Three digital marketing trends for Q3 2023

July 19, 2023

Collective Measures
Collective Measures’ distilled the top three trends marketers should be aware of for Q3 2023.

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Three digital marketing trends for Q3 2023

Twists and turns, news articles and updates, rises to fame and falls from the spotlight. The marketing landscape continues to keep brands on their toes. This can prove challenging for marketers to know where to look, but our collective of experts is here to help. From social shake ups to the evolving video streaming landscape, here are the top three trends marketers should pay attention to this quarter. 

1. Social shake ups

The social media platform hierarchy is officially on its head as TikTok continues to gain momentum in the mainstream social media scene, Twitter experiences fallout from brand safety issues, and Meta’s Threads and other emerging platforms jockey to fill in the gaps. But that’s not all. Let’s dive in!

Twitter’s fallout 

Twitter continues to face backlash and ad sale losses as unbridled hate speech & controversial content floods the platform. The platform recently received the lowest Social Media Safety Index rating from GLAAD of all social media platforms and was called “the most dangerous platform for LGBTQ people.” Although recently hired CEO – Linda Yaccarino – seems to have quelled reservations about the platform for some, most holding companies continue to advise advertisers against the platform. 

Emerging social platforms: Threads, Lemon8, Clapper, BlueSky

New social media apps – including Threads, Lemon8, Clapper and Bluesky – are making headlines and vying for users’ attention. With different applications and target audiences, it will be interesting to see which new kid on the block claims the social media spotlight. 


Social shopping trends

While older audiences continue to use social media as a way to connect with friends and family, Gen Z is reshaping the role of social media and platforms are striving to keep up with their expectations. Social media is quickly becoming a shopping destination for younger audiences. In fact, Gen Z audiences are more likely to use TikTok to research products than traditional search engines and are extremely comfortable making purchases on Instagram, YouTube and TikTok. In response, TikTok is busy testing new features that position it as a marketplace and Meta recently announced that Shops will soon force check out to happen within Facebook and Instagram rather than on ecommerce sites. 

→ What this mean for marketers: With many new platforms or shifts in consumer behavior, brands should consider the following criteria before jumping on a new opportunity:

  • Does the platform deliver the right audience at a meaningful scale?
  • Does the platform provide relevant content and offer integrated opportunities for brands to publish or advertise?
  • Are there brand safety concerns with platform content or policies?

Aligning on these questions is key to developing an impactful social media approach. And with more time left in the year, there’s time for even more shake ups within this space. So, grab your popcorn and keep a watchful eye on the ever-changing social media landscape.

2. Evolution of streaming video 

Digital viewing has been seeing quite a shift in 2023. In fact, it might overtake linear viewing as the majority in how US adults view TV programs. What’s propelling this shift? The increase in both free and lower-cost ad-supported options and many consumers being willing to trade ads for a lower premium.

FAST (free ad-supported streaming TV) platforms

Similar to linear TV where scheduled programming is delivered at a specific time, Free Ad-Supported Streaming TV offers content for free to the consumer, and loads of advertising opportunities to brands. 

Pluto, Tubi and Samsung TV Plus are amongst the largest FAST platforms, and big content players like NBCUniversal are making their channels available to license to FAST platforms. A recent Comcast report found that 6 in 10 U.S. homes are using at least one of the 1,400 active FAST channels that are currently across 22 different providers. 

Increase in ad-supported tiers

More and more streaming platforms are adding an option for viewers to subscribe at a lower cost- in exchange for ads. In response, the number of viewers choosing an ad-supported tier is growing, but adoption varies across streamers. For example, after its launch 6 months ago, the Netflix ad-supported tier has nearly five million global monthly active users. While this still pales in comparison to other streaming services, it shows a potential for a promising future. Netflix isn’t the only platform expanding their options for viewers. It is rumored Prime is going to add an ad-supported tier to Prime Video.

→ What this means for marketers: Marketers must know the viewing habits of their audience, and carefully weigh different video platforms and placements to see which best may serve their brand. But the future of digital viewing is likely to include large amounts of inventory on free and ad-supported platforms – so it is best to prepare now. 

3. The state of measurement

Long-standing developments in privacy, data regulation, and attribution are hitting pivotal milestones. Advertisers are about to lose major measurement capabilities that were heavily used over the last decade. The top culprits to this loss? The loss of cookies, iOS 17, and Google Analytics 4. 

A cookie update 

A recent update from Google indicated their planned removal of cookies in late 2024 is still on track, given previous delays. Near term progress includes a planned move of 1% of Chrome users to Privacy Sandbox as a way to test cookie removal’s effectiveness albeit at a considerably smaller scale. 

IOS 17 implications

Apple recently released iOS17 . The update aims to remove any tracking strings in URLs clicked that provide tracking data back (such as UTM parameters). While there are other browser and email apps out there for use, iPhone users aren’t averse to using Safari and Mail, with 93% of iPhone users preferring Safari over other browsers and Apple Mail being the leading Mail client used, at 38% usage over 2nd place Gmail. Simply put, this means loss of click tracking- the historical process of click tracking. Fortunately, Apple will be offering Private Click Measurement that allows for visibility into reported clicks and conversions without additional data to understand user activity or behavior.

Transition to Google Analytics 4

Google has given marketers over a year to prepare for the sunset of Universal Analytics, which technically occurred on July 1, 2023, but appears to be proceeding gradually. And, while Google offers an automatic transition process, most experts agree that a manual approach will set brands up best for success. In this new platform, GA4 users will find much more flexibility and control in configuring and collecting data on core site actions, but possibly less flexibility on seeing who and where those actions originated. Marketers need to understand that at its core, GA4 is a response to more privacy and regulation. 

→ What this means for marketers: Ultimately, marketers should prepare for less transparency. More reliance will be needed on a mix of data sources. This will force marketers to look at the broader impacts, rather than the small details. With datasets disappearing, marketers must embrace change quickly and prepare for a more privacy-conscious future.

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