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19 Marketing Predictions For 2023 From Marketing Badasses in Tech

2022 was a wild ride in venture and tech. Investments were down, layoffs were ever looming, and Twitter had the kitchen sink thrown at it. But the tech industry is resilient. As we look ahead to the new year, we reached out to marketing leaders at 19 venture-backed startups and asked them, “What are your marketing predictions for 2023?”

From AI and automation to data-driven personalization and doing more with less, these marketing leaders share their predictions on the trends shaping the new year. 

19 marketing predictions for 2023 

1. “I see an undercurrent of fear for marketers right now. How will ad targeting limitations play out? The macroeconomic system is in question, so are buyers putting their heads down? Where is social media going with the changes at Meta and Twitter? That fear and uncertainty means getting back to the core truths for bringing a product to market: understand buyers, tell compelling stories that have gravity, and experiment to find the undiscovered magic.” - Nick Wassenberg, Vice President, Marketing at Fulcrum

2. “With customer service expectations higher than they’ve ever been and Gartner repeatedly reporting that an increasing number of clients expect and want personalized messaging, marketing is going to need to partner closely with the customer experience/service team to keep up! This means breaking down silos, sharing customer data (when appropriate and in accordance with all ePrivacy laws/company policies), and ensuring that client engagement with the company adds value so that, ultimately, the customer has a positive brand experience.” - Megan Swiatkowski, Director of Marketing at NLX

3. “Marketing is always evolving, which makes it fun (and never stressful!). The evolution of trends we are seeing with consumer and B2B purchasing behavior combined with market volatility will require marketers at venture-backed startups to get more done with lean resources and lower CACs. There will be more focus on lowering burn as investors have more pressure to get through 2023 and come out in a stronger position in 2024 as the market recovers.” - Sarah Berg, Vice President, Marketing at Matic

4. “Doing more with less: VC money is tighter than ever. The public markets are contracted. And the costs of traditional marketing activities (digital ads, sponsorships, events) are rising. These macro trends will ultimately force many marketing teams to focus more on fundamentals: having a strong and battle-tested strategic narrative, contextualizing and messaging that strategic narrative across multiple mediums; having a solid brand (and that doesn’t just mean how your website looks) that resonates with your audience; creating content that your audience, customers, and prospects truly get value from and want to engage with.” - Mario Paganini, VP of Marketing at Stord

5. “Without a doubt, ‘agile marketing’ will evolve from an academic term to common practice. With the pressures of a possible recession mounting, marketers at companies of all sizes will continue to take a hard look at their budgets and be required to have a plan in place should they have fewer dollars to work with. A "Plan B" won't be good enough, and multi-scenario plans will extend beyond the CFO to the CMO, so teams can be prepared to quickly shift focus and change priorities.” - Jackie Duggan, VP of Marketing at Cube

6. “To continue to be successful in the online grocery delivery segment, we must be able to correctly gauge ever-changing customer habits and needs. For this, data rules supreme, which is why we talk about ourselves as a technology company. Knowledge delivers awareness of growth drivers and an ability to prepare and adapt growth strategies — being an agile company is a key to being able to successfully embrace and deal with the market’s behavior.” - Eliška Čeřovská, Head of Public Relations at The Rohlik Group

7. “Heavier reliance on AI for impactful content-creation, deeper/faster data analysis to gain insights and respond accordingly, closer collaboration across all departments to improve cohesion between not only marketing and sales, but also operations, finance, engineering, and more. All of which will improve the customer experience and brand's consistency.” - Becky Tsadik, Head of Marketing at Gebeya

8. “2023 is going to separate good marketing teams from great marketing teams. Regardless of industry or company size and stage, all will have to contend with an uncertain economy, the unpredictability of capital markets, and the changing data landscape. You could have $1m or $100m in the bank, but as a marketing leader, the same things will matter: how well you know the market and the customer, and how you use those insights to grow the business as efficiently as possible. This also means that “playing the long game,” investing in brand building, is more critical than ever. As a brand marketer by trade, this deeply excites me. The data only ever told us so much, anyway. And some of the best marketing I’ve ever seen didn’t cost a dime.” - Claire Spangenberg, VP of Marketing at Alma

9. “With so much competition for attention, I believe that scalable Account Based Marketing (ABM) will be one of the most effective ways to break through the noise and reach the right people.” - Jim Stoneham, Partner at SignalFire

