2023 is poised to be a year of adaptation and refinement as businesses navigate ongoing challenges brought on by the pandemic, geopolitical tensions, and economic uncertainty. 


In this new dynamic landscape, it is crucial that organisations take a proactive approach to planning and strategising for the coming year. Marketing will play a critical role in this process, as businesses look to connect with consumers, build brand loyalty and drive growth.

To provide a forward-looking perspective, I have sought insights from leaders from across our business to identify key trends and predictions for marketing in 2023. These insights can serve as valuable guidance for businesses looking to stay ahead of the curve and seize opportunities in an ever-changing market.


As we move into the new year, some of the trends to watch for include the continued rise of e-commerce, a heightened focus on personalization, an increased emphasis on social responsibility, and a shift towards video marketing. In addition, OTT advertising will gain more prominence as consumers continue to cut their cable cords and turn to streaming services.

In this uncertain time, it’s important to stay informed and proactive. By staying ahead of the trends, businesses can make informed decisions, pivot quickly and continue to thrive in the coming year. Here are the thoughts from HdE AGENCY:


Inclusive Media Planning

Matthew Leigh, Paid Media Executive

In 2023, inclusive media planning will be a crucial aspect of connecting with diverse audiences. While the advertising industry has been making strides in more inclusive representation in creative content, this effort now needs to be extended to media planning as well. It’s not just important for individuals to see and hear people like them, but to also experience representation in environments that are familiar to them. This allows for an audience to truly resonate with what’s being put out, instead of feeling like an afterthought to tick boxes.

However, unconscious bias can often hinder inclusive media planning efforts. To truly engage and connect with diverse audiences, it’s essential for marketers to address and overcome these biases, embracing the diversity of content consumed by their target audience.

In recent years, companies like Domino’s and Diageo made significant efforts to expand their reach by critically assessing their media placement choices and making adjustments to better connect with their entire audience. This was done by lifting keyword and topic exclusions that may contain bias and proactively investing in underrepresented voices and publishers.

To ensure an inclusive media plan in 2023, brands should conduct an audit of their media strategy. Assess if the mix of channels and publishers effectively reaches their intended audience and review for potential biases in keyword and topic exclusions. Furthermore, consider taking strong action to authentically support underrepresented voices and communities.


Green Fingered Marketing 

Jakub Cambor, Senior Account Executive 

Consumers are placing more emphasis on sustainability and they expect organisations to help them make more sustainable choices, and to have a greater positive impact on society. As a result, we’re seeing brands move away from simply focusing on reducing their own environmental impact to taking a more active role in promoting important causes and inspiring change.

In 2023, it seems as though every business is becoming more and more aware that society is moving towards a greener & more sustainable economy.

For example, Microsoft, launched a program to promote digital literacy and bridge the digital divide by making educational resources available to underserved communities. They also use their platform to advocate for responsible technology usage and support initiatives to promote sustainable digital practices.

For other technology companies, their purpose is at the core of their business. Tesla, for example, has built its brand around sustainable transportation and clean energy. The company has invested in solar energy and uses its platform to advocate for clean energy policies and educate consumers on the benefits of electric vehicles.

However, it’s important to avoid “purpose-washing” when aligning advertising with a cause. A commitment to causes must be authentic, long-term, and supported by actions beyond words.

(correct terminology is “greenwashing”, see 2nd paragraph below this one)

A food sharing app called OLIO with a ‘patriarchal’ focus on eliminating food waste started in 2015 and gained huge traction especially over the pandemic with 5 million members. Their predictions are that 1 billion users will use the app by 2030 which showcases the amount of interest in being more eco-friendly.

Fast fashion companies are being called out for their machiavellian methods of mass producing earth damaging products. Likewise, the term ‘greenwashing’ is being looked through as companies seem to market themselves as earth-friendly and sustainable – misleading customers to be perceived as eco-conscious.

Customers can see when a commitment is authentic, long-term, and supported by actions beyond words.


Privacy Privacy Privacy 

Dale Graham, Chief Marketing Officer

As businesses navigate a competitive and uncertain market in 2023, it’s more important than ever to stand out and establish trust with consumers. One key area where businesses can differentiate themselves is by prioritising online privacy.

