A major movement as part of the Renaissance era, Humanism is defined by scholars as an intellectual movement in which people began to view themselves as the center of their own universe and embrace human achievements. Today, many might note that marketing has entered its renaissance as digital solutions have allowed brands to take their engagement with consumers to another level.

Although radio and TV were once known as disruptors to newspapers and magazines, the accessibility and personalization that modern digital marketing has introduced brings another disruption to this medium. Yet, all of this comes as consumers also are expressing concerns about economic stability in the wake of inflation.

Deloitte Insights’ “2023 Global Marketing Trends” report found that chief marketing officers (CMOs) indicate that during this time, they are not leaning on cost cutting measures, but instead investing in  tools to weather the challenges. Based on the interviews of 20-plus CMOs, the following are the Top 3 priorities to tackle current or potential economic challenges:

  • Accelerate the move to new digital technologies or platforms
  • Expand into new markets, segments or geographies
  • Implement systems or algorithms to enhance customer personalization

In terms of the new technologies and platforms, Deloitte’s responses found a range of solutions that CMOs are targeting.

“Some marketers are prioritizing artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics to help orchestrate better experiences and paint a more holistic picture of the customer,” the report states. “Other frequently cited technologies and platforms include virtual reality, augmented reality, social platforms (such as through social commerce), and digital currencies.”

Diversification of social platforms also is noted as part of Hootsuite’s “Social Media Trends 2023” as part of its “The Future of Social Marketing” section. In its Marketing Trend 3, titled “Social innovators crack the cross-posting code,” the company notes that consumers often are on more than one social platform, with users going to these channels for different social media activities. 

However, the report cautions that marketers that cross-post similar content ― with 52% of respondents noting they do with as few changes as possible ― are putting their results in jeopardy. Of those that create different posts from scratch for respective platforms, approximately 20% indicated they were extremely confident in the value and approximately 40% indicated they were confident in the value. By comparison, those that reused social content across platforms had fewer than 10% indicate they were extremely confident and just above 20% noting they were confident in the value.

“As the Frankensteining of social networks continues, the most confident marketers will spend less time worrying about which copycat feature to start using next and more time exploring platforms that best reflect their business goals,” the report states. “They’ll focus on creating content that’s well suited to those platforms, rather than trying to keep up with every feature-level change the networks throw their way.”

Given the varying degrees of confidence that marketers note, the Hootsuite report recommends that brands conduct a social media audit and even provides a social media audit guide to walk marketers through the auditing steps. The report also instructs brands to ask the following questions: 

  • What is and isn’t working?
  • Which social network does the target audience use?
  • How does the company’s social media presence compare with competitors?

Creating together

The word collaboration gets utilized often when referencing new product development — whether it be beverage-makers coming together to create a product or even food and beverage brands joining forces. But collaboration has taken on a deeper meaning as social media gave rise to influencers and even allowed traditional celebrities to gain deeper connections with consumers.

With content creators becoming an accepted and sometimes celebrated form of vocation today, brands have an opportunity through collaborations with these personalities to reach a deeper audience.

In Hootsuite’s report, the social media management platform identifies its first Marketing Trend as “Small businesses cozy up to creators.” Here it notes that big brands have taken a step back with content creators, offering opportunities for smaller businesses to compete for top creators at reduced rates.

Drink PRIME campaignImage courtesy of PRIME

Additionally, enlisting these personalities does not require an agency as indicated by respondents. “Less than a third (28%) of brands that work with creators do so through agencies or third-party platforms, according to our survey,” the report states. “For small-business owners, this means less overhead and much more control over who you choose to hire and negotiate with.”

What Hootsuite recommends is that brands do their research on influencers that are relevant to their industry and specifically to their brand. It also suggests implementing strategic focus and not reach. By this, it notes that creators with large followings might not lead to higher conversions, so do not ignore those with fewer followers. What it stresses is collaborating with a personality to create “inspiring content relevant to your product or service.”

Some content creators though have taken on collaborations to create their own product. For instance, KSI, English influencer, rapper and boxer, and Logan Paul, American influencer, professional wrestler and actor, announced on a live Instagram feed in early 2022 the founding PRIME, a global lifestyle beverage brand, and its flagship product PRIME Hydration. 

This year, the sports drink brand announced it was named the Official Global Sports Drink of UFC. It also was announced that UFC, Logan Paul, and KSI will collaborate on original content that will be distributed through their social media channels, including YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok.  Collectively, UFC, Paul, and KSI can reach nearly 400 million social media followers worldwide, it said in a January press release.

The brand’s exposure on social continues to show its reach. In late August, the brand announced the release of Glowberry to the PRIME Hydration line. Its TikTok video showing the product, including its UV-light packaging design, has garnered 15.8 million views as of Sept. 21. 

Celebrities also have traditionally been a source of partnership for brands, but social media has allowed for more engaging campaigns. Archer Roose announced in 2021 that Elizabeth Banks joined as a co-owner and chief creative officer. Since then, Banks has appeared in a number of campaigns such as in Uninvited Guest where she made herself the brand spokesperson; the debut of the Archer Roose Rewards Program, which offered to mail free snakes to anyone who purchased 100,000 cases of wine; and one in which she unsuccessfully visited the metaverse to show that wine is best enjoyed in real life.

Elizabeth Banks Book Club campaign from Archer RooseThe Elizabeth Banks Book Club campaign from Archer Roose directed consumers to the brand’s Instagram page to join “the club.”
Image courtesy of Archer Roose

The most recent was the Elizabeth Banks Book Club, a club where the books don’t actually matter. In the video announcement, Banks states “Our ‘club’,” in air quotes, “is designed to get people right to the wine. It celebrates the camaraderie enjoyed with friends and Archer Roose.” Consumers automatically join “the club” by following @archerroosewines on Instagram.

Here consumers are encouraged to share the titles on their personal channels, stock up on Archer Roose or call their own “book club meeting.” Throughout the summer, Instagram followers could check back for playful book titles as well as ongoing social support around the book club, the company noted.

“Now you can have a book club meeting with your friends or family and not have to worry about if you read the book or not,” said Archer Roose CEO Marian Leitner, in a statement. “It’s all about the wine and not taking ourselves too seriously.”

In Deloitte Insights’ report and third trend, “Creativity as a force for growth,” it notes the potential going beyond one’s organization with the help of content creators and influencers whom care deeply about a brand.

“The brands that are willing to share their voice with select others are the ones that could potentially generate a stronger brand community,” the report states.

In its survey, Deloitte Insights asked CMOs what their plans were for partnering with creators. From the consumer sector, 37% indicated currently partnering with creators and 41% indicated they plan to in the next 12 months.

When engaging in this strategy, though, content creators have voiced concerns, with 58% of those surveyed indicating difficulties in securing partnerships with brands, the report states.

For those interested in incorporating content creators into future creatives and growth plans, Deloitte Insights recommended the following suggestions:

  • Allow for creative freedom with minimal interference. 
  • Building partnerships that are relevant to the creator’s audience.
  • Align on expectations by clearly defining in the contract what is considered a successful partnership.

As digital marketing becomes a bigger part of brand strategies, CMOs have an opportunity to be on the front end of this new chapter.