Last week, the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) made its return to Las Vegas after an almost three-year hiatus. This event is known to be a proving ground for breakthrough technologies and global innovators, and in the advertising industry specifically, it’s the kickoff to business in the new year. Here are a few themes that resonate at the intersection of advertising and technology in 2023.  

Marketers will double down on performance

There’s reason to be optimistic about 2023, according to David Kostman, Co-CEO at Outbrain. In a fireside chat with Brian Morrissey, Founder of The Rebooting, Kostman highlighted that with marketers continuing to pull back budgets, there’s a premium on performance. “People are looking for measurable outcomes. Even brands spending on awareness want metrics [to ladder back to].” 

Though attention and engagement metrics are helpful, marketers will place a premium on real results for the dollar. The industry will need to make better use of data to show advertisers tangible, measurable outcomes. 

There’s also been a false dichotomy placed between brand and performance advertising. In the year ahead, advertisers will want to place performance on a continuum, where reach, engagement and other metrics also exist. Through tech and data, the industry can do better to prove ROI. 

Advertising will be more responsible and purpose-driven

“Marketers won’t stop spending in 2023, but they will be more responsible in how they spend,” said Krystal Olivieri, Global Chief Innovation Officer at GroupM, in a discussion about advertisers supporting local journalism. As clients think about areas where they want to drive innovation, activities that are core to day-to-day operations will be the focus. Anything outside of that will be more likely to go, according to Olivieri. 

How are marketers deciding how much money to spend in areas that are proven versus areas to test and innovate in? It’s not a cookie-cutter approach and marketers don’t want to walk away from these priorities, but they are trying to figure out how to balance innovation with the tried and trusted. 

Marketers are embracing purpose-driven initiatives, while at the same time placing a priority on their return on investment. Performance is still key. For a long time, large platforms had an advantage and were able to provide end-to-end performance. Tech has gotten better and it’s easier to prove performance across channels. 

Olivieri advises teams that the same way as they think about financial investments is how they should think about advertising investments. “It’s the responsibility of the holding company to make sure they are including the right portfolio and index of placements for clients.” 

It’s time to move fast and use data to validate gut instincts

To get ahead of the competition in 2023, marketers need to be disruptors, ready to capture the zeitgeist at speed. Mint Mobile’s Chief Marketing Officer, Aron North, has embraced being a challenger and uses that outlook to drive his brand’s marketing strategy. In a session during the Brand Innovators Leadership Summit with Quantcast’s CMO Deb Stambaugh, North explained why he prefers a flexible and agile approach to advertising: “Everyone in marketing has a plan, but that’s not all we do. We always have our eyes and ears open to what’s happening in the world. Sometimes things can be planned; sometimes you’ve just got to be ready for them.” 

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Brands that are ready to respond to the marketplace and constantly shifting consumer behavior gain a significant competitive advantage. North usually relies on data-driven insights to adjust campaigns and optimize results, using measurement of ad performance in connected TV (CTV) to inform linear TV strategy. He also recommends listening to your own “Spidey-sense” as a marketer and watching the data to see whether it changes over time as consumer behavior catches up: “My dream is every impression leads to a sale, the most efficient ever, but that’s not reality; sometimes it takes a few times for you to watch [an ad and] be motivated” to act. 

Trending in 2023

As we move into the new year, marketers will be focused on optimizing performance and proving results with measurable outcomes. Advertising will be more purposeful and responsible, balancing innovation with the tried and true. But challengers may have an advantage if they move fast and listen to their gut instincts, taking risks to get ahead. 

Learn more

Read about how to recession-proof your ad spend and brand budgets. And to find out more about unifying performance and brand campaigns for better results, check out “Redefining Brand Advertising for Modern Marketers.”