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The Tea for 2023: Piping Hot Industry Predictions

December 21, 2022 5 minute read
The past couple years have been tough, but together we’re tougher
Three young people sit around a table and giggle as they have a lighthearted discussion and drink coffee/tea

As we look back on 2022, it’s clear that the technology industry and society as a whole is going through a rough patch. Still, the ways we respond to that turbulence will determine how we can successfully move forward and adapt to change. 

So, let’s air some grievances and figure out ways to solve them. What better way to do that than by seeking shared wisdom? 

We asked leaders in the Acquia community for their thoughts on the industry transformation and welcomed their insights. Here are their thoughts on some of  the most pressing issues facing the tech industry and marketers in 2023. 

Economists say we’re heading into an economic downturn, if we aren’t there already. What advice do you have for marketers facing a recession?

“There are three essential tactics for marketers to survive and thrive in a recession:

1. Manage your fixed costs. No marketing plan survives engagement with a recession. Carefully evaluate all of the spend you have planned in 2023 that can't be changed during the year and see if you can change your arrangements, contracts, etc. to allow more flexibility throughout the year. If we do have a recession, you'll need it. Do your June 2023 self a favor, today.

2. Make a plan for what to prioritize. Imagine it's April, and you’ve been told to reduce the rest of the spend you have planned for 2023 by 30%. Make a list now of what you would do less of and what you would do more of. Sure, the plan might change if this actually happens, but just spending a few minutes now to think through the possibility will make your overall 2023 plan more impactful.

3. Stay calm. Never forget the two fundamental truths about recessions: There’s always one coming, and they always end. Approach the challenges with a clear head and patience. Panic makes for worse decisions, not better.”

— Justin Emond, CEO, Third and Grove

“Turn your marketing efforts to retention first. Treat them as you would treat warm leads. Doubling down on the benefits of sticking with your product will also create reusable messaging for new customers and strong case studies and storytellers in your corner.”

— Tim Lehnen, CTO, Drupal Association

With a cookieless future looming, there’s greater interest in zero-party data. How do you collect that information?

“Whenever we ask for customer data, we take the ‘what’s in it for them’ approach; it’s give-and-take. For example, earn volume discounts by joining our loyalty program or a sneak peek at new inventory — share your email address or shipping updates via your mobile number.”

— Corey Dubeau, SVP Strategy, Northern Commerce

Organizations like when their tech stack plays nicely together. How would you sell composability to stakeholders?

“Today, composable is a competitive advantage. Tomorrow, it will be table stakes. All aspects of business are now digital. Embracing composable architecture allows us to orchestrate digital channels. It brings us the business agility to respond to ever-changing conditions with the speed needed to be competitive.”

— Marc Infield, EVP Technology, Bounteous

"We all want systems that are easy for humans to use and easy to modify based on what we need in the moment. Composability works on the same principles as Legos or cooking: how can I take a yellow brick or an onion and use it in many different ways to get different, great outcomes? Humans love to be able to reuse and improvise, and composability plays to that desire.

For instance, if I have a DAM that seamlessly allows me to embed material from the DAM into a CMS, it means that all the assets in my DAM are suddenly able to be leveraged anywhere rather than requiring downloads, uploads, ZIP files, etc. They aren't locked away; they're available at a moment's notice. Ease of use and reuse is the biggest advantage of composable systems, and the efficiencies that it generates cannot be overstated."

— Melissa Torres, Assistant Director of Digital Publishing, Phillips 66

Regulators and the public have shown increasing interest in data privacy. What can companies do to better protect their customers’ data?

“As the industry becomes increasingly privacy-centric, customer data will continue to be essential for delivering personalized experiences. Collect what you need only, use it to provide real value to your customers, and protect it as you would with your own.”

— Colton Hathaway, VP Technology, Northern Commerce

What can organizations do to prepare themselves in 2023 for an increasingly headless future?

“Moving to a headless architecture can happen in stages. Start by taking small steps to decouple your technology and ensure that a capable integration solution is in place. Understand the advantages and risks of each microservice or component introduced in the near and long term.”

— Colton Hathaway, VP Technology, Northern Commerce

The processing power needed for ML and AI is tremendous. What can IT professionals do in 2023 to reduce these numbers and be more sustainable?

Data is a really fun way to waste a lot of time. Don't ask for the same reports because those are the same analyses you have used all year. Throw them all out, start with what success looks like for 2023, and work backwards to determine what kinds of reports you need. You might find less analysis and more instinct will have greater impact.

— Justin Emond, CEO, Third and Grove