Did you run out of experiment ideas? It happens to the best Growth Marketers, but don’t worry; we got you! There are two ways to solve this and fill up your experiment backlog for growth initiatives in 2023. You either do some good old research or get your interdisciplinary team into a room for a brainstorming session. If you chose path one, you are one lucky marketer, as you landed on this blog article today and can skip some of your research efforts.
2023 means a new year and a new experiment roadmap for many of our projects. I took some time to look at current trends and best practices in the marketing sphere and derived 12 must-do but also ready-to-execute experiments. Every experiment in this blog article is defined by a leading hypothesis, a related mega-trend from the trend intelligence platform Amplify and the marketing discipline it falls into. Further, I already assigned a funnel step and ICE score to it. So, be ready to get inspired! If you still want an external perspective and fresh ideas for a brainstorming session, feel free to contact us and book a growth workshop where we create a tailored experiment backlog to grow your business.
If this was too much buzzword bingo for you, I would invite you to go to one of my previous articles, where I explain the basics of growth marketing. You can also learn more about why people hate growth hacking on our blog.
#1 Share your values and be authentic
|Hypothesis||Highlighting how the values of your business align with those of your employees through performance campaigns will raise awareness.|
|Mega-trend||Glass box brands|
We are currently living in a time of radical transparency. People want to make educated decisions in their daily lives, especially regarding their consumption of products. As a business’s integral job is to cater to those needs, companies are well advised to provide information about their internal culture and processes. How an organization is run and what values are held up high have become a big part of the brand identity.
Consumers want to engage with brands that align with their own social and environmental values. As a marketer, you must ask yourself the following questions: What are your company‘s, employees’ and customers’ values? Where do they align? The answers to these questions can be at the heart of the content for your next performance campaign on Meta or Twitter.
Vodafone took the pride festival in the city of Utrecht as an opportunity to use the faces of their LGBTQ+ employees to show the company’s strong support for the community. Involving their employees was especially smart as it ensured authenticity in communicating their values.
#2 Educate on your production
|Hypothesis||Hosting a pop-up to educate on hidden waste in your industry and how you tackle it with your business will raise awareness.|
|Mega-trend||Glass box brands|
Like sharing your company values, I would invite you to talk more about your production processes and waste. Consumers are eager to learn more about the production and the whole supply chain needed to produce the product.
A pop-up event could be the right format to discuss serious topics in an o2o setting with consumers. Ideally, you educate there and promote a suitable product line.
Do not miss out on using all your channels to promote the event. Count all the visitors to your pop-up and ask for feedback. You could also take this as an opportunity to conduct a survey to define your persona further and learn more about their needs.
The beauty brand KraveBeauty went full-on transparent and hosted a pop-up in New York City to share how they reused unsaleable products. Additionally, they promoted a new product line developed due to their internal experiments with reusing unsold cleansers.
#3 Build a community on Discord
|Hypothesis||Discord is a proper traction channel for building a community.|
It has been the foundation of social media’s success since its early days. It is the same when we think about community marketing: People want to connect, interact, and create meaningful bonds with others. But also with organizations and brands. Building a community around your product would help create and strengthen these bonds.
Why Discord? With millions of users, Discord has established itself as a dominant player. Although, it still is considered not relevant to many European marketers. But guys, we’re talking about 150 million monthly active users, and not all come from the US! The UK, Germany and France each generate around 4% of the platform’s traffic.
What I like most about the idea of testing this traction channel is that it is undoubtedly a validated channel, and still, many marketers hesitate to experiment with it. That leaves a nice opportunity for us. 😊
In general, I would consider Discord as the perfect platform for community marketing because of the way it is intended. Users join servers (groups) created around a specific topic to exchange information. Businesses can create a public server and invite customers to join to stay updated on the product. Further, this channel comes with excellent potential to automate your communication. You can use bots to promote your channel and interact with your audience.
One best practice I would like to highlight is Adobe’s Discord group. Everyone interested can join to get support for a better understanding when working with Adobe’s software solutions.
#4 Research uprising social media stars
|Hypothesis||Monitoring newcomers like BeReal will help to anticipate new features for Instagram & Youtube.|
Researching new and trending social media platforms will help you stay ahead of your competition and quickly respond to trends on platforms where you have an active communication strategy.
Create a personal account for every new social media platform coming up this year and learn about features and content formats there. The past has shown that bigger platforms will adopt concepts after a while. Just think about the dual camera format of BeReal that you can now find on Instagram. Or Youtube Shorts that TikTok might have inspired.
