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In Focus

2023 Trends for Marketing and Creative Teams

Jan 10, 2023 8:00:00 AM


Talking about trends at the beginning of the year—a little cliche? Probably so, but this year we’re taking a different approach to appeal not only to those of us marketers building strategy, but also to our admired creatives who design the visuals and write the words to help execute that strategy.

This collection of trends includes outside resources so you can garner more information to help you do your job better this year.

To start, let’s first define what a trend even is. According to the Oxford Dictionary, it is a general direction in which something is developing or changing. Trends are constantly evolving and impacting how people live their lives, how our clients run their businesses, and how our Kreber team supports them. Let’s take a look at trends that will come into play as we begin 2023.

Advertising Spend

From an agency perspective, we tend to look at ad spend. Though we offer so much more than assistance with media buying for clients, advertising spending tends to be what people think about first when it comes to marketing. According to a Dentsu report from July of last year, global ad spend is supposed to reach $778.6 billion in 2023. This is an increase of 5.4% over 2022; however, this can be deceiving—it is not all because there is more advertising. Some of this is attributed to the sheer increase in the cost of advertising.

Key things to note in the report are that the Americas still lead the way in overall advertising spend, followed by Asia Pacific and EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa). Technology and retail are the sectors spending the most, and they are primarily spending it on digital channels.

B2B Looks Like B2C

This shift was happening prior to the pandemic, but the pandemic escalated it as it drove the global workforce away from offices and into their homes. According to eMarketer, “The pandemic hastened a dramatic shift toward B2C buying behaviors for B2B products and services. The lines have blurred between how buyers expect to make business purchases and their personal shopping behavior.” 

There are several factors that make B2B look like B2C, and an article on LinkedIn highlights all the aspects revolving around going digital and mobile. Here is the list (check out the article for full details):

  1. The shift to digital is permanent—all buyers in B2B companies are consumers, and they expect the same experience in their professional lives as they have in their personal lives. Digital brings that to them when shopping for new products. Our clients use Amazon and other online channels regardless if it’s for business or not.
  2. Mobile claims the main stage—our society wants everything accessible wherever they are and mobile is the way they achieve it. If you do not have your content optimized for mobile, your customer experience will suffer. If customers are frustrated, they will move to a different company that carries a similar product.
  3. Display is on track to surpass search—depending on what your display advertising is, it may not feel like it will surpass search. Nevertheless, consumers are visual and as display moves ahead of search, having engaging visuals will boost your display ad game.
  4. Digital ad spend will continue to grow across all industries—this goes hand in hand with item 1 in this list. Consumers for the most part are online, and digital spend helps them gain awareness of your products and services. You need to reach them where they are spending most of their time.
  5. B2B is beginning to look more like B2C—also as related to item 1 in this list, B2B buyers are consumers too, so digital shopping experiences for their businesses are important. Neglecting these buyers could cause you to miss out on significant sales for your products and services.

Email Is Still Critically Important

In a 2022 report by Knak, surveyed marketers reported their email programs sent 71% more emails in 2021 than the year before. Why are they doing this? Companies want to meet customers where they are and deliver tailored experiences that bring them down the purchase path. 

There are no signs this trend will go anywhere soon. Marketers are using email and getting very targeted to ensure they do not annoy customers with irrelevant information. Understanding your customers and delivering products and services that are interesting to them is important so your company is not dismissed as not “getting” them as a consumer. This is a sure fire way of losing customers who will never give you a second chance.

Increase Investment in ABM

When DemandSpring released its State of Account-Based Marketing report, the data indicated that more than half of marketers, 53%, say that account-based marketing (ABM) has generated more revenue than all other marketing efforts. While this number is just over the halfway mark, it does give some indication of the success marketers have with this strategy. The report also stated that the majority of respondents intend to increase their investment in ABM programs as a demand-generation tactic in 2023.

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Video Content Is King

We have heard for years that content is king. However, a video shift  began in 2019 and continues to trend upward especially for top of funnel awareness. In an article from Hubspot that foreshadows 2023, short-form video—and the interaction that goes along with it—will be key to growing your content program. We already know from the last few years that video content receives the most engagement on social channels. This is not going to change anytime soon.

In fact, according to the article, the vast majority, 90% of marketers, are going to increase their use of video and platforms like YouTube. The teams that are responsible for shooting, editing, and performing other essential functions to create great video should be prepared to have a very busy year in 2023. 

Retro Is All Around Us

From photography to typography, retro is back in the roaring 2020s. As discussed in Creative Boom, typography has long been reminiscent of the ’70s, but recently there has been movement further up in the timeline to more recent decades. As years begin to tick by, retro begins to take on a new meaning. Retro used to mean designs before the ’70s; however, as a new generation grows up, it now could just as easily define the ’80s or—gasp—even the ’90s!

Speaking of retro trends in photography, our team recently had a photoshoot for our own social media and created the following image. Using specific lighting and colors, we achieved this vintage look that has been back on trend. 

We used light to filter through the glass and hard shadows, dating back to the 1950s and ’60s, but with the digital camera technology of today, the images are crisp and high quality. This image shows a modern interpretation using a color palette that harkens back to this era.

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Color Trends Peak Curiosity

Color trends come and go, and it is easy to get caught up in a new color palette as you are decorating or designing. As we look at trends that are coming, staying, or leaving, our creative team chimed in with some of the color palette trends they are following into 2023.

Dark academia is the first color palette they mentioned. This color palette is moody and dark and lends itself to old world vibes. When researching this trend more, it may remind you of libraries, an older gentleman’s den, or the university hall at your alma mater. Wayfair describes it as an existing aesthetic that you are now able to put your own spin on with deep colors like forest green, muted earth tones, and burgundy.

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Another interesting trend is coastal grandmother. When hearing this trend for the  first  time, you may think about beaches and doilies and struggle with how those two really go together. While grandmothers used to love doilies, this trend doesn’t really lend itself to decorating with them. Instead, think of bright and light decor incorporating natural materials and a soft color palette. A recent article on Homesandgardens.com has more information on this trend.

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There are so many trends we could discuss, and it seems every day a new one emerges. Some of them have longevity and others come and go within the same year. Regardless of the trends, our team helps our clients stay on top of the latest developments and recommends the best ones for their brands to embrace.

Kreber Has the Expertise You Need

With more than 100 years of experience, we’ve built a reputation for our hard work and dedication to delivering creative ideas and positive outcomes for retail and B2B clients. As an independent content marketing agency with a history of thinking ahead, we create and grow opportunities that allow our partners to thrive. We take pride in our mission to Think, Create, and Deliver compelling content that’s visually stunning, innovative, and purpose-driven within the creative market. We use our century’s worth of industry knowledge to help our clients save time and money, execute successful campaigns, utilize technology, and handle the strategy, planning, creation, management, and distribution of advertising and marketing content. From print and digital content marketing to social media marketing and everything in between, we’re the advertising agency of choice to bring any vision to life.

Jamie Bibb

Written by Jamie Bibb

Jamie Bibb, Director of Marketing at Kreber, geeks out over three things: how we use data to make marketing decisions; the power of the connected marketing techstack; and the 360-degree view of sales and marketing gained from both. With more than 20 years of experience in B2B marketing communications, she helps the agency connect with more clients and grow in its areas of expertise. A novice quilter, Jamie loves her paper planner and traveling to her kids' activities.

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