This Month In Marketing: Martech Growth, Branding Exercises, And Other Trends (December 2023)

Just because the year is ending doesn’t mean your marketing efforts can go into holiday cruise-control. Every month, the Marketing Manager blog puts together everything you need to know to stay on top and moving further forward.

Focusing on Growth With AI

According to Twilio Segment’s 2023 Growth Report, the adoption of AI technology is widespread, with as many as 88% of businesses utilizing some form of AI.

The survey, which included 2,450 full-time employees familiar with the company’s growth strategy at B2B companies with 75 or more employees, revealed that 54% of respondents anticipate increasing their investment in AI-driven campaigns over the next year. AI’s impact is particularly pronounced in marketing, where 83% of those surveyed reported using AI for various purposes.

The report highlighted several ways in which AI is being leveraged, including the use of automated chatbots (38%), the creation of intelligent customer journeys (26%), and the automatic generation of personalized product recommendations (24%). These applications are driving measurable, revenue-generating outcomes for businesses.

The report also emphasized the importance of data quality, with 53% of respondents noting that some of their most successful campaigns over the past year involved AI. Furthermore, 71% of participants believe that AI could be even more beneficial if it had access to higher-quality data. This underscores the critical role that data plays in harnessing the true potential of AI for driving growth in businesses.

Blogging Targets

Blogs have been a staple of the digital marketing world for years, and their significance in achieving high search engine rankings cannot be overstated. According to a study by BrightEdge, blogs are the most prevalent form of content in the top 10 search engine rankings, excluding home pages.

They appear a staggering 511 times in the top 3 and over 1,000 times in the top 5 results. This high frequency underscores the critical role of blogs in gaining and maintaining visibility in search engine results.

The research also highlights key features that enhance blogs’ SEO performance. These include word count, with blogs averaging 629 words, a 50% increase compared to the average page ranking at 417 words. Blogs also excel in the text-to-code ratio, leading to better indexability and faster load times. Moreover, they exhibit strong SEO attributes and a lower likelihood of featuring thin content.

As the marketing world continues to embrace artificial intelligence, generative AI is poised to revolutionize content creation. Jim Yu, BrightEdge founder and executive chairman, emphasizes the importance of understanding your target audience. He believes that the future lies in the fusion of AI and human expertise, where AI can inform and assist, but human creativity and brand trust remain vital.

Quality Control

A study by Experian reveals that 87% of business leaders believe high-quality data is crucial for addressing challenges posed by market disruptors like AI, increased operational costs, skill shortages, changing customer expectations, and supply chain issues.

The survey, involving over 500 business leaders, indicates that 33% consider technological advancements like AI to be the top market disruptors. Respondents believe these challenges will intensify in the coming year, with 55% expecting significant impacts on their businesses. Data quality is seen as essential for effectively responding to these challenges, and 93% of those surveyed view data quality as fundamental to future operations.

Investments in automating data quality rules and processes are planned by 40% of respondents, while developing data skills among business users is a top priority. The benefits of quality data are expected to include improved customer experience and greater agility in responding to market changes.

Top Content

A survey by Toolkits and National Research Group found that 36% of consumers trust brand-published content more than content from traditional media sources, such as newspapers, magazines, TV, and news sites.

Furthermore, 43% found brand content more interesting and engaging, while only 20% found it less so. This trust in brand content aligns with a decline in trust in mainstream media in the U.S., as reported by Gallup.

Brands are prioritizing quality content over volume, aiming to boost credibility, reduce acquisition costs, retain customers, and enhance their bottom line.

E-Retail Enormity

E-retail media advertising spend is on the rise globally, with the U.S. market leading the way, reaching $41 billion in 2022. The e-retail media category is growing 200% faster than other forms of digital media. By 2026, U.S. ad spend in this sector is expected to double to $85 billion.

Despite its rapid growth, the e-retail media market is viewed as having untapped potential for customers, retailers, and advertisers.

Under the Influence

A TopRank Marketing survey reveals that 94% of marketers believe influencer marketing is a valuable B2B strategy, with 85% incorporating it into their marketing plans, a significant increase from 34% in 2020.

B2B influencer marketing offers benefits such as increased sales revenue, improved brand reputation, and enhanced customer satisfaction and retention. Beyond social media content, influencers are involved in industry presentations, recorded video, live video, webinars, interviews, and interactive content.

Artificial intelligence is increasingly used for influencer marketing, covering content creation, performance tracking, campaign optimization, and influencer identification and selection.

Budget For Tech

The global martech market is valued at $669.3 billion, experiencing a 31.5% increase from 2022, with AI-powered technologies, digital transformation, and first-party data strategies driving growth.

Martech accounts for 30% of marketing budgets, while labor costs have decreased from 35% to 28%. More than 80% of CMOs anticipate further budget increases in 2024, with AI and machine learning identified as key areas for upskilling and reskilling team members.

Marketing Experience Matters

A McKinsey study highlights a gap in understanding modern marketing between CEOs and CMOs.

Approximately half of CEOs say they are comfortable with modern marketing, while two-thirds of CMOs believe CEOs lack comprehension in this area.

This disconnect is attributed to the limited marketing backgrounds of most CEOs. Clear communication and alignment on marketing’s role and potential for growth are seen as critical.

Holiday Shopper Retention

A Constant Contact survey reveals that 81% of consumers are open to receiving marketing messages from SMBs after making a holiday season purchase.

However, less than half of these customers receive follow-up emails, and 27% never hear from the business again. Personalized emails, social media ads, and sales/discounts are popular tactics for growing customer bases during the holidays.

SMBs are encouraged to implement loyalty programs, events, and contests to retain holiday customers.

Martech Surge

B2B martech spending in the United States is projected to increase by 13.4% in 2024 (reaching $8.71 billion) and by another 16% in 2025 (surpassing $10 billion), according to Insider Intelligence.

Martech and marketing data are closely intertwined, with martech investments often driven by data needs. While marketing data spending is expected to slow due to factors like tighter budgets and privacy regulations, it is projected to grow by 3.8% in 2025, nearing $4 billion.

Email Inactivity

December 1st marked the commencement of when Google began deleting accounts that have remained unused or unlogged into for a minimum of two years. While this action won’t impact individuals who regularly access their primary Google accounts, it will affect a substantial number of dormant accounts. Email marketers have been cautioned to brace for potential disruptions in their email marketing metrics, particularly bounce rates, as a result of these deletions.

Ryan Phelan, an executive at RPE Origin, advises large email senders without inactivity controls to anticipate a one-time impact on their metrics due to these changes. However, it is emphasized that this should not cause undue concern but rather serve as a reminder that addressing inactivity in accounts should have been addressed earlier. Email marketers who adhere to best practices, maintain clean and active email lists through regular cleanings, and prioritize valid addresses are well-prepared for the deletion of millions of inactive accounts. Some email marketers see this as an opportunity to implement reactivation strategies. 

Recommendations include initiating re-engagement email campaigns, improving preferences centers, requesting users to add senders to their safe sender lists, and placing unsubscribe links prominently. These efforts aim to enhance the quality of email campaigns by targeting engaged and interested recipients, thereby maximizing ROI and avoiding wastage on disinterested audiences.


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