#5 Follow your niche on Instagram
|Hypothesis||Following other accounts relevant to your niche will result in more followers of your account.|
The content shown in your Instagram s no longer exclusively reserved for the accounts you are following. We can now find in-feed recommendations with content from not-followed accounts you might be interested in. Based on a number of signals, Instagram’s algorithm calculates what might be relevant for you.
A relatively low-hanging fruit is following and engaging with accounts in your niches. This helps the algorithm to understand better which niche you belong to. Further, this information or signal will show your content to users who follow other accounts with a similar focus. But to be clear, this is not about quantity. It is about quality. So, focus on following and engaging with high-value content and accounts.
#6 Reconsider your organic acquisition strategy
|Hypothesis||Search engines are a proper traction channel for your website.|
Let’s face it. The future is more than uncertain, and consumers are looking for transparency and more control, especially regarding their personal data. We must not ignore this fact as marketers. On the one hand, because of ethical reasons and on the other hand, because there are declarations made by institutions like the EU going in a more conservative direction when collecting personal data.
Furthermore, the third-party cookie deprecation for Google Chrome will happen in early 2024. It is expected that paid strategies that highly rely on third-party cookies won’t work as well as they did in previous years. Maybe more organic traffic would help to replace paid traffic.
I recommend re-evaluating the importance of your organic acquisition through search engines as part of your overall strategy. Regarding SEO, we don’t rely on personal data or a third-party cookie like we do with performance marketing. It is a tough nut to crack and takes months or even years to perform properly, but it will reward you with much more reliability as a marketing channel.
#7 Make your content more accessible through voice search
|Hypothesis||Optimizing the website for voice search will result in more traffic from search engines.|
Do you think you know how your audience is behaving because you know their demographics? I doubt it. What we’ve seen throughout the last years is that user behaviour is strongly influenced by values, world views and attitudes. Further, we’ve seen consumers advocating for brands that support initiatives around Black Lives Matter, Refugees from Ukraine, Climate Activism and many more. But it doesn’t have to stop here. Companies could and should design more inclusive, and low-barrier products as this aligns with the values customers are standing for. If you now think from a marketing perspective, there is a potential to expand your market by including more people.
Let’s take your website as a starting point. I assume you have content on your website that explains your product or service, shows best practices, and maybe even educates people on industry-related topics through a blog or webinar. I also assume that you have at least indexed your pages so they are accessible for search engines. But have you ever thought about the accessibility of this content for voice search? If the answer is no, it could be a great opportunity for additional traffic.
I simply love the idea of voice search because it improves the lives of people and machines at the same time. Specifically, it can make the lives of visually impaired people better by simply making the search engine more accessible to them.
But in general, voice search engines are a thing. Just a few stats here for you:
- In 2020, there were 230 million units of smart speakers installed worldwide. And it is predicted to double in 2024.
- Almost 72 % of people owning a smart speaker say that usage is part of their daily routine.
- 40 % of adults use voice search daily, and 1 billion voice searches occur monthly.
It is no surprise that we can find voice search optimization on the list of top SEO initiatives for 2023. The key to successful voice-optimized content is to use natural language and pursue a long-tail strategy.
#8 Livestream your product presentation
|Hypothesis||Live streaming your product presentation and sharing an exclusive purchase coupon on social media will increase your sales.|
|Discipline||Content, social media|
We know our way around the physical and digital world. But what is still to be discovered and defined are those metaphysical worlds currently being built. The die is not cast yet, but it seems that both realities will interweave more intensively and emerge into something new. We can already find manifestations of metaverses, virtual reality devices and especially augmented reality solutions on a day-to-day base.
What will your product presentation look like in this future world? Live streaming through social media could be a budget-friendly way to tip your toes in these metaphysical cold waters. I see live streaming as a rather easy idea to move the face-to-face communication usually happening in your offline stores to the virtual world. Of course, it is a long stretch to holistic mixed-reality experiences, but still, a good way to experiment and learn how your customers respond to it.
IKEA shows how significant this campaign type can impact your sales. In October 2022, it exceeded USD 14k in sales in one day while generating 20 million profile page views.
#9 Implement a voice search feature
|Hypothesis||Implementing a voice search feature in your online shop will increase sales.|
|Mega-trend||Aided by AI|
We have already discussed the relevance of voice search in general and for search engines specifically. Here, I would like to focus more on the product side. At this funnel stage, users are already acquired, and it is time for you to get the job done.
The disciplines of UI, UX and Conversion-Rate-Optimization (CRO) are all about designing products and user journeys that are intuitive to users. It is also important to stay ahead of what users expect from that journey. We see users adopting technologies like voice control that are made smart through AI, and we must think about potential implications for our product.
