Executive Luncheon: Key priorities for your 2023 marketing strategy

Did you miss this week’s January Executive Luncheon: 3 key priorities for your 2023 marketing strategy? No problem—we have you covered with a quick recap and key takeaways! 

Over lunch at 12 Cuts Brazilian Steakhouse, Abhi Vyas, Head—Digital Engagement & Strategy, Verizon Wireless, Fanny Dunagan, Co-founder & Video Strategist at PathLynks, LLC, and moderator and AMA DFW President Emeritus Angela Neal ushered a lively discussion spanning strategy trends, lessons learned, and impactful tactics. Here are some of the highlights on how to achieve success. 

Always start with the business objectives

The most successful marketing strategies and campaigns happen when senior leadership involves marketing right from the beginning as roadmaps, goals, and sales targets are set. “What doesn’t work is when the marketing group is seen as a separate entity,” says Dunagan. Everything marketing does needs to tie back to the broader business strategy, but that can’t happen unless marketing is brought into the right conversations, echoed Vyas.

Do your audience and market research 

To fully understand your customer, you need to know what keeps them up at night. Dunagan turns to research and analyst firms to gain deeper insights into buyers and influencers. “When we started working with Gartner and talking about understanding the journey to buy digital products and technology products, we realized that the decision-making was done in teams…And so we knew our marketing strategy had to cater to all these different segments. Even within that team, we’re not only speaking to the senior management…we also had to cater to what we call the influencers, the super users,” said Dunagan. Vyas suggested using focus groups to help refine how you understand and approach your audiences. Vyas suggests leveraging the three F’s: friends, families, and fools to better understand and develop your buyer journey, refine your recommendations, and take a more “rapid prototyping” approach to your marketing strategy.

Secure stakeholder buy-in and sponsorship

“The first important thing is getting your stakeholder buy-in…You may have the best marketing plan, but if you do not have the executive sponsorship, will they agree to sign those checks?” said Vyas. Expanding on that, Dunagan added, “​​One thing that I think is often missing is that a customer or the clients are also a stakeholder…They need to be at the table at the executive level. These days, we have so many ways to poll audiences through social media or Instagram or through a comment section or Help Desk messages.”

Fuel the funnel with strategic content

Both speakers agreed on the importance of content marketing and ensuring the right message intersects with buyers at the right time and on the right device. As Vyas noted, “And the cycle is not linear. It’s up down, left, right. And again, think about all the channels you have…radio, social, TV, mobile, desktop. I mean, that journey is so complicated, but you as a marketer can provide that unified messaging across different channels and digital touch points.” 

Engage and build your communities authentically

In terms of marketing strategy and outreach, “I think community building in any form that you do in 2023 will reap lots and lots of rewards. And I can’t stress that part enough,” emphasized Dunagan. “Some of the most popular Instagram influencers have a huge community that will buy anything and everything from them, because they listened to them and they interact with them. And they interact with them as a person versus a company.”

Harness AI and ChatGPT ethically

One of the hottest topics of the event was AI and how it will impact thet role marketers play. “If I were to ask [ChatGPT to] give me the five reasons or the five marketing trends of 2023, whatever that spits out already saved you time. But where our value is, is when we insert personal stories or case studies. And I think that’s something that ChatGPT can never take from us.” The sentiment that AI can help your content appeal to the heart (research/data) but marketers can make stories appeal to the heart (user stories/case studies) was also echoed by Vyas. “[Customers] are humans, right? They have emotions.” He suggests looking closely at how you can create digital storytelling that is very powerful, authentic, and connects with that buyer at a personal level. 

Empower “creator employees”

Some of your biggest brand advocates can be your employees. In downturns or anytime, allowing employees to help take your brand to market can be incredibly valuable—and cost-effective. “All stats show that people believe employees more than a corporate website or corporate LinkedIn page or a corporate social media page,” said Dunagan. “It can be as simple as employees posting behind-the-scenes from events or sharing why they joined…And then you don’t necessarily need these huge elaborate marketing commercials and huge expensive campaigns,” she added. 

Miss the Executive Luncheon but interested in future AMA DFW events? Watch our calendar for upcoming educational and networking opportunities.

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