Marcomms in 2023: Unite, focus and embrace the change

Will Cook

31 Jan 2023

While the UK economy continues to teeter outside of recession (thanks in part to the public kidding themselves once again that it was coming home), 2023 regardless looks likely to be a more sobering year for the global tech market. 

Unsurprisingly, in this climate belts will tighten as rapid tech growth from the pandemic tails off. Despite the undeniable challenges this will bring, an adaptable and collaborative communications approach can help organisations navigate through these choppier times, outlined below:

1. Be intentional in your approach and message

Now more than ever, Communications will need to be deliberate and intentional in its approach. Identifying where the organisation wants to win in 2023 and ensuring the communications approach mirrors this.   

As comms professionals, we must distil what moves the organisation want to make in the next 12-18 months – be that winning new fans, entering a new industry or changing perceptions – and then aligning communications behind it. This is not a time to try and say everything to everyone. Work out the areas you want to win – and double down in on this! 

To that point, it is imperative there is a golden thread from the business objectives to comms objectives and right through to the strategy, tactics and measurement. Delivering and demonstrating impact is key, so your objectives and measurement framework must align and the latter cannot be an afterthought. Don’t get transfixed on the vanity metrics, use measurement frameworks such as the AMEC integrated evaluation framework to ensure you’re being holistic in your approach to truly measure impact, because that is where eyeballs will be fixed.  

2. Become integrated by default

Talking of impact, there’s no more potent way to maximise the impact of communications and marketing by integrating across channels to make sure your message is heard consistently and cohesively.  

Now, I do recognise that integrated marcomms is not a new 2023 phenomena I have enlightened you on – it’s unquestionably something that is talked about a lot and not difficult to understand. However, some things are easier said than done.  

If there was ever a moment to embrace an integrated approach it would be now. At a time when more must be done with less, marketing and communication must prioritise integration – from campaign planning through to messaging and evaluation – to support the entire organisation and not just their department. Park the egos and park the siloes. 

At Harvard, we focus on helping brands make their move. Decide the move you want to make in the market and then put the full force of marketing and communications behind it.  

3. Allow the gales of creative destruction to bring opportunity

While these may be challenging economic times, the gales of creative destruction popularised by economist Schumpeter would suggest that while these recessionary times may change the structure of economies, they do also accelerate the adoption of technology and drive a new wave of innovation. Economic downturns in the 70s, 90s post GFC have all been the catalyst for new ways of working and technological innovation. 

Needless to say, I haven’t (yet) identified what those gaps in the market are. However, whether it’s new SaaS to empower new ways of working or the next delivery app, when these innovations do arrive, communications will have a guiding role to play in articulating and explaining to audiences why this innovation they didn’t even know existed is what they now need in their lives.  

These are very much my musings for the year ahead, if you’d like a more data-focused view of what 2023 has in store, then have a read of our Tech Moves Report. But whatever the next 12 months may throw at you, Godspeed!