2023 was a wild ride for marketers.
But isn’t every year, really? — You
Okay yes, that’s fair. But this year really did feel a little more intense than usual, and that’s saying something. Here are just some of the things that happened in marketing this year:
UA is replaced by GA4
Universal Analytics (US), Google’s platform for measuring and tracking your web traffic and ad performance, was replaced by an updated version called GA4. CID started moving clients over to GA4 early, but marketers who put it off may have had a harsh wake-up call when access to their historical UA data finally got shut down. The good news is for those who made the switch early (and even for those starting anew) GA4 has some good things going for it including keeping some familiar metrics from UA that had originally been set to phase out. For our take on GA4 and an update on how it’s going, read our blog post Everything We Know About GA4 So Far.
Artificial intelligence becomes a thing everyone’s talking about
If you felt like you couldn’t escape conversations about AI this year, it’s because you probably couldn’t. Large language models, image generators, and all the excitement, uncertainty, and possibility that come along with them were everywhere. We’re approaching the technology with caution as we explore ways we can ethically incorporate it into our own work or processes to streamline parts of our workflows. We talked a bit more about AI for marketers earlier in the year in our post Should We or Shouldn’t We? Exploring Generative AI for Marketers.
Cookies are gone (or are they?)
In an effort to give consumers more privacy protections while browsing online, Google is planning on phasing out third-party cookies. That’s been a looming possibility for some time, but it looks like it’s getting more real. As digital marketers, we use third-party data to target ads and deliver relevant content to the right audience. Losing out on that information could be a blow, but fortunately for us and our clients, third-party data isn’t the only data out there. We explained how to approach the “cookieless” future in this post: How Marketers Can Thrive with First-Party Data
And then there’s the dying blue bird in the room
If your brand was on Twitter there’s a good chance it isn’t anymore for any number of very good reasons that we don’t need to get into here. Over the course of a year, advertisers and users left the platform in droves. For many marketers and content creators, being there was less about advertising and more about building a following with others in their industry or with potential customers. Now they’re working to rebuild elsewhere in places like Threads, Reddit, or even Twitch. What this whole debacle drives home is that for marketers, having your own platform — a blog, your website, an email list — is more essential than ever so you aren’t relying solely on other companies to build and connect with your audience.
Implications for 2024
For most of us, these changes and trends aren’t about to cause any seismic shifts in how we go about our marketing. We’ll still run digital ads, create videos, and do all the things we know are successful tactics for our clients.
What might shift is the weight we give certain tactics. (Of course, there’s no one right way to market so what we recommend for our clients will always be tied to their specific needs, audience, and goals first.) But generally speaking, it may make sense to establish or beef up content marketing efforts, specifically blogging. That’s a great way to build an audience on your own digital property while also regularly feeding the SEO algorithm relevant, helpful information about your brand and website.
No matter what happens, we’re sure the year ahead will have plenty of surprises that we’ll have to navigate, but if we’re being honest that’s part of the fun of being in this industry in the first place.
Work with a marketing team that can help you manage the ever-changing digital landscape. Contact CID now.