March 29, 2023
Deloitte’s Global Marketing Trends 2023 Middle East report explores how marketers are uniquely positioned to create new levers for growth, and provides an understanding of how top brands are meeting the needs of today’s customers with insights and guidance to prepare for the months ahead.
This year has seen the rise of emerging technologies and new ways of doing business as Covid permanently disrupted traditional business platforms and modes of operation. From e-commerce taking center stage, to businesses learning to operate in the Metaverse, the changes we are seeing are here to stay.
Insights for the Deloitte trend report were gained from 1,015 C-suite executives and leaders from brands across the world, including those from the UAE and Saudi Arabia, to better understand the opportunities – and challenges – that lie ahead. The research finds that brands answer economic instability with marketing investments; creativity is used as a force for growth; and Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) drive growth through sustainability efforts.
Brands tackle economic instability with marketing investments
The past two years spent in a global pandemic have only deepened marketing’s impact. There has been growth, innovation, and agility in the way marketing has reacted to help navigate and thrive through these dramatic and unprecedented times. However, we are now transitioning into a period of economic uncertainty that will test marketing’s resolve once more.
CMO’s are doing the following to secure their companies against current and anticipated economic instability, with their top priorities being to accelerate the move to new digital technologies or platforms; to expand into new markets, segments, and geographies; and to implement systems or algorithms to enhance customer personalization.
Creativity inspires organizations to think differently
Growth has been a primary responsibility for CMOs. However, as generating growth becomes more complex due to rapid societal, technological, and economic changes, many brands have responded by doubling down on data and analytics. While these analytical tools are often viewed as essential for any contemporary marketer, there are indications of an imbalance: organizations may now lack the creativity needed to meet the challenges of the modern business world, as manifested in fewer creative leaders in the C-suite and lower emphasis on creative skills among CMOs and marketing talent.
Creativity can go well beyond brand communications and advertisements, using innovative thinking to shape how systems are designed, challenges are converted into opportunities, employees collaborate, and organizations engage with customers and other stakeholders.
CMOs should redefine what creativity can offer, bring in management buy-in from across the entire organization, and inspire the organization to think differently. These three strategies will encourage creativity in their organizations which will act as a force for growth.
Rising technologies for marketers to watch
Striking the right balance between hype and investment is one part art and one part science for CMOs. It’s impossible to ignore trends that everyone is talking about, but unwise to overinvest in unproven technology. This year, our data suggests both metaverse and blockchain are of growing interest for marketers, as they offer significant promise to brands. The CMO has the potential to determine how these trends become relevant to their customers, but it is critical to engage in the following activities in order to get it right:
CMOs drive growth through sustainability efforts
Sustainability has captured the attention of marketers for years. Once seen as a hot-button issue, sustainability has grown into a matter that is not only the right thing to do as a responsible corporate citizen but can also be good for business. Brands that focus on sustainable business practices can become more relevant and profitable as well as grow - all the tenets that CMOs strive for. These practices also become a lever that brands can use to stay ahead of cultural trends.
Organizations that wish to thrive in the future should continue to invest in the kinds of products and marketing efforts that help ensure a healthy, equitable world. To that end, they should refrain from pulling back on sustainability investments, although this might feel tempting to do in times of economic uncertainty.
Marketers should also look inwardly across products and services to infuse sustainability throughout the entire life cycle of the product or service – leading to improved efficiencies, increased brand value through customer alignment and ongoing impetus for growth. Finally, marketers should unify their organization by rallying people behind the cause by leading the charge on internal sustainability efforts.
Opportunities for marketers this year
There are four key opportunities that marketers should focus on to help their organizations be resilient and successful in the face of rapid change:
Part of CMO Council’s Advisory Board: Middle East and CXPA Middle East Regional Leadership, Hussein M. Dajani’s core expertise lies in the Digital Marketing and Tech space, evolving over the years from a pure player marketeer. Starting his career with some of the worlds' greatest communication companies, prior to joining Deloitte Digital as a Partner for the Advertising, Marketing, CX, & Commerce market offering, Hussein was the GM for Digital & CX Transformation with Nissan Motor Co. for Africa, Middle East, India, Turkey, and Oceania. Learn more
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