What’s on the Minds of Marketers 2023?
5 mins read

What’s on the Minds of Marketers 2023?

Marketers Shift Priorities to the Immediate and the Practical
TODAY’S MARKETERS face a long list of urgent priorities. However, this year, the order of those priorities is changing. 

Each year, based on an annual survey of key topics and critical priorities, The Internationalist provides a snapshot of What’s on the Minds of Marketers as they anticipate the next 12 months. This year’s survey held some surprises, as well as a top consideration to be expected. And while the word of the moment at Davos was arguably “resilience” or more specifically “a CEO’s preparedness to build resilience and navigate the impending turbulence to create economic growth,” 83% of CMOs cite ECONOMIC CONSIDERATIONS as their leading current concern— particularly relating to new messaging and adjusted budgets.

Whether or not we use the “r” word— that’s recession rather than resilience— marketers, as well as investors, understand that the global layoffs of thousands at social media platforms and AdTech firms are largely due to drops in advertising revenue (along with earlier over-hiring).  

The topics that now matter most to marketers beyond navigating economic and global crises are TALENT, the EXPERIENCE ECONOMYMEDIA CHANGE, and CREATIVITY. These areas are leading the ranking for the first time.  Sixty-six percent of marketers state that issues of Talent loom large, especially when managing in a remote world that’s fueled by “The Great Resignation” or perhaps better stated as “The Great Reprioritization” of expectations now equated with work.   

The following rankings of key topics in this year’s survey– with 50% of respondents checking each of these options– are:
  • Putting Human Experience at the Center of how Brands Connect Emotionally, as Brand Value is increasingly gauged on the quality of an experience.
  • Keeping up with Innovative Media Solutions— from Micro-moments to Mass Audiences, from New Platforms to Creators & Influencers
  • Creativity Now–From Brand Storytelling to Data-Driven Ideas that are Changing Trends and Tastes.
Since 2018, well before the COVID crisis and even during the pandemic, among the top issues for marketers— in varying order each year— were: BRAND GROWTH, PURPOSE. and MARKETING/TECHNOLOGY.
In times of perceived economic instability and global tensions, priorities often shift to the immediate and the practical. 

We’re certainly seeing that now with back-to-basics concerns, rather than theoretical ones. Talent, creativity, brand experience, and the right media solutions are marketing fundamentals. The survey is not suggesting that BRAND GROWTH, PURPOSE, and MARKETING / TECHNOLOGY are going away.

Other issues, though, are currently outpacing them on a CMO’s agenda. However, Brand Growth is certainly a given– even amid economic instability. and it is ALWAYS a CEO mandate. Technology is now intertwined with marketing execution in an era of personalization and constant evolution– like this month’s emphasis on generative AI and algorithms like ChatGPT. And, without question, Purpose matters, and many companies have demonstrated the difference a purpose-led ethos can make to their businesses, employees, stakeholders, and communities at large. Yet, like all popular terminology, there are instances when purpose can appear to be “too much”… when it lacks an authenticity directly tied to a company’s mission and activities.  

More Shifting Priorities!

When marketers were asked, “How have your priorities shifted?”… the results were, again, surprising. In the #1 ranked position with a substantial 83% of responses, “Increasing the Collaboration among Departments is more significant than ever before” proved critical to today’s marketers. The attitude toward the necessity of COLLABORATION not only represents a new first as a top priority choice in our annual What’s on the Minds of Marketers survey, but shows how current thinking has indeed changed.

Additionally, marketers agreed that “Both Revenue Growth and Cost Reductions are important at this time.” Clearly, this is another reflection of economic concerns that had not been a priority in the past. And during the pandemic, we saw the rise in sentiment that “Innovation in not enough. The speed of innovation in now extremely important.” This belief remains strong today.
The Internationalist conducted this annual “What’s on the Minds of Marketers” from early December 2022 to early January 2023, as part of our Internationalist INSIGHTS Survey series, among marketers worldwide to examine which marketing issues matter most to them this year. To keep the survey short and relevant, responses close when completed submissions from 50 top marketers are received and all regions of the world are represented. These results help to shape The Internationalist‘s content, think tanks and initiatives around marketers’ core concerns.
ABOUT THE INTERNATIONALISTThe Internationalist focuses on the reinvention of marketing by connecting the people and ideas in international advertising and marketing through content, insights, thought leadership, community, collaboration, and influence. Marketer driven, it has become a trusted source for best practices and is dedicated to the business needs and challenges of international marketing professionals as they participate in multinational brand building and aspire to world class standards. The Internationalist is now in its twentieth year and was founded by former Ad Age executive, Deborah Malone. The Internationalist is especially proud of its Marketing Makes a World of Difference™ initiative and its long-term Global Alliance with ANA.