CMOs at Mastercard, NHL, Zola will focus on community building, virtual worlds, retention incentives and more in 2023

CMOs at Mastercard, NHL, Zola will focus on community building, virtual worlds, retention incentives and more in 2023

The end of the year is always a mad dash to finish work before the holidays – and this year is no exception.

When you get back to work in early January, it can be hard to remember what everyone was talking about before the family festivities (and drama). To make sure we have a good idea of ​​what marketers expect to focus on in the New Year, we spoke to CMOs about the big topics they expect to focus on in 2023.

Virtual worlds

“We are settling into a ‘new abnormal,’ where virtual and real worlds collide every day,” said Raja Rajamannar, CEO of Mastercard. “It’s the undercurrent for the trends I’m watching.”

Rajamannar continued, “AR is on the rise. Although VR has seemed the buzzword ‘reality’ for the past few years, AR technology has been gaining traction. This is likely because there are more tangible use cases. In addition, the ability to using an existing device instead of an expensive headset makes it easier to access and lends itself to faster adoption.”

Community building

“The importance of communities is something I think about a lot,” said Victoria Vaynberg, CEO of Zola. “For Zola, we started our in-app and now on-web community at the beginning of the year. We have thousands of active couples in there. Outside of our business, if you think about what Web3 worlds are really about, ultimately they are communities.”

Vaynberg added that the ability to build community on brand attributes not only fosters connections with people who share the same interests, but gives the brand more insight into the community they serve.

“It’s a great tool, but also a great listening tool for us to hear what couples want, whether it’s product feedback or cultural insights or how weddings are changing,” Vaynberg said. “It is really important to get as close as possible to the consumer. Community as a whole is a top priority for me.”

Growth and first-party data

Zola is not alone in using his own insights to find ways to drive brand growth. The National Hockey League is also turning to its own data to find ways to grow its audience.

“We’re focused on growing and getting to know our fans,” NHL general manager Heidi Browning said. “From a growth perspective, we are focused on expanding and diversifying our fan base, with a focus on female, multicultural and younger audiences. To grow, we need to know more about our current fans. We collect, analyze and act on insights gleaned from first- and zero-party fan data.”

Retention incentives

Finding ways to make sure customers will return is critical at any time, but especially during a tougher economy. It’s no surprise, then, that going beyond the usual retention strategies is likely to be common for brands over the next year.

“We’re going to have a strong focus on retention and re-engagement,” said Fit Body App General Manager Lia Haberman. “Our previous efforts to reduce chargebacks were pretty standard automated efforts: cancellation surveys, win-back campaigns, exit incentives, etc. Now, we are actively reaching out and trying to keep every subscriber who wants to cancel. We dig in to understand why they leave and then offer them a personalized incentive to stay. In this economy, you want to work to retain or win back every single customer.”

Brand values

In recent years, brands have spoken out and increasingly taken a stand on various issues. Marketers expect this to continue to be a focus in 2023, though the issues are likely to be more closely tied to the brand’s trajectory.

“We spoke a lot about the Respect for Marriage Act,” said Zola’s Vaynberg. “It’s important for brands to know their lane. I don’t think it’s your job to comment on everything that’s going on in the world, but for us, we have clear company values ​​and brand values. Continuing to leverage what we can use to support what we know is right will continue to be an area of ​​focus.”

CMOs at Mastercard, NHL, Zola will focus on community building, virtual worlds, retention incentives and more in 2023

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