As challenges of global issues, capacity management, and buy-in for further investment continue to loom over in-house marketers, the marketing industry this year is under more pressure than ever to adapt.
From investing in brand-building to the growing challenge of attribution and data analysis to changing consumer expectations, in this year’s ‘Pulse Check’ survey we asked 150+ in-house and agency marketing leaders to share their predictions on the trends, challenges, and opportunities they’re expecting to see in 2023.
In this article, we're sharing all the key statistics from the survey to help you up the ante on your marketing strategy this year.
We’ve split our key statistics into 4 segments:
- Marketing relationships: brands and agencies
- The main areas of opportunity for marketers
- The major challenges to face in-house and agency this year
- Marketing trends 2023
23 Major Marketing Communications Statistics for 2023
The following data is collated from a survey of 150+ in-house and agency leaders within 13 industry sectors and 10+ marketing specialisms.
From which, we’ve pulled together 23 Major Marketing Communications Statistics that will help you refine your strategy and identify key growth opportunities in 2023.
Marketing Relationships: Brands and Agencies
We asked both our in-house and agency respondents to share their predictions on how certain aspects of client-agency relationships may shift in the new year from a scale of 0 (heavily decreased) to 5 (heavily increased):
- Expected spend on marketing agency support
- Scope of work outsourced to external support
- Length of proposed engagement between in-house teams and agencies for key projects
Key Statistics for in-house and agency relationships
#1 – Despite several marketing leaders citing challenges in resource management, over 70% of in-house teams expect ‘little to no change’ in their marketing budget this year.
#2 – More than 60% of in-house teams believe there will be no significant change to the scope or length of relationships regarding outsourced marketing support.
#3 – 43% of agencies expect a significant increase in the scope of work being outsourced against just 6% expecting a decrease in the breadth of work they will be engaged to cover.
#4 – With regard to client outlooks, Data & Research agencies were overall the most optimistic, predicting a significant increase in client spend and scope of work this year, with an average score of 4 in both aspects.
#5 – Media agencies overall leaned into foreseeing an increase in the scope of work received this year, with an average score of 4.5, whilst integrated agencies overall were more likely to expect a minor decrease in scope of work expected from their clients, with an average score of 2.6 out of 5.
#6 – Digital performance agencies broadly expected ‘little to no change’ in client spend or length of engagement this year, but expect a slight increase in scope of work, with an average score of 3.4.
#7 – On the in-house side, marketing leaders in eCommerce ranked the highest when it comes to increasing the scope of work shared with external support this year, with an average score of 3.5, whilst in-house teams within the financial services and leisure & hospitality sectors ranked the lowest, giving an average score of 1 (denoting significantly decreased scope).
View: eCommerce 101 – The Latest Trends, Platforms, and Opportunities for your Business
#8 – Regarding budget, in-house respondents from Professional Services and eCommerce organisations overall gave the highest scoring responses, with average scores of 3 denoting an expected minor increase in budget.
#9 – Overall, in-house marketers within B2B organisations expect a slightly higher increase in marketing budget, scope of work, and length of engagement with external agencies in 2023, compared to B2C organisations.
The Main Areas of Opportunity for Marketers
From the below, we asked our in-house and agency respondents to select the major opportunities for marketing leaders and communication strategies in 2023:
- Branded Communities and Audience Engagement
- Consumer/Market Research
- Customer Experience and Retention
- Organic Growth Channels - Social, SEO, etc.
- OOH, TV & Media Spend
- PR and Reputation Building
- PPC and Digital Advertising
- Tech-led Solutions - New Platforms, Software etc.
- Other (to be clarified)
Key Statistics - Major Opportunities for Marketers in 2023
#10 – Over 50% of in-house and agency marketing leaders chose Customer Retention and Loyalty as holding the most opportunity for marketers this year.
View our Round-up: Brand Loyalty – Why It Matters, How to Measure, and Routes to Success
#11 – Almost 48% of in-house marketers chose an investment in PR and Reputation Building as a key opportunity in 2023 - placing it second on most popular responses amongst in-house teams.
#12 – 47.1% of in-house marketing leaders expect Branded Communities and Audience Engagement to hold the most opportunity for marketers this year.
