Your 2023 Marketing Playbook: Drive Success in the New Year!

Your 2023 Marketing Playbook: Drive Success in the New Year!

Marketing in 2023 will be more customer-centric and user-driven than ever. AI, automation tools, and big data will continue to play a significant role in marketing strategies and customer engagement.

We’re already seeing how AI makes a big splash in the New Year as AI portraits go viral on social media. Our lead designer, Quen Eastridge, did two for this article using Lensa AI.

With the help of these technologies, marketers can use predictive analytics to understand consumer behavior better, anticipate their needs, and create better experiences for their customers. 

But the best-kept secret for marketing teams this year? Humor. We will tell you how and why to use it for your brand in this 2023 marketing playbook.

AI is King When it Comes to Personalization.

Companies focusing on creating seamless, personalized experiences tailored to individual customers will come out on top. 

Using AI-driven technologies and automation tools to provide hyper-personalized interactions with customers enables brands to understand customer needs better and tailor their marketing strategies accordingly.

According to Rashan Dixon, Co-founder of Techincon and Senior Business Consultant for Microsoft 2020, nearly a quarter of businesses have increased their spending on artificial intelligence, and 75 percent plan to continue or launch new post-pandemic initiatives. Global spending on AI is expected to double by 2024. Source

Here are four ways to integrate AI into your business:

  1. Help Resolve Customer Concerns Quickly with an AI Chatbot:

According to Dixon’s Entrepreneur, “one advantage to chatbots is that they are available to assist your customers 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They can help answer frequently asked questions, point customers to helpful articles or initiate a return. This doesn’t just reduce labor costs; it helps your customers resolve issues faster.”

  1. Use AI to Enhance Shopping Experiences:

Provide personalized recommendations by including a “Customers Also Bought” section on your website. Another great example is Pinterest’s recent update of its Chrome extension, which enables users to select an item in any photograph online, and then ask Pinterest to surface similar items using image recognition software. Source

  1. Use Sentiment Analysis to Analyze Customer Feedback:

Two-thirds of companies say sentiment analysis helps reduce the cost of customer service, and 72% say it improves CX. Clothing retailer Urban Outfitters began running sentiment analysis on its CX data in 2019 to close the customer feedback loop. You can incorporate sentiment analysis at any customer journey stage and use those insights to improve the customer experience. Source

  1. Use AI as a Customer-Service Assistant:

When you sign up for an account with ZipRecruiter, you are greeted by a recruiter named Phil. After refining your resume, Phil actively scours job boards, finds positions that best match your skill set, and invites you to apply. If you reject the job suggestions, Phil learns from those rejections and applies this information to future job options. Phil keeps getting smarter, so your odds of landing the perfect job increases over time. (Source)

AI is transforming how businesses interact with customers and providing them with the tools to create a more efficient and tailored customer experience.  By leveraging AI, businesses can create better customer experiences that drive loyalty and engagement, ultimately improving their bottom line.

TikTok is Here to Stay

Next up is social media giant TikTok. If you haven’t joined this social media platform yet or don’t understand its cult-like following, we’re here to help provide some answers. 

According to a Neilsen study commissioned by TikTok, which analyzed data from over 8,000 survey respondents who were asked about their perception of the site’s content, results show that people feel TikTok is:

  • Authentic, 
  • Genuine,
  • Unfiltered, and 
  • Trendsetting

The study also found that:

  • 64% of users say they can be their true selves on TikTok.
  • 56% of TikTok users say they can post videos they wouldn’t post elsewhere.
  • 53% of users say they trust others to be their real selves on TikTok.


Users Say TikTok Makes Them Happy

TikTok content brings joy, the study finds, with “an average of 31% of TikTok users included ‘lifting my spirits’ as one of the top three reasons for returning to the TikTok platform again and again.”

Compare that to Facebook, which has been making headlines for having negative impacts on mental health. Source

According to a Washington Post-Schar School poll, which surveyed a random sample of 1,122 adults nationwide, 

  • Only 10 percent say Facebook has a positive impact on society,
  • 56 percent say it has a negative impact, and
  • 33 percent say its impact is neither positive nor negative. 