If you’re running an e-commerce shop, you probably have a search feature implemented, which is probably not barrier-free. Re-designing this feature and making it voice-activated would not only make it more accessible but also provide a more intuitive interface to all users. Again, a win-win for everyone.
A recent example can be found in China, where Taobao, the Alibaba-owned e-commerce platform, responded to the fact that many of their older users are speaking in regional dialects by implementing a voice search feature. It not only made the shop better accessible but basically enabled sales.
#10 Create exclusive experiences
|Hypothesis||Having an exclusive service offer for top clients will result in increased sales.|
The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on consumer behaviour. People were facing daily challenges in the given uncertain environment and struggling to fulfil some of their most basic needs, like social interaction. Coming out of the pandemic, people demand more freedom and fun, basically. And so do your existing customers.
Providing a product that solves the pain of your customers is not enough anymore. Brand marketing outside of service industries already shows that it could be a smart move to create a holistic experience to retain your existing customers. Specifically, providing this experience to your top customer layer will help to make them feel appreciated and intensify your bond with them. Who are your top clients or power users? How can you create an exclusive and fun offer for them?
Although sales numbers are excellent, Chanel is investing in taking their brand experience to a new level in early 2023. The luxury fashion house plans to open private stores exclusively for its top-tier customers. By offering this experience, it is expected to retain and protect revenue from these top-spending customers.
#11 Curate and offer subscription service
|Hypothesis||Adding a subscription service to offer discounts will boost overall revenue.|
|Mega-trend||Solace as a service|
It’s time again to reflect on your product. Ask yourself and write down which pains you are actually solving and how you manage them. How is this product built, and what does the related customer journey look like? There might be potential to make the product and the journey more efficient by providing a subscription service. Take Uber as an example: The company currently runs two services with two apps: Uber for booking a ride and Uber Eats for ordering food delivery. In 2022, they decided to launch a subscription service through Uber One that offers discounts on both services. The result: more than 5 million users within one year. This segment can be described as very likely to retain customers as they are tied to a monthly subscription fee. Further, you create real value for people as they will save on their overall spending through the discounts. Again, a win-win, I would say.
But as this example seems to just cater to another layer of the customer’s universal need for more convenience, that is not and should not be the only customer you look at. We have seen that convenience can come at a social and environmental cost, which people are now more aware of, so you should be too. Customers desire convenience but also something that is called a purpose economy – an economy that focuses on creating value and purpose for customers and employees.
So, before heading off to launch a subscription service for your product, ask yourself how you can make your customer journey more convenient, what value you can create through it and how you can contribute to the purpose economy.
#12 Work with nano-influencers
|Hypothesis||Nano-influencers generate more impressions than micro-influencers.|
There is a lot of discussion on how the future of influencer marketing will look like. But two trends seem very clear: First, influencer marketing will become even more relevant. Second, influencers with smaller audiences (micro- and nano-influencers) will become more popular. We have seen the rise of micro-influencers throughout the last few years, and it seems that it is now the time for nano-influencers as well. Just to remind you of the facts and the connected audience reach:
- Micro-influencers usually have between 10,000 and 50,000 followers.
- Nano-influencers usually have between 1,000 and 10,000 followers.
To me, personally, this development makes total sense. On the one hand, we already know that authenticity and niche are key in content creation. These two aspects are better delivered by nano- and micro- than mega-influencers. On the other hand, we see many content creators appearing on the social media stage daily.
The latter can be attributed to the general trend of consumers becoming their own businesses. This is also connected to the low entry barrier for starting your influencer business. The combination of existing networks like social media, the availability of content creator tools and the low-to-zero budget needed (excluding time here) makes this possible.
If you haven’t thought about working with influencers yet, I recommend placing a bet on the nano ones now. An easy way to start would be to list customers who are already advocating for your brand and product on social media and approach them for a long-term collaboration. Additionally, do not forget to recruit micro-influencers as well to have a clean experiment setup that is also delivering you data for your decision-making process on how to continue with influencer marketing after your experiment.
Finally, I want to make it explicit that this experiment is relevant not only for B2C but for B2B too. Business networks like LinkedIn should be used to advocate for your product, ideally through the voice of industry experts and not only your company’s and employee’s speech.
And that’s it for my must-do growth experiments for 2023. We covered some of the most relevant trends, marketing disciplines and funnel steps for this year. I hope you found some inspiration for your own projects, and if you try something, let us know how it went!