As the economy continues to swan dive in full fashion, 2023 marketing predictions have left us asking the age-old question: “How are we going to swing it on this year’s budget?”

The harsh reality is that many leaders still consider marketing to be “non-essential” costs. Marketing efforts can cost a large sum and be difficult to track. Therefore, when the going gets tough, marketing budgets tend to “get going”—often being the first budgets that are downsized or cut. 

This dwindling optimism in the economy has compelled over 40% of American companies to slash their marketing budgets in the past year. This reality is exemplified by LinkedIn’s corporate restructuring last August, which cut up to 95% of its global events marketing team.

Even if the current market is more like a flaming garbage heap, hope remains for 2023 marketing trends. Leadership may not see the full value of marketing now, but they’re guaranteed to see it when budgets are cut and efforts are limited. 

Companies that don’t cut their marketing spend bounce back quicker after a recession and in many cases, actually increase their revenue compared to competitors that cut budgets.

Fill Your Pipeline with Qualified Prospects

Marketers need to know how to talk the talk to the head honchos to get them to understand why their efforts are essential.

It’s time to diva-fy. 

Like Beyonce, marketers need to blaze a trail for themselves and advocate. Beyonce was able to turn her “measly” earnings of $1 million in 2002 into one of the most powerful, global brands in the world. Now, you can’t book her for less than $3-4 million for a private show (if you’re lucky). In fact, she just earned $24 million for her most recent private showing, all because she knows her worth.

Now, it’s time for marketing departments to know theirs. Believe it or not, there is a way—and a right one, at that—to vie for increased marketing spending and become your own version of the Queen B herself.

Bills, Bills, Bills—2023 Marketing Trends in Lead Generation

Sure, change is inevitable, but whoever coined that probably never had to worry about lead generation in a recession.

It’s time to adapt. When Beyonce saw a chance to strike out on her own and create more opportunities for herself along the way, she said, “Adios!” to Destiny’s Child—probably the best decision she’s made for her career.

Expensive, ineffective marketing tactics are your Destiny’s Child.

Given the highly dynamic nature of the market, most CFOs tend to justify spending based on short-term metrics. While this makes sense to some extent, a rapidly shifting economy requires an expansion in perspective. One way to accomplish this is to bring long-term organizational goals to the forefront of your business and marketing strategy through:

Account-Based Marketing – It’s the new normal for B2B brands. ABM is a genuine growth tactic with proven results. Companies using account-based strategies see 171% higher annual contract values. That’s a number your CFO is going to want to know about.

Hyper-Personalization – You think you know your customer. Well, know them better. With more and more competition coming onto the scene, if you’re not personalizing as many aspects within your customer experience, you’re not doing enough. Personalization extends further than just adding a [First Name] attribution in an email. It’s about taking tactics typically used in B2C marketing (like recommendations based on previous consumer content) and applying them to B2B tactics.

Automated Marketing & Sales Integration – Nearly 40% of all employees spend what they consider “wasted” time on repetitive tasks. Aligning sales and marketing goals and then automating as many processes like lead scoring and lead qualification, lifecycle stages and deal stages saves time and money.

When reporting on your 2023 marketing efforts, adjust your narrative so that the analysis shows how your current spending generates long-term branding value at each funnel stage. CFOs base many of their budgeting decisions on those numbers. It’s easier to allocate money when you can demonstrate how it’s paying off at each stage of the buyer journey.

Thought Leadership and Demand Generation Combined89% of decision makers say thought leadership improves their perception of a brand. Publishing your content on LinkedIn isn’t enough to get your target audience to see you as an authority figure. Marketers have to think of combining the aspects of thought leadership with demand generation efforts. While demand generation takes longer to see results than lead generation, it generates buzz, awareness, and recognition that creates better relationships between buyers and sellers and leads to higher conversion rates and more closed deals.