Even among Americans who use Facebook daily, “more than three times as many say the social network has a negative rather than a positive impact.” Source

If you’re a marketer interested in leveraging the power of TikTok in 2023, you’ll be interested in reading more about the emerging trends on the platform.

TikTok’s Strength is in its Community

Among TikTok’s greatest strengths is the sense of community felt by its users, which is demonstrated by the viral challenges users participate in. 

The ability for members to sample each others’ content helps users build stronger connections. A common theme throughout this data is positivity. Users enjoy their time on TikTok, are delighted by the unique content they find, and feel safe expressing themselves. Source

The Neilson Study, which surveyed over 8,000 users, shows that:

  • 59% of users feel a sense of community while on TikTok.
  • 77% of users say TikTok is a place where people can express themselves openly.
  • 84% of TikTok users say they come across content to which they can relate.
  • 70% of users say TikTok is a platform they would recommend to others.
  • 77% of users say they read the comments on the posts and videos on TikTok.

As TikTok becomes more mainstream, it provides brands with powerful opportunities to reach target audiences with creative content that resonates with users on an emotional level. 

Tapping into this large community through brand partnerships is a strategy marketers will want to explore this year.

Actionable Entertainment Replaces Conventional Ads

Actionable Entertainment is a trend shaping social media engagement in 2023.

TikTok’s trend report states, “We’ve exited the clickbait era. People are weary of misleading thumbnails and videos that start with ‘wait till the end’ in the interest of sharing a rote CTA. Marketers need to give viewers more in 2023—this means making videos that grab attention and earn trust.

Capturing attention comes down to a video’s entertainment value. TikTok ads are considered entertaining when they’re funny, personalized, and uplifting to viewers. These creative elements will be essential for driving success on the platform, as content that focuses on a selling point will get diminishing returns.” Source

Brands active on this platform or looking to test it out this year should prioritize entertainment value when developing a marketing strategy.

Humor is a Must-Have

Post-pandemic, people reevaluated their careers, mental health, hobbies, and relationships, and many of them have come to the same conclusion: they’re burned out. People want psychological safety, time with family and friends, and space to feel joy. Source

Humor is a great way to make users feel happy on social media platforms. Think about it, when’s the last time you shared a funny meme, an Instagram Reel that made you laugh, or watched a video you immediately sent your friends? 
Humor helps people connect and tell stories—not to mention the power it has to help marketers reach their audiences. According to TikTok’s 2023 Report, “Audio trends, in particular, let you tap into what users find funny and provide a little levity. (Remember #CornKid? That kind of moment is a great way to reach audiences in a lighthearted way).” Source

Don’t believe humor is for your brand? Then maybe, Oracle and Gretchen Rubin, five-time New York Times bestselling author and podcaster, can convince you otherwise.

In a global report by Oracle in April of 2022, “45% of people have not felt true happiness for more than two years.” 

This Happiness Report includes insights from more than 12,000 consumers and business leaders across 14 countries.

Here are the top insights: 

1. People are searching for new experiences to make them laugh.

  • 88% of people are looking for new experiences to make them smile 

2. Brands that embrace humor will be rewarded with loyalty, advocacy, and repeat purchases. 
91% of people prefer brands to be funny, and 72% would choose a brand that uses humor over the competition.  Source

Brands that Make us Laugh:

We chose four brands that know a thing or two about comedic timing to inspire you. Starting with Oreo. Simply acknowledging that Mondays are hard for people, this organic IG post got over 10K likes. Not bad!

Next up is the oh-so-clever Dollar Shave Club. They’ve done their homework and know what resonates with their audience, with content that goes from silly, absurd, to downright raunchy. But with this Chin-Fluencer campaign, they hit just the right notes! 

Think finance can’t be funny? Think again! Zopa Money took a taboo topic, talking about money with your loved ones, and gave it a fun twist here. Named British Bank Awards’ Best Personal Loan Provider for five consecutive years, they must be doing something right!

