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Published on

December 15, 2022


marketing, predictions, trends

Season 2, Episode 10: Marketing Trends — Past, Present & Future

On our final Outsmart episode of Season 2, Nicole and Rex look back on their podcasting journey throughout 2022. 

In this episode we chat through:

  • Highlights from the first two seasons of Outsmart
  • How accurate the predictions from our premiere episode turned out
  • Five trends that marketers should expect heading into 2023


Rex: It’s a lot. I mean, it’s a lot to take in and it’s not all doom and gloom necessarily. I think a lot of this stuff we see some bright potential for companies to come out of this in a better position and maybe allocating resources internally, externally, in better, smarter ways, and thinking about how can we be doing things better? Just because it was something that we were doing historically. That’s never a good answer to the question of why are you doing something? Well, it’s because we’ve been doing it. That’s not winning strategy.

Nicole: Welcome to our closing episode of the Outsmart Podcast for 2022. Rex, we did it!

Rex: Season two. It’s not like it’s over.

Nicole: Okay, yeah. So, we were just talking about how we’ve been podcasting for a year. We’ve been outsmarting for a year, but I guess we have done two seasons in a year.

Rex: And somehow, we’re not any better at it than we were 19 episodes ago. It’s remarkable. So good job to us.

Nicole: Accurate statement. We’ve done a lot this year and this season, I think.

Rex: Yeah. We’ve talked paid media, we’ve talked research, we’ve talked creative. We’ve had guests from MarketMuse, we’ve had guests from personal branding. We’ve had guests from…

Nicole: Meltwater. ASTROGLIDE.

Rex: ASTROGLIDE, you guys did a whole series without me.

Nicole: In-person.

Rex: Two whole parts.

Nicole: I know. Two parts. Not a good day for your girl to not wear makeup because that was a video episode also.

Rex: I did see that, but you managed to pull it off. Congratulations.

Nicole: Thank you. Thank you so much. It’s that new mom glow, right? The new parent glow.

Rex: Yeah.

Nicole: Or maybe the glow of just being away for a weekend because that’s what that was.

Rex: in San Diego. Sorry, Cameron. Sorry, guys. I’m not going to be here for a weekend.

Nicole: So that was definitely a highlight. Yeah, I think we’ve gotten to do a lot and have some really valuable, interesting conversations over the last year and over the last two seasons. And we’ve spanned the globe, too. The episode that will air right before this, I think, is going to be the one with Mark Tay, our colleague from Singapore who recorded at 11:00 P.M. So, yeah, it’s been a fun one.

Rex: If anything, it’s been fun for us just selfishly having smart conversations with smart people. I’ve learned a lot. I know that it’s been engaging. And just huge shout out and thank you to everybody who’s put up with us in editing of these podcasts. Rob Alexander, Sammie Lombardi, the TEAM LEWIS Marketing Wizards and team who are just amazing, and the leadership who asked/volun-told us to do the podcast series. We’re very grateful for everyone. It has been kind of coming out of the shell moment. But why don’t we get back to making fun of ourselves and looking at 2022 predictions that we made and maybe what does 2023 have in store?

Nicole: Yeah, so, full disclosure, Rex and I have, as usual, come so prepared to the conversation with so many thoughts on predictions for 2023.

Rex: Don’t spill all of our secrets

Nicole: But that is what we were going to be talking about today was predictions. And about five minutes ago, when I started to prepare no, I’m just kidding. Yesterday and this week, we’ve been kind of talking back and forth and man, I just feel like predictions are so hard right now. And we were looking back at some of the ones we made from 2022. And also, disclaimer, I just dislike predictions in general because I feel like life is so unpredictable. But some of the ones we made in 2022, we talked a lot about just decreasing ad spend as kind of brand loyalty increases and customers really can’t be bought.

Rex: No, it’s insane. I think no one saw the market slowdown coming. Well, I’m sure there’s a couple of people who might be wearing tin foil hats or something out there who are like, “I told you guys it was coming.” But joking aside, I mean, the last couple of months have been nuts and they’ve been insane. And we’ve seen clients, we’ve seen colleagues, we’ve seen friends, family go through some really tough times as far as layoffs and things like that. And just the economic uncertainty at hand. That wasn’t really what we were predicting. It was more just about how can you be smarter with your dollars? Maybe you don’t have to outspend. And this is coming off the tails of COVID where we saw businesses really cut back and be smart with their activations in ways that maybe weren’t as wasteful with dollars and being strategic with those placements. And I think that has held and that will be an evergreen statement. So really pat on the back there for being smarter is a good idea. Yeah, that really went out on a limb for us on that one.

Nicole: Right? Yeah. Hey, be better, be smarter.

I was reading an annual CMO spend and strategy survey that Gartner did that showed that budgets have recovered a little bit, but we’re still nowhere near those pre 2020 levels. Just speaking about marketing budgets at large, which I thought was kind of an interesting trend, but yeah, we’re back up in terms of just marketing spending as a percentage share of company revenue, but certainly nowhere close to where we were pre-pandemic.

Rex: Totally. And maybe this is just like we’ve been talking about as leadership and our leadership teams have been talking about with some of the contraction in the economy in the last couple of months, is there a new outlook in looking at how should we run companies? Is there a return to a hyper growth startup mode that like profitability does not matter at all, guys. We just got to grow and somewhere, somehow, we’ll figure out a way to make money.