Irreplaceable—Using Marketing Data Analytics to Prove Your Worth

Even if you’re staying abreast of the latest trends in 2023—like Beyonce when she switched from her style in Lemonde to Renaissance—and implementing tactics that are generating more awareness, hard data is what your C-suite is looking for.

As you’re already painfully aware, CFOs are more interested in the numbers behind your marketing success, affecting how many piggy banks they’re willing to smash for you. Given that, you’ll need to weave those numbers into your larger spiel if you haven’t already.

Fortunately, this piece of the puzzle is more of a work-harder-not-smarter thing. Personally, we’re fans of visualization tools. Financial metrics can be a bit abstract in the raw, but visualization tools can contextualize them in terms of market effectiveness. Another added benefit of data visualization is easing pipeline anxiety. You can pinpoint which channels are working at each stage of the funnel to improve predictability. This can also allay CFOs’ fears surrounding a budget increase or reallocation.

Keep Sales and Marketing Data Clean

Clean, high-quality data can further clarify your KPIs and ROI goals for the coming year, too, which can help you retool your current budget. 

Tease out the meaning behind your marketing data analytics by asking yourself these questions:

  1. Do your campaigns have a true goal or purpose?
  2. Do you have defined KPIs? If so, are you using them in the proper channels?
  3. What are the short-term and long-term impacts on revenue?

Your answers will help you create more intentional marketing strategies that target your funnel’s primary moneymakers and most promising leads.

We’ve found the KPIs that make your CFOs eyes widen more than mine when I saw Beyonce’s outfit on the Dangerously in Love album cover are:

  • Demo or consultation request form fills
  • Gated content form fills
  • Social media engagement rates
  • Email open and click-through rates
  • PPC conversions
  • Website sessions and average session duration
  • Domain authority
  • Organic keywords ranking in the top 20 positions

So now you have the tools, the data, and the harrowing tales—all that’s left to do is present it in a way that makes sense for the C-suite. The educational component in all of this may perhaps be the most crucial, and everything must be presented within contexts that individually concern your C-suite executives the most.

As we mentioned earlier, approving your desired marketing budget will be a much easier pill for your CFO to swallow if numbers bolster your pitch. For CEOs, demonstrating the links between short-term revenue and long-term brand equity can highlight how scaling your organization’s broader vision is the true goal of your strategy (and desired budget).

Keeping them abreast of industry trends and short-term wins is also a smart way to cement your department as an essential piece of the organization. The more you can show that your efforts and tactics are benefitting both your organization and the industry at large, the better off that budget will be.

Best Thing I Never Had—The Pitfalls in Marketing Effectiveness When Being Too Practical

If you’re reading this, you’re likely well-versed in MacGyvering the hell out of a marketing budget. You also know that marketing adds holistic value to an organization both financially and from a branding perspective. But we’re willing to bet that your CFO doesn’t, which makes it even more imperative that higher ups and decision makers truly understand the impact of marketing.

When marketing budgets are cut:

  • Your competition could overshadow your presence, making it easier for future prospects to think of them when considering a new service or product instead of you.
  • New customers won’t find your brand at all.
  • The business conveys a lack of corporate stability.
  • Since there is less consumption of services when there is financial stability, your brand will give up creating relationships with future customers.
  • Business could go bankrupt and under altogether.

Say My Name and CUFF IT—Don’t Let B2B Marketing Challenges Stand in Your Way

Do you think when the Jay-Z scandal came out that Beyonce just sat in the corner and moped? No. She made a full album about his infidelity and made MONAY.

You are a smart and creative marketer. You haven’t gotten to where you are by giving up. Don’t let challenges through 2023 keep you from achieving success. By making sure you are staying aware of market trends and implementing strategies to reflect these, your results will speak for themselves. Continue advocating for your efforts to your C-Suite and always bring visualized data to the conversations. 

By persevering, you’ll soon create an irreplaceable part of business operations for yourself and your marketing department.