And last, if you’re still not convinced that your brand can be funny, here’s an example from project management software, Asana.

Like the example, you can try highlighting your company culture through new hire celebrations, remote work happy hours, and pics from company retreats or events, like Asana did here. You can always use internal campaigns to generate fun/humorous content that will engage both your audience and employees.

In closing, here are several ways that humor can positively impact marketing in 2023:

  • Humor can make a brand more likable and relatable: 

When a brand uses humor in its marketing, it can humanize the brand to make it more approachable to consumers. This can help to build a positive relationship with the target audience.

  • Humor can grab people’s attention: 

A well-timed joke or humorous tagline can be a great way to grab people’s attention and make an advertisement more memorable.

  • Humor can help to differentiate a brand: 

In a crowded marketplace, using humor in marketing can help a brand to stand out and differentiate itself from competitors.

  • Humor can improve customer loyalty: 

When a brand makes people laugh, it can create a positive emotional connection with them. This can lead to increased customer loyalty and positive word-of-mouth promotion.

  • Humor can improve social media engagement: 

When a brand posts humorous content on social media, it can lead to increased likes, comments, and shares, which can help improve the brand’s reach and visibility.

If humor isn’t your thing, for the more serious folks in the crowd, this next topic will make you smile because our next topic is big data and analytics. 

Let’s review how the use of big data will play a critical role in the success of your brand’s marketing strategy in 2023.

Why Big Data Matters in Marketing

By leveraging insights from large datasets, companies can identify patterns in consumer behavior, obtain valuable customer feedback, and develop more effective ways of engaging with their target audience.

For readers unfamiliar with big data analytics tools, here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Big data analytics tools are techniques and technologies used to collect, process, and analyze large data sets to uncover patterns, trends, and insights. 
  • Big data analytics software tools can help organizations to make better decisions, improve operations, and gain a competitive advantage. 
  • Businesses use the best big data analytics tools to forecast and determine behavior on a large scale. Source

According to Arizona State University, here is what seven thought leaders had to say about how big data impacts marketing decisions. It allows leaders to do the following:

  1. Assess Product Fit
  2. Measure to Manage Better
  3. Craft the Right Story
  4. Identify Patterns
  5. Find New Opportunities
  6. Collect Customer Feedback
  7. See the Bigger Picture


Let’s dive deeper into each of these to uncover how to apply big data to your business.

Assess Product Fit

According to Sri Sagar Kalisetty, Product Manager at Markitors, an organization needs to understand the current market trend, conduct competitor analysis, and know the stage of its product’s lifecycle to be successful. By using big data analytics, organizations can analyze large amounts of data to forecast customer behavior, markets, and price trends.

Business analytics helps organizations adapt to changing or upcoming competitive environments. Both big data and business analytics can improve decision-making through predictive analysis for a good product-market fit. Source

Measure to Manage Better

Business analytics and real-time data are important for decision-makers to optimize the performance of campaigns to improve metrics and drive measurable business results. 

Using big data reduces marketing spend by focusing on the most effective channels and tactics while improving overall return on investment and revenue impact. 

According to Elyse Meyer, President and Founder of Prism Global Marketing Solutions, marketers would not clearly understand how their campaigns impact the bottom line without big data and business analytics. Source

Craft the Right Story

Evan Reed, Category Development Manager at The Wonderful Life Company, a food, and beverage company, says, “When you’re faced with a challenge such as allocating budget, determining product features or building a selling presentation for a customer, it’s incredibly important to have the right data to be able to do that effectively.”

Reed explains that data can come from case studies, projections based on similar products, and qualitative measures such as market research. If you have this data, you can craft stories such as “buying this product from us will increase your sales by 15 percent”. Big data helps make the benefits clear to your stakeholders and potential clients. 


