Staff Reporters
Jan 3, 2023

The only 2023 marcomms trend report you actually need to read

OUTLOOK 2023: Only the most valuable insights from all the top industry reports on trends and predictions for the coming year.

The only 2023 marcomms trend report you actually need to read

It’s the season of industry outlooks, predictions, and an avalanche of “expert takes”. As much as we love research firms and agencies working overdrive to release their latest trend predictions to set the tone for the year ahead, the sheer volume can get overwhelming.

If you have the bandwidth to read just one industry forecast, read this one—Campaign’s annual collection of trend reports, categorised and organised in easy-to-digest format—where our editors thumb through the jargon, weed out the important bits, basically do all the hard work so you start 2023 on an informed note. 

Each day this month, we'll bring you a key insight worth tracking and keep whetting your thirst for knowledge.


The rise of brand purpose in Asia
Source: BBDO’s ‘Brand Purpose in Asia’ report

BBDO’s ‘Brand Purpose in Asia’ report conducted in markets such as mainland China, Korea, Japan, Thailand the Philippines, and India finds that environment and sustainability issues are the leading social topic Asian consumers want brands to champion the most in 2023. As the effects of global warming intensifies, more consumers are looking at brands to embrace a sense of urgency and be part of the solution rather than the problem. When this happens, brand purpose will significantly impact brand and customer relations much more than now. Download the full 45-page report here

True purpose-aligned brands will have an edge, inclusion will reshape user experience
Source: Red Havas, 10 Predictions for Communicators on the Cutting Edge

As the impacts of global economic and geopolitical uncertainty really start to bite, purpose-aligned brands will be the ones that succeed at talent retention and attraction and supporting sales enablement. But it’s going to be an increasingly competitive space as brands across all categories compete for share of voice and mind. More campaigns and activations will consider how to reach populations that we have left behind with the acceleration of digital during the pandemic, causing an increased emphasis on user experience, education, and awareness about digital inclusion, as well as (re)consideration of more direct interface interactions for services.

More people are considering changing roles in 2023
Source: LinkedIn, Workplace Resilience for 2023

Since the pandemic, it is clear that professionals in APAC have built up a bank of resilience. The search for a new job seems to be driven by the need for greater financial security as the cost of living soars, with demand for higher salaries as the biggest motivator for employees wanting to leave a current role (Australia: 40%, India: 35%, Singapore: 46%). A better work-life balance was one of the other major factors forcing professionals to look for a change (Australia: 31%, India: 33%, Singapore: 39%). They feel more confident in their abilities and think they can find a better role (Australia: 21%, India: 32%, Singapore: 25%). To cushion themselves against the challenging economic climate, professionals are also recession-proofing their current roles by learning new skills or brushing up on existing ones. 

Economic headwinds set to dampen mobile gaming spend in 2023
Source: Data.AI, 2023 State of Mobile Report

Demand for mobile apps accelerated last year while consumer spend shrank. Downloads grew to 255 billion (+11% YoY), and hours spent peaked at 4.1 trillion (+9% YoY). Meanwhile, consumer spending across all app stores, including third-party Android marketplaces in China, slipped by 2% YoY to $167 billion as economic headwinds impact discretionary spending. 

Inspiration and authenticity will dictate key design trends
Source: Adobe, 2023 Adobe Creative Visual Report

Just like everything else in the world, the visual and creative landscape is changing very quickly. The scale, demand and appeal of design themes will only grow in 2023, according to Adobe. For the sixth year in a row, Adobe has analysed emerging visual cultural themes across major brand campaigns to identify trends and aesthetics that will dominate the digital space in the coming year. Themes like ‘psychic waves,’ ‘real is radical,’ ‘retro-active’ and ‘animals and influencers’ will significantly influence how the 303-million strong global creator economy taps into their digital content. Adobe’s full forecast report can be found here.

