What will 2023 bring to news media advertising teams and advertisers?

By Mark Challinor


London, United Kingdom


As Mediahuis, which I recently wrote about, shows the way to an optimal structure for ad sales in 2023, what about a more general feel for what we should be focussed on in the world of advertising in the coming 12 months?

What are some of the luminaries in influential UK ad companies saying? What are the commonalities? What are the insights to be gleaned? 

I have been finding out the facts (so you don’t have to). 

Prediction is not an easy business. And as 2022 ended with talk of recessions and cost-of-living crises, inflation highs — not forgetting the ongoing war in the Ukraine — who knows what will be in store for us all in 2023? 

But in my first look at media advertising predictions for 2023, I have highlighted below the opinions of some of the industry individuals who have inspired me to see what they reckon are the key priorities for the ad industry in the year ahead. 

It’s perhaps worth stating that as we have all (kind of) emerged from the pandemic in 2022, we should remember we’re all very much a world of survivors. 

So, in turn, it’s no surprise, that empathy, kindness, and authenticity are coming “more to the fore” as we begin a new year.

Folk is a multi-award-winning creative communications agency based in Cardiff, Wales. Their CEO, Sharon Flaherty, says: 

“Empathy and authenticity are key for 2023. There is a real risk brands might misstep because they don’t give enough thought to this reality. Brand activism is real, and people will call out brands who create content and campaigns that aren’t in tune with what is happening in the world. (All this) needs to be on our minds if we are to connect with audiences in a way that is meaningful, moral, and drives commercial impact.” 

Total Media Solutions is a global digital and mobile advertising technology provider that specialises in buy and sell side ad technologies with offices in London, Istanbul, and Paris. CEO Sivan Tafla sums up what we have been saying at INMA for all of 2022:

“Alongside the immediate need to navigate the economic climate, longer-term issues, such as privacy concerns and the impending loss of the cookie, must be addressed. Pausing adoption of first-party data strategies could lead to long-term ramifications, leaving businesses behind the competition. Both publishers and advertisers need to ensure the upkeep of the quality and effectiveness of their offerings, encouraging strong relationships with consumers and maintaining the support of loyal brand users in 2023.” 

Bubbl is one of the leading companies for the ad industry with a suite of sophisticated tools, offering highly accurate geo-fencing, centred around location, context, and timing, to dynamically serve mobile content and customer engagement. Jo Eckersley, CEO, says of 2023:

Despite the cost-of-living crisis and ensuing discretionary spend cutbacks, consumer purchasing power does still exist — even if audiences are being more selective. In this context, advertisers must invest wisely and ensure that communications boost engagement and trust. Encouraging greater creativity in what advertisers deliver via mobile channels and finding new ways of engaging at the right time with a consumer are critical to get attention. We must seek to deliver situation-specific rich content, offers, and customer engagement based on factors such as the environmental context, intent, time, and location. A privacy-first, convenient, and friction-free experience is paramount as consumer expectations continue to grow. Today, audiences expect seamless service and intuitive, responsive design.” 

We Are Futures is a leading brand and social impact agency based in Edinburgh, Scotland, and LondonAlex Young, managing director, said:

“Going into 2023, the driver for success will lie in the ability of brands to make deeper connections with consumers. Consumers want to feel a connection with the brands they are spending their carefully saved earnings with, so messages that don’t just speak to the hardship but do something and give something back will win. However they go about it, brands must strike the right tone and be sensitive to the stresses on people’s everyday lives to avoid alienating them.” 

And finally … 

Gekko is an experiential agency that enhances the customer journey and sales in retail, online, and B2B channels through e-learning and e-commerce solutions. Daniel Todaro, managing director, says:

“Inevitably, [2023] will be dominated by the need for brands to understand a campaign’s return on investment. With so much pressure on the bottom line, ROI will become the single most important driver in 2023. After all, the ability to demonstrate the value of every pound spent and the weighted impact of your efforts leads to the only barometer that matters: sales. And, in a period where 60% of consumers are prepared to switch brands based on value, the customer journey must be re-understood to be curated effectively.”

In summary 

So, there we have it. It’s somewhat reassuring that this INMA initiative has pushed and led debates and discussions on many of the above areas in 2022 already (in specific reference to media companies). 

User experience, first-party data, value, trust, ROI, creativity, empathy, and authenticity will all be areas we, and our advertisers, need to think about in 2023, too.

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About Mark Challinor

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