Identify Patterns

One of the major benefits of big data is that it allows decision-makers to identify patterns and solve problems quickly. According to Joseph Romani, Consultant at Chewy, the online pet retailer, big data also allows leaders to implement solutions and intelligently track whether or not the solution is effective. Source

Find New Opportunities 

No matter how much you think you know, there is always more to discover. Randall Smalley, CEO of Cruise America, says, “big data and analytics can help you make sense of where you stand and make better plans going forward.” He goes on to ask, “Are you totally sure your marketing campaigns are as effective as possible? Is there an untapped market for your product lines that you’re missing out on? With big data and business analytics, you can plug holes in your strategy or find new opportunities to bring in more business.” Source

Collect Customer Feedback:

Big data tools and analysis can help you collect and analyze customer feedback to understand why they may not be returning for more, even if they have expressed satisfaction. According to Allan Switalski, Head of Marketing at AVANA Companies, by using this information, you can determine if the trend is limited to a certain region, sector, or demographic and take action to address it. Source

See the Bigger Picture: 

Founder and CEO of LightKey, Guy Katabi, explains, “In your business’s day-to-day, you often can’t see the forest for the trees. It’s natural, as you have a lot to focus on. Big data can help you see the bigger picture, and business analytics can help you figure out what it all means. You can bolster your decision-making with hard facts to back it up.”  Source

It’s easy to see why big data can help organizations make better decisions, improve operations, and gain a competitive advantage. By leveraging insights from large datasets, companies can have better insights into customer behavior and develop more effective ways of engaging with their target audience.

How do you determine which tool is the best for your business? Great question! Next, we’ll explore how to choose the right big data tool for your business.

How to Choose the Right Big Data Tools

Determining which bid data tool to use is a big decision. To help you decide, we’re starting with a list of key considerations provided by Mounika Narang from her recent article, “Most Popular Big Data Analytics Tools in 2023,”

  1. Tools in big data analytics should be able to handle the volume, variety, and velocity of data, which may be coming from social media, sensors, transactions, and more.   
  1. The tools should be able to process data in real-time or near-real-time. This way, you can make decisions based on the most up-to-date information.   
  1. The tools should provide insights at the individual level, which means drilling down into data to understand what is happening at a granular level.   
  1. The tools should be able to integrate with other systems. This way, you can get a complete picture of what is happening across your organization.

Regarding the best big data marketing tools, we’ve chosen these as our top four:

#1 SEM Rush

One customer describes Semrush as having a keyword research tool, Google Trends, Moz, Hootsuite, and SimilarWeb in one. This tool has the following features and functionality:

  • Access over 23 billion keywords for 130 countries
  • Run in-depth website audit based on 130+ checks
  • Get recommendations to improve your content to increase search rankings
  • Track and analyze competitor websites and marketing strategies
  • Create and track your PPC campaigns
  • Draft, schedule, and post content on social
  • Create and schedule white-labeled or branded reports

#2 Zoho Analytics 

This tool allows you to connect many data sources, including locally stored data, local or cloud databases, and popular business apps like Salesforce and HubSpot, and generate analytics to drive intelligent business decisions. 

It’s a great way to democratize data by making analytics accessible to everyone who needs it.

#3 Tableau

Tableau is one of the most widely used Big Data analytics tools, offering businesses powerful visual analysis capabilities. It helps organizations better understand their data through interactive dashboards and efficient query features.

#4 Splunk

Splunk’s data platform enables organizations to monitor customer behavior to drive better customer experiences, anticipate and get ahead of potential security threats, and optimize digital interactions. 

These four big data analytics tools can help businesses gain valuable insights to improve marketing strategies in 2023. By leveraging the power of big data, organizations can ensure that they are making informed decisions and maximizing their profits. 

Closing Thoughts:

As we’ve outlined in this marketing playbook, customer-centric and user-driven strategies, AI, automation tools, and big data will drive marketing in 2023. Predictive analytics and hyper-personalized interactions enabled by AI can help businesses understand and anticipate customer needs and create better customer experiences. 

The social media platform TikTok is also expected to significantly influence marketing trends due to its authenticity, trendsetting and viral capabilities, participatory community, and genuine content that resonates with its users.

While humor is also expected to be a key tactic that creative teams will want to inject into their campaigns this year. 

We hope this comprehensive guide will help you have a successful and profitable year! So the only question is, what will you use in your marketing strategy this year?