And I think we’ve seen especially the recent news in Silicon Valley of Twitter laying off 50% of their workforce, kind of opened the floodgates up to other companies and other board members and other stockholders to be like, why aren’t you guys doing the same? How can we raise the stock price when it’s come down? It’s been and it will continue to be an interesting time in a sad time in a lot of ways for all those individuals who are impacted. But is that the new reality where pre-pandemic approaches to marketing, approaches to growing at all costs are never the same? Is that a prediction? Maybe?

Nicole: I think so. I think that’s a really valid one. It’s interesting because you look at just the Silicon Valley trends over the last couple of years and thinking even back to Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes, and I think that was kind of a cautionary tale. And then Adam Neuman and we work and all of these companies’ kind of growing for the sake of growing right. And not really paying attention to the bottom line. And I do think that the current economic status has really forced that to stop, and investors are not giving their money away as easily or as freely as they were previously. And a lot of those companies, start up or not, are really having to answer to their bottom line and their margins.

Rex: Yeah. Cash is just more expensive with interest rates going up. And it’s a lot I mean, it’s a lot to take in. And it’s not all doom and gloom necessarily. I think a lot of this stuff is probably we see some bright potential for companies to come out of this in a better position and maybe allocating resources internally, externally, in better, smarter ways, and thinking about how can we be doing things better? Maybe it’s just because it was something that we were doing historically. Maybe it’s not. That’s never a good answer to the question of why are you doing something? Well, it’s because we’ve been doing it. Not winning strategy.

Nicole: I think we say that to every new hire here at TEAM LEWIS. Just because it’s done that way doesn’t mean it needs to be done that way. Rip it down.

Rex: Can you take a fresh look at this.

Nicole: Yeah. Which is a fun opportunity for folks. But in that same survey I was reading through, one of the things that I did like as a marketer was kind of the trend to going back to the basics as something that CMOS are really looking at for 2023. And yeah, just going back to the basics and looking at acquisition and looking at full funnel campaigns and really doing that, campaign planning and trying to be smart about those things. So, I think that’s something that I get excited about, just thinking about, like, I think there’s a lot of room for creativity within that. But going back to those basics and fundamentals is going to be really important this year.

Rex: Absolutely. It’s fun, but it’s also — let me not say but — and it’s challenging because you’ve got the simultaneous push and pull of you have finance, you have responsibilities that are saying, like, great, you want to run this campaign? What’s the return on it going to be? And so, it’s that education level that comes through. Because relaunching a brand campaign or refreshing your messaging or an audience has shifted and your perception is behind, we got to catch up, how does that translate to a monetary figure that you can prove on a piece of paper? That’s so hard to answer that question.

It doesn’t mean that it’s not doable, but it’s bringing back all the things that we know and love about marketing, about the things that studies have been done about for decades, about the value of creativity and bringing those to the forefront of the campaign and saying, this is going to pay off. And studies have shown over the last 50 years that when you are out in front and you’re taking risks and you’re being smart with your messaging and you’re listening to your audience and you’re doing your research, you’re going to see the financial returns. But how do you sell that to the CFO who’s like, well, why are you going to spend a million dollars on this campaign and what am I going to get out of it right now?

Nicole: Yeah. It’s accountability, I think. I think we’ve kind of got three trends or three predictions right there. Right. Smart growth, no more growth for growth’s sake. Back to the basics and accountability. There you go.

Rex: That’s 2023 in a nutshell. We’re Rex and Nicole, thank you very much.

Nicole: We out. Mic drop.

Rex: My fourth prediction is Jimmy G is probably still not good enough to win the 49ers a Super Bowl.

Nicole: That’s an accurate one. What’s his contract? I don’t even know.

Rex: A year, I think. But we’re not Denver Bronco fans that you’re surrounded by now, so in their sad relationship with Russell Wilson.

Nicole: Yeah, first of all, I will say, for the city of Denver, it is impressive. Their dedication to their sports teams and their franchises, it is impressive. So, they’ve got that going for them. But, yeah, I think because I’ve got a collegiate history with Russell Wilson. We played him in the Rose Bowl back in the day. I don’t know what it is. I don’t like the guy.

Rex: Well, maybe that’s like our fourth lesson is authenticity. Is that a good transition?

Nicole: Because there’s something wrong man right. He’s not authentic. He’s a robot. Yeah, don’t be a robot. That’s the fourth trend/prediction. It is a trend too, authenticity.

Rex: Yeah, it is. It’s something that we’ve talked about and that was, wow, what an incredible, unintended transition. But in all seriousness, authenticity is something that we’ve talked about from creative to research to all these different threads that we’ve been talking about with our wonderful guests and when you and I have been rambling together, is just how important it is.

And in every thread that we pull on for clients existing and proposals for new clients is just how can you be yourself, your core brand, while also responding to what your audience needs and what the environment dictates for you?

Nicole: Yeah. And I think stepping up and saying something when you mess up or when you take a misstep, right. That’s all a part of authenticity is that transparency and that willingness to own up to it and say that you’re going to do better next time.


Nicole: Well, Rex, I think we did it. I think we came up with some predictions. We shredded some from last year. We talked a little bit about the Niners. Rob if that doesn’t make it in, you can cut that.

Rex: We somehow brought up Russell Wilson on a marketing podcast that didn’t involve his brand. Thank God.

Nicole: Yeah, that’s an accomplishment. So, thank you to my mom and Rex’s mom for listening to podcast.

Rex: Thank you. We love you.

Nicole: And we are looking forward to, we’re kind of planning season three and hope to be back on some yeti mics near you soon at a time and date that is TBD. But until then, happy holidays to folks.

Rex: Happy holidays, everyone. Thanks for listening.

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