Our predictions for 2023
This week, not put off by the brilliant Rob Mayhew’s satire of agency predictions, we asked the consultants, strategists, creatives and client services teams from across Emperor for their take on what to expect in 2023. Interestingly talent, technology and transparency run through each and every one.
Automation will continue in digital, driven by increasingly mature and accessible AI. From a content point of view, tools like Jasper.ai can write your content for you. AI is also set to revolutionise design by generating ideas and concepts, allowing designers to fail fast and see what works. It will push boundaries and do it all with speed, freeing up designers to focus on the stuff AI can't do.
Peter Cain, Digital Strategist and Jack Lloyd Davies, Digital Creative Director
Talent ever important in the face of technology
As Rishad Tobaccowala notes from The Lessons of Civilization: "Every advance in technology places a premium on superior ability." It is not the technology; it is the talent. Talent has scaled globally using technology like a lever. So, we should worry less about how AI will replace us but how we will leverage AI to scale ourselves, our teams and companies. This year, talent will matter even more – who are those within our businesses with the growth mindsets that can take the technology at our fingertips and use it to full advantage?
Steve Kemp, Founder
Continued interest in D, E & I issues but with focus on social class
According to research from KPMG last month, class has overtaken gender and race as a career barrier. Companies will need to consider how they achieve class diversity through recruitment processes, mentoring and promotion. Discussion of social class diversity should also feature in their reporting.
Rachel Crossley, Stakeholder Engagement Director and Tessa McCaffrey, Director of Learning and Development
Shift from greenwashing to greenhushing
Following the publication of South Pole’s Net Zero report at the end of last year, green-hushing looks set to become a commonplace term in the world of sustainability communications. The report observed a reluctance to be transparent about sustainability plans and performance due to increased scrutiny on words matching actions. The world of sustainability communications has always been complex but going quiet is a problem. Engaging with stakeholders to bring them along on the journey is key to achieving sustainability goals.
Lynn Dickinson, Director of Responsible Business
Accessibly linked with an inclusive culture and design
Post pandemic there has been a seismic shift to inclusive practices in the digital space and the physical landscape. Organisations are taking measures to incorporate inclusive design into their digital assets to ensure every individual feels included in the process. In turn, products and services will be crafted to benefit people and the planet. Content will be clear and valuable, and pages will be optimised for ultra-efficiency. Accessibility will always be key, but more importantly, inclusive – along with honest, transparent design.
Jack Lloyd Davies, Digital Creative Director
Increased focus on effectiveness and measurable value
With budget constraints, clients will have a greater focus on measuring effectiveness of the brand development work they do. This mentality has long been part of B2C brand building mindsets but is less commonly built into B2B brand briefs. It's not a numbers game. B2B comms is low volume, high value. B2C rules of reach, eyeballs and volume impressions do not apply. Clients will need to be armed with measurement that provides a forensic assessment of the effectiveness of their work in a low volume world.
Claire Stuart, Brand Strategy Director and Simon Bennison, Head of Digital Strategy
Different and higher content expectations
Information typically found in corporate comms is becoming more accessible and sought after by a wider range of stakeholders. There’s a notable shift from technical content that follows B2B principles aimed at specialist audiences, to a more generalist approach focused on impact, typically associated with B2C comms. These "new" audiences have different and higher expectations of engaging content due to how they consume information in the rest of their lives (Netflix, TikTok, Google). This will shape the way we think about content format, hierarchy and navigation, as well as how we use data to improve content and platforms.
Baptiste Dilly, Analyst
Digital-first content tools
More content tools are coming to market, offering a wider choice for clients, and supporting both clients and agencies to combine a content/design workflow, as well as European Single Electronic Format (ESEF) tagging capabilities. Other platforms such as the Workiva platform (Wdesk) takes clients further, connecting people, data and documents to create automation that supports client teams and significantly reduces risk. We are excited to be part of Workiva’s partner programme, and to share a focus on the future as we see other products come to market, to drive the industry transition to more of a digital-first solution.
Amanda Woodward, Chief Commercial Officer
Reinvention to stay relevant
It’s not new for people and businesses to reinvent to stay relevant, but life post pandemic has called for a major re-think. We've seen our clients radically 'pivoting', repositioning how they come to market. Korn Ferry calls reinvention ‘the flipside of disruption’. We can expect increased personalisation, radical cooperation and clever use of tech to turbo-charge existing brands, products and services.
Joanna Anthony, Business Director, Employee Engagement and Change
It’s exciting to start a new year with all the promise of how new trends and developments will disrupt our industry and, ultimately, help us communicate better. Watch this space!