A few days before the end of a very productive, challenging and differentiating year in many aspects, we have asked our director, Carlos Molina, to share with us, according to his vision, his expertise and his sixth sense, the 4 marketing and communication trends that he believes will be very present in 2023. To this we added another variant; we asked him, if he had the opportunity, which trend from the past he would take back to apply today. And this is what he told us.
1. The consolidation of content creators
The rise of graphic social platforms (TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, BeReal…) is leading to the polarisation of users into two profiles: either you create content or you consume content. In these environments, creating content is much more difficult than it was in networks such as Facebook or Twitter. The former did not add pressure because most of our contacts were friends and family, and even though it was public, it did not reward originality, but personal connections.
On Twitter, the public exposure is greater, but text content in the form of reflection, information or jokes is rewarded. But TikTok, for example, requires a lot more: visual skills, video editing, defining short scripts, recurring video production… It’s a lot of effort to achieve success and visibility and to stay there. That’s why I think we will see a process of consolidation: many creators will “disappear” as such after a short period of success, because only a few will be able to focus and dedicate themselves to this activity with the expectation of generating income. In the same vein, we will be less and less involved and more and more passive.
2. Post-pandemic rebalancing
With the coronavirus, we saw activity on certain platforms and media skyrocket. There was more time to consume content and even to produce it. The last three years, however, have been a scenario that is returning to a different normality. Some of the growth experienced will be followed by a decline in content consumption figures as certain activities that require face-to-face presence recover to some extent.
“Some of the growth experienced will be followed by a decline in content consumption figures as certain activities that require face-to-face attendance recover”.
Thus, platforms that have depended everything on this super growth and that have made accounts thinking that the dynamic was going to remain the same, will have to rectify figures and find alternative ways to establish themselves. This will happen at many levels. In the case of social networks, Twitch could experience a slowdown, but this could even happen in the case of cloud-based office tools if, as is to be expected, the speed of incorporation of the latter cannot be maintained in a scenario in which presence is once again a major variable.
3. The age of sociopaths
This may sound exaggerated, but as a result of the rapid digitalisation of personal relationships (videoconferencing, access to social platforms, incorporation of new network users after the pandemic…), the true social fabric in which we live is becoming increasingly visible. There is a user profile that has found an ideal breeding ground in social networks and that gets what it most needs in these environments. These are sociopaths, people who lack empathy for other individuals, who do not properly discern right from wrong and who seek, above all, recognition and attention for themselves.
Often, in fact, they make their own rules and have no filter when interacting with other people. They are the perfect troll and, on many occasions, dangerous because they present themselves as influencers even though they are not referents. Now that there is so much talk about polarisation, we can identify many sociopaths behind movements, initiatives and cancellation actions in digital media. Before the coronavirus, many had already become visible. Now, those who had not experimented with social media have had the opportunity to do so… and they like it, because it satisfies their needs for attention and visibility. And what do the rest of the users do? In many cases, they praise, applaud and acknowledge the behaviour of such profiles, which are seen as daring, original, de-ideologised, courageous and even innovative.
Is Elon Musk a sociopath? Who knows, but his way of polarising or provoking others may be the seed for the collapse of trust in certain conversation and information environments that had already been badly damaged since the surge in fake news in the last decade.
4. Artificial intelligence or digital smartass
While we have heard the concept of artificial intelligence (AI) many times before, we have now the chance to have conversations with more developed tools and intelligences. Natural Language Processing (NLP) has been one of the uses of AI in which the most work has been done to ensure its optimisation. The most advanced model is currently GPT-3, which works with more than 175 billion parameters and will soon be replaced by its next version, GPT-4, which will include more than 100 trillion parameters.
Since November 2022, we have been able to experience ChatGPT, a system based on GPT-3, developed by the company OpenAI, which I will tell you more about here. But from our experience in the agency and our vision, it is a tool that is undoubtedly learning and improving, although for now it behaves more like a digital smartass, which always has an answer even if it is not necessarily correct. It is possible that Google will take the next step by transforming its search engine to use a similar interface and completely transform what, until now, were the SERP results. In that case, we could ask it to write a white paper for us and it will do so without missing a single quote, a single piece of information, a single link.
“ChatGPT behaves more like a digital smartass, who always has an answer, even if it’s not necessarily correct.
What is clear is that, in 2023, we will see us move from a phase of experimentation and trials to seeing this technology in real applications or results. We wouldn’t be surprised if, at some point, we can ask Canva to design an infographic for us with the specific information we provide.
5. Recapturing a trend: informative content as added value for products and services
Several years ago, most media activated different payment models to monetise their activity: total or partial paywalls, subscriptions with advance access to content, proprietary or sector-specific content distribution platforms (Kiosko y Más, for example), etc. The process accelerated in 2020, not so much because of the pandemic but rather because these were measures that had been approved some time ago and it was urgent to implement them.
Then, some of us said that what could help to make the media’s activity profitable would be cross-selling or cross-selling, but in the opposite way to how newspaper titles had worked years before. Instead of giving away free collectible products with paper editions, it made sense for digital media subscriptions to be bundled with the purchase of other products or services. Why not? It hasn’t happened yet, but it’s an avenue that could be reopened, as media outlets continue to look for ways to expand their reach without losing revenue and relying entirely on advertising insertion.
If we don’t read each other before then, we wish you a happy 2023.