Somehow, 2023 is already flying past. And with the new year comes the annual parade of predictions, reflections, and wrap-ups.
Personally, we’re always suspicious of these lists. Anything that claims to capture every trend across pretty much any industry is asking for trouble. But TrendWatching does a pretty good job.
Sure, their report can’t tell you how many times you listened to your favourite song, or even what happened to the gym routine you planned out last January. But it can give tech marketers a pretty good steer for what’s coming up in the year ahead.
So, what’s on the 2023 docket according to TrendWatching?
Read any tech predictions list from the last year and you’ll see artificial intelligence (AI) pop up somewhere.
From Alexa to Siri, AI is increasingly integrated into our everyday lives. Sure, it’s not quite Skynet, but TrendWatching warns that we need to get ready for automation — and fast.
No surprises there. But what is interesting is the firm’s research into the impact of AI. Around four in 10 (43%) consumers say that this sort of automation has complicated, rather than simplified, their lives. That’s not great. It also defeats the point of automating things.
So what’s the lesson for marketers? Don’t introduce tech for tech’s sake. Start with your customer needs and work back from there. Easy.
Demographics are dying, and it’s about time. Gender, class, “generations”, and geography have been the staple of lazy marketing for years. The result is targeting and segmentation that doesn’t mean much at all.
At its heart, demographic data is just stereotyping, and in 2023 we could all live with a lot less of that. So, Trendwatching argues it’s time to ditch the stereotypes and start appealing to people based on what they value rather than where they happened to grow up.
Frankly, we couldn’t agree more. We’ve been working with Bango Audiences to try to move marketers away from stereotypical demographic data and towards targeting methods based exclusively on what they buy. Have a read of our Bango case study to find out more.
The pandemic caused a great deal of change and upheaval, but for many it also revealed what’s most important. Consumers want to reconnect with their communities and localities and make more meaningful connections with others.
A third of people around the world report that they experience loneliness and, according to Trendwatching, brands can help address this by allowing consumers to make more meaningful connections with their communities.
It won’t work for all brands. Nobody’s fighting international loneliness by connecting with their favourite bag of crisps. But the sentiment still stands. Brands that can honestly help people connect over their shared interests will be the winners in 2023. (Check out Agbora as a great example from TrendWatching).
Frankly, TrendWatching’s report is massive and you should definitely try to read it in full.
But for those who don’t fancy 8,000 words of trend analysis, here’s what the Wildfire Labs team thinks tech marketers need to know.
To thrive in 2023, consumer brands need to ditch the ‘old school’ methods and focus on the things that really matter. What do consumers value? What do they want to achieve this year? Who do they want to be? These are the questions marketers should be asking.
Focus your messaging on how technology can make people’s lives easier, not harder, and address very specific concerns that consumers might have (clearly ‘cost of living’ is a big one!).
Lastly, ditch the jargon and explain the problems your technology can help solve in clear, straightforward terms. It sounds obvious, but tech brands are pretty terrible at that. While you’re at it, ditch your demographics. Consumers are complicated and they don’t like being bucketed based on their gender, race, and other social constructs. So, stop it.
Want to read the whole trends report? Check it out at Trendwatching.
Or, looking for more information on how to message your tech brand to appeal to consumers in 2023? Check out Ben Smith’s recent blog on why we should all love PR messaging.
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