Spring feels like it’s already in the air! I hope everyone is well and your businesses are off to a solid start in 2023!

As we discussed in our last newsletter, Covid-19 transformed the world in many ways, but as we’re already into 2023 we’re still suffering from significant inflation, an anemic real estate market due to high interest rates, a continued labor shortage, and continuing some supply chain issues. That newsletter was met with very significant enthusiasm, and an amazing 53% open rate (i.e. 53% of those who got it, read it), way more than double the industry average.  

In January, we outlined the first 6 of those 12 trends and predictions for 2023. These included stubbornly high inflation, influencers, the “mataverse”, shopper marketing, short form video, and having “purpose”. 

In this issue, we’re going to cover the second set of 6 trends (for our total of 12). After you read them, I’d love to get your feedback as to whether these do justice for what is really going on within the marketplace, so please feel free to connect via the connect boxes in the newsletter, e-mail, LinkedIn or Twitter. 

Yosi’s Crystal Ball – The Final 6 (of 12) Marketing & Digital Predictions for 2023! 

And here they are….

  1. There is a strong likelihood of a recession in 2023 –  Despite the highest rate of inflation in 40 years, the Fed needs to keep pushing up interest rates to slow demand and tame that inflation (remember that high demand and/or low supply drives prices up). But by slowing demand, we could end up slowing everything down, triggering a recession. 

    Let’s hope the Fed can engineer a “soft landing” and prevent a full blown recession, although that outcome is probably unlikely. I guess we’ll see how that all plays out…
  2. Do you know what “Social Commerce” is? – Social Commerce(products bought directly while perusing social media) is growing rapidly. I’m pushing clients who are involved in e-commerce to leverage this new and exciting opportunity.

    A passive shopper scrolling Instagram or Facebook could very well be swayed by warm content or a relevant ad. In fact, 34% percent of people say they have shopped on Instagram based on an influencer recommendation, and according to Big Commerce, 34% of online shoppers already tend to purchase products on social media platforms. On top of this, “Mobile Commerce” (products bought via a Smartphone)is growing too, and will likely account for more than 1 out of every 6 dollars retail dollars spent in the US. And companies are also experimenting with “geo targeting”…running ads online that target potential customers in a certain neighborhood, or with a specific demographic.

    That’s why I’m telling clients to not only focus on digital traffic and revenue in general, but how to better leverage Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, LinkedIn, Amazon and You Tube to drive more leads, e-commerce revenue, and geo-targeted sales. 

    Have you developed a plan to capitalize on this new income opportunity waiting out there for your business?
  3. LinkedIn is growing significantly as a truly potent sales, lead generation and marketing strategyIn fact, businesspeople rely on LinkedIn much more than ever before, as LinkedIn has quickly become a very powerful networking, lead generation, and sales and marketing tool. 

    Almost all of us have a profile on LinkedIn and we use it to link up and socialize with business colleagues and associates. But now (and especially if you’re in B2B), you can now very effectively micro target potential leads by geography, job title, seniority, closeness to your inner circle and much more. In addition, it’s becoming popular for people to post written content (and  even videos) to their LinkedIn feed as a way to spice up their participation and social optimization. I’m working with numerous clients on this, and it is an amazingly new and effective lead generation medium. If you’re looking to drive powerful new sales lead generation avenues for your business, you should certainly look into these new LinkedIn services for your sales and marketing teams going forward.
  4. Marketing Automation is becoming a great way to drive both new sales and lower costs – For business, marketing automation, hyper automation and artificial intelligence are now at the heart of global business and industry. And for consumers, machine learning and artificial intelligence will penetrate further into our lives and impact a lot of processes that used to be manual, especially in digital and online. 

    Interesting that marketing used to be mainly a ‘creative’ pursuit. Today, it is much beyond that especially given the intricacies of content, social media and search data. So you need more of a digital platform to manage it all. Marketing automation and AI make it much easier to segment contacts, capture and process new leads, schedule e-mail distribution based on consumer behaviors, automate social media postings, manage content flow, track a customer’s lifecycle, integrate cross channel programs, automate workflows, and measure the impact and ROI of specific programs! So does your 2023 plan have this technology in it yet?
  5. Amazon sales have slowed a bit since the end of the pandemic, but is still very strong – Another trend that is here to stay….Since Covid started, virtually every day, there are Amazon delivered packages on our home’s door step. Why? Because nothing is simpler and more convenient than ordering from Amazon Prime.

    In fact, E-Marketer reported that with an incredible 49.1% market share of online shopping, Amazon is bigger in e-commerce than eBay, Apple, Walmart, Home Depot, Best Buy and Macy’s combined! (And those retailers are all ranked in the Top 10 online!) If what you sell can be sold on Amazon, you should find ways to do it!
  6. There is much more outsourcing of C-Suite “Os” –Outsourcing of the CFO, CMO, and CIO positions on a part time basis has started to become much more common these days, especially with a potential recession on the horizon. This is especially true for small and medium sized businesses who want high level world class strategic thinking, but cannot afford it on a full time basis. If you’re still low on cash due to Covid or you’re trying to lower overhead budgets, you should ask yourself if you can hire an outside CFO, CIO or CMO to work on a “fractional” basis (e.g. 4 or 5 days per month) to oversee key strategic and financial thinking and planning at a fraction of the cost of a full time executive. And you can add more days of work (or subtract less days) whenever you need them.

    By combining the high level thinking of a former big company “C” level executive and the executional capabilities of a more junior internal person, you could experience increased revenue/valuation growth, but at much lower and flexible employee labor costs…leading to lower fixed costs and increased profitability. Worth consideration…

So until next time, good luck and good selling in 2023…and stay safe!