Rise of the ‘chief remote officer’
Deel, Future of Work Trends: Predictions Playbook

Flexibility is no longer a nice-to-have job perk. It is essential. An increasing number of companies are taking the change seriously enough to add a job title to their leadership team structure. The role is still not very common but has started to pop up on job boards with the rise of remote-first organisations. Deel's 'Workplace Predictions Playbook' forecasts that the future of companies which take the hybrid system seriously will have to evolve with the need for people-in-charge who can codify the wfh guidelines, nuances, best practices and steward employees across time zones.

Hustle, not hoard on Big Data for maximum ROI
: Amplitude2023 Asia-Pacific and Japan study

Every business is sitting on a mountain of data they’ve collected over the years, but most of them have no idea what to do with it. This means companies are spending a lot of time and money collecting and storing data without getting a return on that investment. The expected recession in 2023 will put pressure on business leaders to see a return on every dollar spent, and that will accelerate the shift from data collection to data analysis. The companies that leverage their existing data to better understand their customers, improve their product experience, and boost retention will come out on top. 

The link between Gen Z community and IP marketing 
Source: UM and Endata, IP marketing trends in Gen Z communities

The Gen Z community has its own unique values and community languages, and it may be difficult for audience outside the group to accurately interpret it. Intellectual property (IP) representing values and cultures of community can come handy to reduce the entry barriers of brands into the community. For example, the audience of glamping community have strong purchasing power, who prefer IP-related and celebrity-related brands when purchasing equipment for glamping, in addition to other factors such as quality and function. The study recommends that IP marketing should eventually align with business goals and become a useful tool to solve challenges while pushing forward new opportunities. 

“IP marketing has been the new trend and effective way to reach the Gen Z communities. We also know that to master these trends, we need to understand the importance of these Gen Z circles, how they came into being, and how IP marketing interacts with them. We are proud to integrate our unique 3C model, futureproof position and corporate vision into the white paper, aiming to provide cutting-edge industry insights for customers' business growth, and help clients achieve ROI maximization of branding and performance through our ROI IP content marketing solution," says Lawrence Wan, UM China CEO.  

CMOs and CFOs need to circle the same orbit
LinkedIn, B2B marketing trends for the year ahead

Maintaining existing budgets and strengthening future ones will directly depend on a marketer's ability to speak the language of the CFO (read: talk hardcore numbers and real impact). A recent LinkedIn study of more than 300 B2B marketing leaders in Asia-Pacific highlighted an overwhelming majority (98%) feel improving chief financial officer's understanding of marketing ROI is key to strengthening future budgets. With the economic uncertainty that lies ahead, CMOs will just have to do more with less, so it's more critical than ever before to go beyond proxy metrics and spotlight real impact. In this case: the direct bearing on sales metrics like revenue influenced or return on ad spend. Getting the same language app as the CFO will be a crucial skill to add for any smart marketer's playbook in 2023. 

Cloud ranks among the top advancements for 2023 and beyond
Source: Amazon, Werner Vogels' Tech Predictions for 2023 and Beyond

While it remains difficult to predict exactly how tech trends pan out, following developments around new technologies helps anticipate brand- and consumer-behaviour, thus allowing an understanding of the factors that affect innovation and adoption. As access to advanced technology becomes even more ubiquitous—the report forecasts that every facet of life will become data that we can analyse—and a torrent of cloud tech will proliferate and redefine 2023.

"Every facet of every sport will undergo a digital transformation in the year ahead and change will happen at every level of play, from youth basketball to professional cricket," says vice president and chief technology officer at Amazon, Werner Vogels. Top leagues such as Bundesliga and the NFL have already started using video streams, wearables, Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, and more for real-time analytics and insights. Going forward, these capabilities will only advance, and the technologies will become an omnipresent force in nearly every sport, at every level.

