel engagement, further exacerbating CMOs’ data challenges. 

Evolving regulatory and technical safeguards of consumer data privacy, including browser cookie deprecation and new privacy features in iOS and Android, are also making proven digital marketing tactics obsolete.

“Marketing leaders should create a digital customer value exchange to provide mutual value on digital channels throughout the full cross-channel journey,” McIntyre said. “Enhance the effectiveness of digital marketing by seeking opportunities for personalised engagements that genuinely help customers throughout their end-to-end customer journeys.”

Disruptive market dynamics erode traditional sources of brand value

Traditional sources of brand value – such as brand reach, positive brand sentiment or perceived differentiation – are under pressure amid new forces: disruptive market entrants, heightened audience expectations, and the ease of digital learning about unfamiliar brands. Audiences face disruption at each stage along the traditional linear path to brand value:

  • Awareness: Disruptive market entrants require established brands to reposition themselves to remain competitive, challenging all brands to build and maintain awareness through emerging channels and innovative strategies.
  • Consideration: Over half the 1,999 employees, consumers and B2B buyers that Gartner surveyed in June and July 2022 said it’s less important to choose a well-known brand today than it was three years ago.
  • Brand Loyalty:  The same survey revealed 75% of audiences have searched online for information about a previously unfamiliar brand while shopping, and only 15% of audiences report being committed to a given familiar brand, eroding the value of having a strong brand at the point of decision.

“CMOs must redefine and quickly demonstrate the value of brand investments in a volatile environment,” McIntyre said. “The strongest driver of brand commitment is a single meaningful brand experience, even with unfamiliar brands.”

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