10. “In 2023, the field of marketing is going towards unique authenticity. It’s not enough to hire some marketers, have a cool product, and hope it’ll stand out. You need to be willing to take risks to showcase your authenticity and stand out from the crowd. In the venture-backed startup world, companies need to discover their audiences and create a powerful brand presence that speaks to that audience. They should do so by “throwing noddles at the wall” and seeing what sticks. Once it does, repeat, repeat, repeat to help get the flywheel turning at your company. No idea is a bad one, as long as you’re remaining true to your brand identity and reaching the target audiences you intend to reach.” - Sander Jennings, Head of Growth at Checkin

11. “Marketing leaders are feeling the pinch of economic uncertainty right now. As a big, ultra-visible "cost center" for the organization, they're often the first to be asked to cut budgets, reduce headcount, or "do more with less" when times get tough and funding becomes scarce. But the best marketing execs (and the best marketing teams) aren't a cost center. They've done more with less every time this has happened for the last 20 years. They're tired (I'm tired!). So this year, let's take a different approach. Let's build our brands and our reputations. Let's focus on our customers and the value we drive for them as an organization. Let's get the whole go-to-market engine to back the play. And let's be realistic about what "less" really gets us — all of us — as we head down this path again.” - Sarah Reynolds, Chief Marketing Officer at Udacity

12. “2023 is being teed up as a year of constraints and financial austerity. This will mean tight expense management, especially around headcount planning, SaaS tools, media investment, and agency partners. A few other trends I'm watching: the testing and scaling of generative AI to drive marketing asset creation, the continued impact from creators across all industries and categories, and truly differentiated brand experiences to drive breakthrough in customer acquisition and retention.” - Matthew Fitzgerald, Chief Marketing Officer at Tend

13. “Social good-style marketing will no longer be considered a nice-to-have. VC-backed startups will not only have to create great products and services but also answer the question, "how does this help people/improve our world?"” - Mari Pack, Content Manager at Ash Wellness

14. “During challenging market conditions, it’s easy to conclude that marketing investments should be limited and focused on immediate ROI, but it’s important to remember that for venture-backed startups, credibility is everything. You can’t stop investing in the long game — building your brand defensibility, strengthening your go-to-market strategy, and establishing consistent nurture streams are all essential to ensuring your buyers pay attention and see the value of your product amidst the noise.” - Shelly Sasson, Senior Director of Marketing at Ribbon Health

15. “Any company that is not embracing this push for authenticity in the workplace and in its marketing efforts will fall behind in 2023. This new generation of talent isn’t looking on LinkedIn or Facebook to learn about a company, they’re using sites like Instagram and TikTok. The hashtags #careertiktok and #careertok have 1.7 billion and 972.5 million views, respectively. It’s now or never to establish your brand with users directly on platforms such as these and create content that’s engaging, creative and authentic to your company’s mission, people, and culture.” - Dora Iyigun, Senior Business Development Manager & Director of Marketing at Pedul

16. “Use AI and get savvy with your limited resources. Resources like ChatGPT and Midjourney must be part of every start-up's content and production strategy. What were nice-to-haves a month ago are must-haves heading into 2023. Even with slashed budgets and bandwidth, teams that leverage AI tools to supplement and complement their marketing plan can still see their program volume and velocity increase. Don't get stuck in the chase group.” - Fritz Lauer, Head of Marketing at Denim

17. “Brands will still need to take big swings to have their marketing efforts stand out, but they need to be big swings rooted in strategies that bring value to consumers. For example, the days of simply throwing celebrities into commercials for recognition may be coming to an end, but investing in a cause that is of key importance to your consumers will be more impactful than ever before.” - Radhika Duggal, Chief Marketing Officer at Super

18. “In a constrained economic environment, marketers must be able to tangibly show they're delivering value, whether that's brand lift, pipeline creation, or won revenue. Marketers that don't invest in marketing operations (people, processes, and software) will fall behind and never catch up.” - Khalid El Khatib, Chief Marketing Officer at Stack Overflow

19. “VC-backed companies need to be focusing on going back to their core and stick with a set of products or services that have a proven track record of success. So, focus more on sales versus R&D. For this, you really need to hyper focus on your ICP (ideal customer profile). If you don't have an ICP, get one ASAP!  Once you have that in place, focus marketing around content creation and distribution strategies.” - Diana Van Dusen, Marketing Manager at Azumo

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