View our Round-up: 4 PR Trends to Shape your 2023 Marketing Strategy
#13 – 38.9% of agencies cite organic growth channels as a key opportunity in 2023 – placing it second on most popular responses amongst agencies.
The major challenges to face in-house and agency leaders this year
We asked our respondents to select the areas they believed would be the most challenging in 2023:
- Approval of resource/investment for additional spend
- Attribution and tracking of data
- Brand-audience awareness and loyalty building
- Brand identity and consolidation
- Keeping pace with updated platforms and channels
- Product and service positioning against global challenges
- Resource and team capacity
- Other (to be clarified)
With the exception of in-house teams acknowledging the challenge of brand-audience loyalty building, responses aligned to 3 major issues in particular: resource management, approval of investment, and successfully positioning products and services in the face of an extremely turbulent global climate.
View our upcoming events calendar - to get involved in the expert-led workshops around key marketing challenges and trends in 2023
Key statistics - challenges for marketers this year
#14 – In-house marketers expect ‘product and service positioning against global challenges’ to be the most challenging area in 2023, with almost 50% of respondents highlighting it as a key challenge.
#15 – Over 60% of agency marketing leaders selected 'approval of investment' as the most likely challenge for in-house teams.
#16 – Almost half of all in-house and agency marketing leaders cite resource, capacity, or approval of additional spend as one of the largest challenges they foresee this year.
Learn 7 Ways to Get Genuine Stakeholder Buy-In for your Marketing Strategy
#17 – 31% of in-house marketers cited attribution and data tracking as a major challenge in 2023.
#18 – 37% of in-house teams cite ‘brand-audience awareness and loyalty building’ as a key marketing challenge area in 2023, whilst only 15% of agencies see this as an issue.
Marketing trends 2023
From web3.0 to 'deinfluencing', 2023 is already bringing the emergence of new trends, expected to drastically change how marketers approach their strategy.
In the next section, we asked respondents, on a scale of 1-12, to rank the below 'trends' in order of expected impact in the year ahead:
- Personalised experiences and communication
- Investment in organic growth and channels
- Responsible consumerism - sustainability, ethics
- Account-Based Marketing
- Employer branding and employee activation
- Livestreaming and video content
- Hyper-localised marketing
- Rising social platforms - TikTok, BeReal, Pinterest
- Influencer marketing and partnerships
- AI-driven or 'conversational' marketing
- Virtual and F2F events
- PR 'stunts' and campaigns
Read: The Major Marketing Communications Trends for 2023
Key Statistics - The most impactful marketing trends in 2023
#19 – Personalised experiences, on average, received the highest ranking on the list of impactful trends this year.
#20 – More than 40% of in-house marketers ranked ‘personalised experiences and communication’ as one of the top 3 impactful trends for 2023.
#21 – Over 50% of agencies ranked ‘personalised experiences and communication’ as one of the top 3 impactful trends for 2023.
#22 – 19% of agencies ranked the rise of more responsible consumerism as the most impactful trend for 2023 – selected by just 9% of their in-house counterparts.
#23 – Investments into organic growth channels was the most common #1 choice for in-house marketing teams, with 17% of respondents giving it the top spot for impactful trends of 2023.
All statistics in this post have been pulled from The GO! Network 2023 Pulse Check. Want to read more? Download the full report now.
Credits and contributions
With thanks to our named contributors; Anaergia, Aparito, Exclaimer, Glean, IRIS Software Group, Lovell, Meridian Business Support, Photomath, Respect Mortgages, We are Adam, Victorian Plumbing, A Story Called, Actuate Agency, Audience Collective, Better Agency, BH&P, Curated, Dead Pixel Films, december19, Different Narrative, Distribute Digital, Drummond Central, Emperor, Empower, Evoluted, Evolved, Fabric Social, GottaBe!, hub, Ice Blue Sky, Miramar Group, MOOT, Peak District SEO, Quba, Quibble, Sciart Marketing, Secret Source, Selesti, Smartebusiness, Smoking Gun, SnowLilley Marketing, Start Communication, Summit, The Audit Lab, The SEO Works, TrunkBBI, Visualsoft, WebBox, Whiteoaks International, Workhouse, and more.
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