Experts predict marketing trends in 2023

By Ibidunni Banjoko

Experts in the Nigerian marketing communication space have predicted some of the trends marketers should look out for, and follow, to be ahead of their game in the year 2023.

Speaking at the MediaReach OMD webinar held recently in Lagos, Uchenna Uzo, Professor of Marketing and Academic Director, Africa Retail Academy, said that, though most brands will likely drop marketing spend around the first quarter of 2023 in anticipation of media clutter from political campaigns, the likely disruptions to media campaign activities will be minimal and majority restricted to out-of-home and terrestrial TV. He predicted that forward-thinking brands will continue to invest in brand building, while others will focus on short-term activations.

According to him, focus should be on experiential presence via consumer passion point e.g. sponsorship of entertainment shows, and other events that will come up within the period, especially the year end. He stated that there is a safe haven for brands on cable TV.

“Marketers have to revisit their take on long term versus short-term goals. Brands that are not focused on the upper funnel will shift from high-cost channels to online to drive continuity.

“Forward-thinking brands would continue to invest in brand building while others focus on short-term activations. Big spenders will command more mindshare and there will be more focus on regional planning as against pan Nigeria,” he said.

Professor further said that as inflation bites, marketers will be more focused on efficiency as the yardstick for media investment.

“Categories like sports betting, loans and mobile money will thrive as consumers strive to make ends meet. The living standard gap between the southern and northern markets will continue to widen, and this underscores the need for a regional approach to planning.

“The competition will become stiffer for big brands, and the pressure to stay afloat will force them into creating high-value products tailored to dwindling consumer wallets. New brand and product extensions will be more rampant. Loyalty becomes an elusive subject for legacy brands,” he mentioned.

In the same vein, Matt Angus Hammond, Regional Director, West Africa GeoPoll, stated that building reach will be more expensive since reach build-up will be lower than previous levels for most channels due to fragmentation.

“Video stacking and precision targeting becomes an imperative for optional marketing ROI. Short form ad copies will be preferred to drive frequency cost effectively. Influx of content provides a corresponding opportunity for brand integration and helps the entire ecosystem. Brands would take owned assets more seriously as there is a guaranteed residual reach and quick-to-market advantage e. g. Ndani TV owned by GTBank,” he said.

He continued: “Marketing in the era of massive fragmentation means a one size fits all approach will not be as effective. With Gen Z becoming a force to be reckoned with among consumers, brands must rise up to their expectations e.g. banks are repositioning.

“They are not impulsive buyers and care about causes and social issues. Marketing approach and budget will need to be reviewed with most marketers now faced with targeting at least two different consumer generations in a single marketing effort.

“Brands that understand what makes them unique from millennials and adjust their marketing strategies accordingly are those who will succeed in the long run. The best way to market to Gen Z is to interact with them organically in their environment and be flexible to give room for fun.”

Hammond warned that conventional ad formats may not work on this platform, suggesting that product integration and brand infusion will be the way to go. He, however, added that the downside of that form of advertising, such as the time lag between production and consumption, would range from six months to over a year.

“The trade-off necessary for organic and creative brand infusion might not sit well with brands focused on short-term results. Reach stacking becomes imperative for planning as fragmentation increases concern around cost efficiency and impact. Opportunity to drive extended reach e.g. DSTV is currently cross-selling showcase as an ad on to linear TV offers,” he said.

He mentioned that research will play a pivotal role in understanding the consumer impact and ROI of sponsorships.

“Mass media evolving to mass customization calls for an omnichannel approach. Creative copies must be designed to be more meaningful to consumers (compelling storytelling).

“Impact-focus campaign planning is about creating a community that people can return to whether they’re watching TV or not. Sponsors and influencers can act as engagement anchors. To deliver higher returns on investment via increased earned vs paid media, more investment must be made in research to understand and apply consumer motivations to drive marketing campaign initiatives. Brands should have deeper interactions with their market to enable build equity and associations easily,” he mentioned.


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