2022 Marketing Operations Lessons Learned for 2023

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2022 has come and gone, leaving us with valuable lessons on what worked and what didn't in the world of marketing operations.

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So, we’re taking the lessons we learned in 2022, and figuring out what’ll be marketers’ priorities in 2023. Basically, we’ve got a crystal ball, a couple of tarot cards, and maybe even some incense burning.

As they say, hindsight is 2020 (or in this case, 2022), so let's look at what we learned, laugh at our mistakes, and prepare to do it all again in 2023. Don't worry, it can't be any worse than that time we accidentally sent out an email campaign with nothing but cat memes. Or can it? Let's find out!

Combating Misinformation

According to Gartner's prediction, enterprise marketers will establish a dedicated content authenticity function to combat the proliferation of misinformation and fake content by 2027.

This is in response to the challenges posed by the sheer volume of generative AI and user-generated content (UGC), which make it increasingly difficult to manage content in today's digital landscape. As the use of AI and UGC grows, the problem will become even more complex.

Marketing operations will need to be proactive in managing their reputation, but scanning for inaccurate or defamatory content in real-time, at scale, is a daunting task in a fast-paced and polarized environment.

This growing concern about misinformation and fake content presents a significant challenge for CMOs, but it also creates opportunities for technology to be part of the solution.

In this context, AI and other technologies can help complement the efforts of dedicated teams that listen, engage, and promote brand interests across the digital content ecosystem.

As a result, marketing operations will need to adapt to these changing dynamics and develop strategies to ensure that their content remains authentic and credible.

To apply this lesson in 2023, marketing operations will need to prioritize proactive reputation management and invest in technologies and dedicated teams that can help detect and combat misinformation and fake content in real-time.

This may include implementing AI and other technologies to assist in scanning for inaccurate or defamatory content, complemented by dedicated teams that can listen, engage, and escalate brand interests across the digital content ecosystem.

As the use of AI and user-generated content continues to grow, it will be increasingly important for marketing operations to stay vigilant and adaptable to new trends and technologies.

By proactively addressing the issue of misinformation and fake content, businesses can safeguard their reputations and maintain the trust of their customers in a polarizing and high-velocity landscape.

Agile, Experiment Approach

Modern marketers must be agile and able to adapt quickly to ever-changing digital and consumer landscapes. In uncertain times, it is essential to continuously test strategies and processes against the challenges that arise.

One way to do this is by embracing a culture of experimentation, where innovation is viewed as the pursuit of fast and frequent marginal gains rather than big, risky and expensive leaps.

By embedding experimentation processes, systems and permissions into the marketing strategy and overall company mindset, success can be measured rapidly and scaled without requiring significant budgets or time.

In 2023, this lesson can be applied by marketers to continue exploring new and innovative ways to engage with their audiences while remaining agile and adaptable in the face of change.

Experimentation and testing will continue to be crucial in refining marketing strategies and keeping up with evolving consumer preferences and behaviours.

Additionally, the focus on measuring success through rapid experimentation and learning from failures will remain a key component of modern marketing operations in the years to come.

Product Placement Makes a Comeback

Product placement is a trend that could have a significant impact in the coming months. A Gartner survey from October revealed that two-thirds of surveyed consumers prefer product placement over separate ads.

As a result, product placement could potentially receive more of brands' budgets as they try to engage ad-averse consumers.

According to Kate Muhl, Vice President Analyst at Gartner, brands are paying top dollar to reach high-income consumers via digital advertising, but as this audience becomes more adept at tuning out traditional ads, such impressions become less meaningful.

Marketers who continue to rely on traditional digital ad formats will increasingly reach an audience comprised mostly of digital have-nots.

Therefore, it is crucial for marketing operations to adapt to changing consumer preferences and explore alternative advertising strategies such as product placement to maintain brand visibility and reach their target audience effectively.

Marketers need to adapt to changing consumer preferences and explore alternative advertising strategies to maintain brand visibility and reach their target audience effectively.

The trend of product placement, which was found to be preferred by two-thirds of surveyed consumers in a Gartner survey from October 2022, could have a significant impact in the coming months.

To apply this lesson in 2023, marketing operations should consider allocating more of their budgets towards product placement to engage ad-averse consumers.

This may involve partnering with TV shows or movies to showcase their products in a natural and authentic way, rather than relying solely on traditional digital ad formats.

Harnessing Insights

Another lesson learned in 2022 was the increased importance of marketing operations and their role in driving growth and enabling change within organizations.

With increased uncertainty and reliance on this team, companies are prioritizing investments in marketing technology and actionable insights for stakeholders.

These investments have been shown to drive double-digit revenue growth for advanced B2B and B2B2C insights-driven organizations.

In 2023, it will be crucial for marketing operations to continue providing expertise on data strategy, data management, and privacy regulations, while also being properly resourced and closely aligned with executive leadership.

The group's success will depend on its ability to exercise a degree of influence and exposure, which can be achieved by having marketing operations leaders report directly to the chief marketing officer.

With this alignment and investment, marketing operations can help drive growth and enable change within the marketing department and the organisation.

Next-Level Loyalty Programmes

Loyalty programs are becoming increasingly important for businesses as they look to collect valuable first-party data and retain high-priority customers.

In 2023, we can expect to see more companies investing in loyalty programs as a percentage of their total marketing budget to stay competitive in the marketplace.

CMOs will need to focus on creating highly personalized loyalty content that engages their target audiences and goes beyond just transactional benefits.

In addition, loyalty program strategies will need to expand beyond traditional industries like travel, hospitality, and retail, and find opportunities in other verticals such as banking and consumer packaged goods.

To succeed in this highly competitive landscape, marketing leaders will need to ensure that their loyalty programs are properly resourced and aligned with executive leadership teams.

By doing so, they can enhance their customer experiences, improve retention and growth, and remain ahead of the competition in 2023

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