Making the most of cross-channel data

2023 made out of sparklers

With budgets being cut and scrutinized in the current economic climate, marketers will need to work smarter, not harder, to drive sales and growth this year.

After the Christmas spending period, consumers will be more selective about how they spend their money. Building brand awareness, trust and advocacy will be key to long-term success. Amid uncertain economic conditions, it won’t be enough to just rank higher in Google than your competitors.

In 2023, brands and agencies will start to take a more cross-channel approach to align marketing activity across performance and brand teams. Working cross-channel will ensure that all activity is working together, driving the best possible ROI.

Traditional brand-building channels, such as PR, influencer marketing and organic social, will be built into broader performance marketing strategies. CPC costs will remain high, so reach will need to be earned rather than bought.


Proving return on investment in 2023

With a renewed focus on brand awareness and trust, brand teams will be challenged to measure performance better. Brands and performance teams will likely take on a hybrid structure to ensure better alignment and to help ensure all channel activity is working as hard as possible.

Brands will look to create integrated PR strategies to ensure that all PR activity is delivering against both key objectives: driving brand awareness through creative content, while increasing organic performance through relevant links.

So, expect more investment and focus on measurement and reporting tools to prove brand performance and ROI, as every penny will count. Look out, too, for more efficient and accurate ways of reporting on brand awareness, engagement, trust and salience. These will help ensure that all marketing activities are performing and budget is being spent correctly, and to bridge the gap between performance-driving and brand-building activities.

With publications relying on advertising and affiliate revenue to stay afloat, digital PR professionals will be looking to prove the value of sponsored and affiliate links, and the impact of non-linking, brand-building coverage. With increased efforts to demonstrate the positive correlation between brand awareness and organic growth, PR professionals will need to work closely with brand teams. This will only have a positive impact on the overall marketing activity and results.


Helpful content will continue to reign

Following Google’s recent ‘Helpful Content’ update, brands will invest in creating valuable and engaging content. This content must be based on genuine insights from a range of channel data (search data, audience analysis, competitor research), and include assets that capture attention, such as video and motion design.

It will no longer be enough to simply upload content to a website and wait for it to harvest demand through search. Instead, it should be repurposed and used to drive demand at the top of the funnel. Examples will include putting paid social content behind video or using PR tactics to seed the content to relevant third-party websites and publications, driving more awareness, engagement and trust signals.


AI won’t replace creativity; it will drive innovation

With efficiencies and productivity likely to be scrutinized alongside budget, free AI tools such as ChatGPT will free up marketers’ time to allow them to focus on more significant creative projects.

It will be important to avoid getting complacent with AI, though. Those who don’t add enough human touch to the robots’ work could end up in hot water. Don’t be surprised if 2023 features several PR crises due to AI mishaps and misuse.

With brands focused on driving performance in 2023, they’ll amplify activity through cross-channel insight and amplification while using artificial intelligence to improve efficiencies.


As featured in The Drum