Recently, a privacy survey conducted by a leading research firm found that when brands respect privacy, their ads are more effective. They surveyed over 20,000 people and found that privacy experiences significantly impact user trust and bad privacy experiences can be as damaging as a data theft, leading 43% of surveyed individuals to switch to another brand.

To establish trust and keep customers, it’s essential for businesses to provide online experiences that prioritise privacy. In 2023, businesses should make sure they’re providing customers with the tools and resources they need to feel in control of their data. This includes providing accessible and easy-to-use tools that allow customers to manage their privacy preferences at their convenience.

Transparent privacy policies, giving opt-out options for unwanted communication, and providing education on privacy matters to their customers are some examples, will help brands earn trust, and maintain customer retention. It’s clear that in the digital age, prioritising privacy is crucial for businesses looking to build and maintain customer trust.


Gen Z Users Pioneering New Frontiers

Arianna Domingo, Senior Social Media Manager

The youngest generation of internet users, Gen Z, is driving change in how we interact and engage online. As the first generation to have grown up with the internet, their preferences and habits are constantly evolving and they prioritise platforms that are dynamic, visual and meet their ever-changing needs in new and innovative ways. To truly connect with this generation, brands must understand where and how they choose to engage and be present in those spaces.

One example of this is our campaign aimed at Gen Z that promoted a new way of searching through images. We called it “Find that thing”, and it was a celebration of visual search, giving this visual-forward audience a way to find what they are looking for by using Google Lens. Our team created different videos that were tailored to specific social platforms, based on popular Gen Z trends, fashion, interests and artist.

In 2023, businesses must approach Gen Z audiences by meeting them where they are, understanding their unmet needs, and prioritising relevance and authenticity over homogenous messaging. By embracing the diverse and visual worlds that Gen Z inhabits, brands can better connect with this dynamic and influential generation.


Blending The Physical & Digital Worlds

Ashley Wheeler, CEO

The shift towards online shopping accelerated by the pandemic, and the aggressive emergence of ‘the Metaverse’ has made it increasingly vital for brands to offer innovative and unique experiences in offline environments. As we move into 2023, it will be essential for businesses to find ways to drive physical footfall, by providing an in-store customer experience that adds value and complements online shopping.

One way to achieve this is through the use of augmented reality (AR) and other immersive technologies. As the adoption of AR technology becomes more mainstream, consumer demand for immersive experiences will also rise. In fact, it is predicted that by 2025, more than a third of Gen Z consumers will be shopping with AR.

Some brands have already begun to experiment with AR campaigns, like Miss Dior using Google Lens in-store to create an AR garden of blossoming flowers, and Burberry celebrating their collection with a pop-up store where customers could use their smartphones to bring a statue of Greek goddess Elpis to life. These experiences are not limited to the physical stores but can be anchored to real locations with technology like ARCore Geospatial API.

In 2023, it is important for businesses to start creating and testing immersive experiences with smartphones, in order to be ahead of the curve when AR hardware, like glasses, becomes more widely adopted.


Snack-able Video Content

Katy Copson, Senior Social Media Executive

As viewers move between different screens and video lengths and attention spans continue to decrease, their viewing habits are diversifying. To meet the needs of these viewers, many creators are experimenting with shorter, snack-able content and seeing significant success. YouTube Shorts, for example, now has 1.5 billion monthly active users and receives more than 30 billion daily views, making it a major opportunity for advertisers.

To create successful short-form video content, brands should take inspiration from creators who are innovating in this space and using storytelling best practices to authentically connect with their audiences. As the available ad time is limited, usually between 10-60 seconds, it’s essential to jump straight into the action without setting up a premise or establishing a storyline with extra context. This can help brands cut through in-feed and grab the attention of scrolling viewers immediately.

Brands don’t have to start from scratch to take advantage of this newer video format. There are tools available to reformat landscape videos into square or vertical formats based on how someone is watching it. Machine learning is one of the examples that is currently being experimented to do so, it’s already available for App campaigns, and Video action and Performance Max are expected to be introduced in 2023.