How organizations will transform their martech stacks and digital experiences in the new year

MarTech's 2023 predictions

Even if marketers thought they’d found the perfect formula in the technology and strategies they used in 2022, they still have to switch it up in the new year, for one major reason. That’s because the customer will change. New tech platforms, devices and trends will generate new behaviors by consumers, and marketers will have to keep up.

Below are some of the top ways that experiences and behaviors will change for consumers in 2023, and what marketers will do to adjust and maintain a competitive edge.

More enterprises will adopt composable infrastructure

Updating and implementing new technology is a bigger ask for enterprises because of all the people and systems involved in organizations of their size. Look for more enterprises to adopt composable architectures in 2023 to mitigate the costs of digital transformation.

“Enterprises that don’t keep up with the quick changes coming will fall behind,” said Tam Ayers, field CTO, North America for enterprise integration platform as-a-service company Digibee. 

According to Gartner, organizations that adopt a composable approach in 2022 will outpace their competition by 80% in new feature implementation, Ayers said.

In 2022, digital experience platform (DXP) Sitecore expanded its composable offerings, which allow organizations like Cirque du Soleil to pick and choose among various digital ecosystems instead of committing to one vendor for all of their digital architecture.

Dig deeper: Marketing collaboration and experimentation in action

“As adoption of composable infrastructure grows, we will see a shift towards a more centralized IT model,” said Ayers. “While IT won’t disappear, the old system will change. Instead, more responsibility will rest within the business where we’ll see the hiring of technical people, developers, and others who support and embrace the new approach.”

AI will be used to improve discovery in more mobile experiences

Consumers are back out in droves looking to shop in-person but to look things up on their phones while doing it. Digital touchpoints were the only connection that retailers had with their customers during pandemic lockdowns. Now, consumers take those connections around with them wherever they go.

This makes mobile experiences more important than ever for retailers, even if their in-store foot traffic has rebounded. One of the most important tasks mobile touchpoints have is to recommend products and next best actions. They help consumers discover things.

The challenge is that everybody has different interests, so the surfacing of new products and messages has to be tailored to the individual. Retailers will be deploying more AI in these experiences to be smarter about their users’ interests at scale.

“The ability to explore, discover and find the right fit can turn consumers into loyalists very quickly, so brands will be expected to keep AI for customized customer experience in brick-and-mortar to deliver a better discovery process,” said Richard Jones, CRO for performance marketing company Wunderkind.

AI will also increasingly be used for content marketing. But this will trigger a backlash long-term and a return to content basics.

“Generative AI will see rapid adoption in 2023, with AI replacing SEO-focused content historically created by human beings,” said Venkat Nagaswamy, CMO at Canadian telecommunications company Mitel. “So much so, that we will have a content glut in a couple of years, and we will eventually come back to basics, focusing on higher quality but lower volume of content.”

Consumers will be more price-conscious and commerce will respond

“A looming economic [downturn] has made consumers price-conscious, leading to frugal behavior and secondhand shopping — tripling the resale market since 2020,” said Jones. “This will create new opportunities for up-and-coming resale apps catering to the younger generation.”

Not only will new opportunities open up catering to frugal shoppers, but many brands will pivot their message and focus on price.

While corporate social responsibility continues to be important to U.S. shoppers, it’s not a top priority as cost concerns grow,” said Laura Connell, consumer trends manager for consumer intelligence company GWI. “Brand blunders, however, continue to show that reduced consumer prioritization doesn’t mean companies are devoid of social responsibility, authenticity and inspiration; rather, brands will adjust how they communicate with consumers.”

She added, “While morale is currently low and consumers hold wallets tighter than ever, many will continue to look for a positive distraction. In 2023, we can expect consumers to reprioritize what, when and how much they buy as they look for an escape [from] the world they’re living in, impacting music choices, travel and other behaviors in 2023.”

“Loyal shoppers are trusting brands for cheaper product recommendations and incentives that match their lifestyle and budgets,” said Jones. “Hassle-free returns and loyalty programs will be used to keep customers coming back in 2023.”

Live shopping will come to the forefront of retail marketing strategies

“We expect retailers to increasingly prioritize live shopping in the year ahead as it has the potential to be a major source of revenue,” said Alexander Frolov, cofounder and CEO of paid campaign tracking company HypeAuditor. 

A buy button or shopping bag icon, when placed near a creator’s video, can make any social platform a social commerce play for retailers. These partnerships have built up in recent months and they will come to a head in the new year.

“Among the hurdles retailers will face will be the necessity to provide a seamless omnichannel experience and adaptability of traditional retail features on social media platforms,” said Frolov. “TikTok and Instagram do provide good creation tools that retailers can rely on, but they also need to ensure an optimized integration with their own website.”

Low-code customer experience processes

We’ve already seen above how enterprises will be using composable infrastructures to transform. This need to adapt quickly will also lead to adopting low-code customer experience (CX) processes.

“Next year, we’ll see an increase in user-friendly, low-code processes and systems to create a seamless customer experience across a myriad of touchpoints and systems. Vendors will embrace industry-standard APIs to allow enterprises to integrate their CX ecosystem connecting internal and external systems painlessly.”

“I think composable technology will be an increasing area of strategic CX investments in the coming year,” said Deanna Ballew, SVP of product at SaaS company Acquia. “It enables organizations to mix and match components from different sources, which allows them to be more agile while avoiding vendor lock-in. This approach helps marketing teams accomplish more, in partnership with IT teams.”

Dig deeper: No–code tools are transforming marketers into makers

“Consumers want brands to offer different options to consume content – such as text, audio and dynamic video,” said Chris Savage, cofounder and CEO of video platform Wista. “In 2023, marketers will need to focus on diversifying their content distribution to reach wider audiences and boost the customer experience.”

Email verification and mobile optimization

“The new year brings an opportunity for email marketers to lean into tech that can increase the chances of their emails being received and read by their target audiences — such as email verification tools,” said Kate Nowrouzi, VP of deliverability for Email by Sinch. “These solutions validate whether the email addresses on your lists are real, and determine the likelihood that the recipient will open marketing emails, based on prior behavior. These tools ensure high deliverability, and save their sender’s reputation by making email lists more strategic.”

She added, “In 2023, mobile optimization for email will be critical for delivering a seamless, truly omnichannel customer experience. In its simplest form, marketers will want to ensure that their emails render the same on any device — be that a laptop, an iPhone, an Android, and so on. To take this a step further, leading brands will start to lean into interactive email capabilities for mobile. Enabling appointment booking from directly within an email — rather than taking the customer to a browser to log into their customer portal — removes pesky friction from the customer experience, making your call-to-action much more actionable.”

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About the author

Chris Wood

Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country’s first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on “innovation theater” at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.

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