Looking Ahead to 2023 (It’s Coming Fast!)

While most of us are leaf-peeping or seeking out the weirdest use of pumpkin spice, my friends in product or marketing positions are putting the finishing touches on their strategy decks for 2023. In addition to the normal choices, there are a couple external factors that will play into the planning.

Likelihood of Recession

Depending on who you ask, we’re either in a recession now or we’ll experience one before the end of 2023. The underlying economic stuff is tricky enough, but I also wonder how much the click-baity, nervous headlines will amp up enough fear that the recession becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Either way, leading marketing and product teams through a recessionary period is going to be a new challenge for a generation of middle managers who’ve gone most of their careers (since 2008) without the joy of seeing charts moving downwards.

Tight Labor Pool

The labor crunch in digital roles doesn’t seem to be getting any better and companies who want to accelerate their digital transformations are struggling to lure full time workers. More orgs are considering flexible talent solutions or outsourcing to keep up. But, managers will have to be creative to build the teams they need to win.

Culture and Changing Attitudes Towards Work

Are all our team-mates becoming Bartleby, declaring “I prefer not to” when asked to go above and beyond? I hate the concept of “quiet quitting”, but I think the phenomenon is here to stay. It’s a phrase that perfectly encapsulates some of the changing attitudes about work. It might be easy to attribute those changing perspectives to a generational difference (“You Gen Z kids get off my digital lawn!”) or somehow a residue from the pandemic, but we’re seeing a general dissatisfaction with the status quo of work across the board. Managers and leaders will have to dig deep into their bag of employee engagement tricks to address this. I expect we’ll see a new take on “great manager” and “company purpose” training as one antidote.

Creative Partner Dilemma: Algorithms vs. Brand Creative

Organic social media reach is dead. Ad blindness is real. In a social media landscape where all of us are essentially little indy influencers, how does a brand break through? More high visibility stunts? Deep collabs on cool media projects? More worrying is the rise of algorithmically driven content and ad display, where we’re essentially letting math and luck drive where the impressions show up. What happens when brands have to fit their message into the creative expressions the robots prefer? The implication for brands is that they must conform their creative expressions to the choices that the algorithms bias. Will brands need to mimic all the trends to get seen? Either way, its going to force brands to rethink the creative partners they work with. The traditional, consumer- insight driven creative teams that specialize in crafting thoughtful, controlled brand expressions will probably give way to partner who can create a high volume of quick, clicky, meme-surfing videos in the pursuit of a few that will work. (Maybe I’m being a little pessimistic here).

Digital leaders have a lot on their plates for 2023. It will be a challenging year where early choices may set the course for a successful year.

Data Leaks: Doc Searls, Facebook data and what’s about to come

Are you you one of the folks in the digital/ad tech world trying to answer your friends questions about the “what’s going on with Facebook and all that data” situation? It’s going to get worse when everyone understands how thoroughly widespread the data-leaking problem is. Give this article a read. It’s from OG/Cluetrain guy Doc Searls, one of the best thinkers about the open web and what advertising has done to it. It’s a little over the top, but the underlying story is one we (“we” being humans on the internet and perhaps also in the digital business) should understand.

 

How Four Agency Holding Companies Are Upping Their Consulting Skills | AdExchanger

Decent overview/update on how agencies are trying to become consultancies and consultancies are trying to become agencies. Brands just want to grow.

Note: Notice the snark in the analysis of Publicis’ own challenges integrating Sapient. A little of the shoemaker’s children, i guess.

Source: How Four Agency Holding Companies Are Upping Their Consulting Skills | AdExchanger

A Good Reminder: Rich Roll & David Clark

This is a great episond of one of my favorite podcasts. Rich Roll is one of the truly inspirational guys out there. This episode is the best of many episode . The conversation between these two guys covers addiction, recovery, faith, fitness and food. But, mostly recovery and what a bitch it is. With all the people in my life dealing with a hard fight, i should listen to this every 6 months. You can learn a bit more about David Clark here and by reading his book