Videos dominate online advertising, short form attracts big interest
Source: Snap, 4 Emerging Trends That Will Shape Online Advertising in 2023

Consumption styles have changed, the digital space is constantly evolving, and video content is no longer reserved for long-format campaigns, but has become a fundamental part of our media intake. Brands which are mapping out their business strategies for 2023 need to bear in mind that with shorter attention spans, short-form video content reigns in popularity. To be successful as an advertiser, it’s integral to foresee this shift in distribution of consumption and swiftly adjust strategies with the market’s ever-shifting trends. Snapchat recommends businesses create videos that are in line with user-generated content (UGC). Simply put, brands should create ads with people talking directly to the camera in a natural, unrehearsed, unpolished way to reflect authenticity and strike better engagement with the Gen Z audience.

Marry CX and EX for better brand health
Appnovation, 2023 Trends: Digital Innovation

The threat of a recession coupled with the ongoing need for transformation and growth means organisations must make force multiplying investments in 2023 and shift sights from only customer experience (CX) to total experience (TX). As a brand strategy, TX connects CX with the employee experience (EX) to improve interactions of both internal and external stakeholders. As an emerging tech trend which continues to captivate brands and marketers alike, the metaverse can support organisations looking to build a robust TX strategy with mixed reality experiences to better engage with customers. The interactive nature of the metaverse also makes it a useful internal productivity tool that can be leveraged to enhance training, collaboration, recruitment and employee engagement. To successfully integrate the metaverse into TX, brands must clearly define the purpose, target audience, and the reason for investing in the metaverse, rather than just following the trend. 

China is back and so are its women athletes
Mailman, 2023 China Trends Predictions

Of the 431 Chinese athletes who competed at the Tokyo Olympics, 69% were women. Historically, 55% female athletes from the country have nabbed golds at the Summer Olympics between 1984 and 2016. The report highlights that Chinese women players have outperformed their male counterparts in various sports such as volleyball, ping pong, badminton, and a wide range of Winter sports. Now, as China opens up after nearly three years of self-imposed isolation, attention rests on its national women’s soccer team aiming to score big at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in July this year.

AI will be our co-pilot for creativity
Accenture Song, 2023 Accenture Life Trends

From learning to live in permacrisis as the pandemic continues to bring critical changes to large parts of Asia, a radical shift is in motion and will push businesses and leaders to operate in more tech-focussed landscapes. Artificial Intelligence is now in the hands of the everyday user and is a new tool for the creative process. Suddenly, neural networks have been made wildly available to create language, images and music with very little effort or skill.  Developments within AI are also hitting the market at an astonishing speed. At scale, this is an incredible breakthrough for creativity. Companies need to consider how they will stand out in the sea of AI-generated content and how they use AI to enhance the speed and originality of innovation.

“Disruptive moments have people questioning what sense of control they have over their own lives. As they inevitably adapt and get a handle on things, the decisions made to exercise more control will affect the brands and organizations they interact with,” said Mark Curtis, global lead, thought leadership, metaverse and sustainability, Accenture Song.

Long live the ‘genuinfluencers’
Source: 160over90

Signalling an end to the era of Kardashian-style showboarding, genuine influencers or ‘genuinfluencers’, the ones who are not always seen selling stuff and use their platform to talk about issues that matter—mental health, racial injustice, LGBTQ+ rights—are “the ones to watch out for.” The report forecasts APAC will lean into genuinfluencers in a big way specially to cut through the highly informed Gen Z market who identifies with authenticity, transparency, and clarity in their partner brands.

Twitter will go big, or bust but it isn’t going anywhere
Source: Cielo and Sprout Social,
Social Media Trends to Help Win Talent for 2023

2022 was a wild one for social media, and not just for Twitter. By the end of the year, Twitter aims to ambitiously add 100 million daily users to the site—seeking 50% growth from where it is now. The social media site has admitted there’s not a sign-up problem; its monetizable daily active users haven’t seen exponential growth over the last several years. Some of the largest ad companies might have pulled spending from the platform, the value of blue tick is watered down, but given the other social media networks’ focus on video, Twitter is really the best place for a text conversation. And the other platforms aren’t well-positioned for real time either.

Campaign Asia

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