How Ecommerce Organizations Can Find Optimism in 2023 Amid Technological Change

How Ecommerce Organizations Can Find Optimism in 2023 Amid Technological Change

Marketers who understand customer data and personalization can use powerful tech stacks to accomplish goals

Ecommerce brands are better positioned for 2023 than ever by leveraging high-level strategies to build lasting customer relationships and loyalty in 2023, even amid macroeconomic instabilities and labor headwinds. While most organizations are continually refining budgets and ensuring tech stack viability, businesses remain optimistic in the face of change, according to new Salesforce research published in the State of Marketing Eighth edition.

Marketers are more optimistic than ever, with 87% percent reporting their work provides even greater value now than it did a year ago—a 10% jump from last year. The Salesforce 8th Edition State of Marketing Report, drawing from 6,000 marketers across 35 countries and analyzing trillions of outbound marketing messages sent using the Salesforce platform, explores how to capitalize on customers’ evolving digital-first expectations.

“Brands who understand customer data, personalization, and the power of building loyalty have a colossal opportunity to grow relationships and win customers for life. Innovation in 2023 will help marketers navigate this complex technology and regulatory landscape, and AI and automation will help enable this long-term strategy shift next year and beyond.”

Marketers’ Top Priorities

  • 1-Improving use of tools and technologies
  • 2-Experimenting with new marketing strategies and tactics
  • 3-Modernizing tools and technologies
  • 4-Building/retaining trust with customers
  • 5-Improving collaboration
  • 6-Balancing personalization with customer comfort levels

Marketers’ Top Challenges

  • 1-Ineffective use of tools and technologies
  • 2-Measuring marketing ROI/attribution
  • 3-Balancing personalization with customer comfort levels
  • 4-Building/retaining trust with customers
  • 5-Resistance to new marketing strategies/tactics

Leveraging Tools and Innovation for Consumer Connection

Brands need to prioritize technology performance to a higher degree than ever before, relying on tools and technologies to capture customer engagement with changing consumer preferences and fluctuating buying behaviors. Given the rising customer demands, marketers remain future-focused and are experimenting with new marketing strategies. Ninety-one percent of Chief Marketing Officers (CMO) say they must continually innovate to remain competitive.

Yet innovation requires…you guessed it…the right technology. One in three marketers reports the feeling of the squeeze of tightening budgets and gaps in employee resourcing are partially to blame for an increasingly challenging landscape. Trends like “The Great Resignation” and “Quiet Quitting,” along with layoffs, have impacted marketing teams who feel the impact.

These conditions have forced marketers to look closely at which capabilities they need and how to best extract value from their existing technology investments.

Digitally Led Engagement Paths

Salesforce research from May 2022 reveals more than half (56%) of consumers now expect offers always to be personalized, no matter the channel. Brands that invest in a combination of channels and technologies to customize their outreach to build lasting relationships will lead the competition.

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Email accounts for 80% of all outbound marketing messages. Still, TV and Over-The-Top media services (OTT), digital content, and video are experiencing the biggest marketing adoption overall, with a 27% growth rate. Streaming services continue to dominate the media landscape, so brands should increase targeted ad offerings to follow suit. Audio channels like podcasts are seeing large jumps in adoptions, particularly in healthcare, life sciences, biotechnology, and retail sectors.

Stretching Budgets Across Priorities

Organizations straddling market headwinds and budget constraints are doing their best with strategic investments and finite budgets and resources.

Disruptions caused by supply chain issues and inflation have complicated this issue even further. Advertising takes up the largest portion of global marketing budgets as marketing teams ramp up awareness for brands while the market is more saturated than ever.

B2B marketing organizations allocate an average of 15% of their budget to account-based marketing, emphasizing the value of personalized messaging and engagement that has spread from B2C to B2B strategies.

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Shifting Strategies for Longer-Staying Power

The pandemic forced organizations to be flexible about how and where employees work, allowing marketers to no longer be limited to geography and time zones. Distributed marketing teams coincided with investment in collaboration technology, which is part of the changes here to stay. This shift also allowed teams to open new doors of success by unlocking new customer segments, investing in digital-first experiences, and hosting virtual and hybrid events.

Seventy percent of marketers investing in workflow automation consider innovation a long-term strategy shift, underscoring the importance of boosting productivity and efficiency. Seventy percent also are investing in collaboration technologies like Slack. Investing in digital-first experiences also ranked high as well as deriving new product fulfillment options (68%).

While there is a new level of juggling for marketers, the shift toward ensuring technology delivers is stronger than ever. Salesforce’s Chief Marketing Officer Sarah Franklin says, “We’re in a time of tremendous transformation that requires us to reimagine how we connect with customers.”

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Becky Wright

Author: Becky Wright, VP Salesforce Alliance & Marketing

Becky’s background in corporate marketing, sales and leadership spans several industries including Media and Communications, Retail and Consumer Goods, Professional Services, Finance and Technology. With more than 15 years of worldwide experience in rapidly growing organizations, Becky plays a major role in integrating technologies and business processes to create demand engines that influence and convert growth. Becky’s passion for technology and B2B enterprise services inspire her to share unique perspectives on digital transformation strategies that deliver strong results and deep business intelligence.