Buying new tools isn’t always the answer

Virginia Backaitis
5 min readNov 30, 2022

Guest post by Jordan Buning

Each year brings with it new technologies, new shifts in consumer behavior, and new selling opportunities that get marketers excited. In each regard, 2023 will be no different.

While the new year can be one of great success and growth for your organization, it might not be the year to go all-in on the latest marketing tools and trends. Against the backdrop of a possible economic recession, 2023 is a good time to recall that patented paternal wisdom about purchasing a car or choosing a college major: play it safe.

What might that look like? Rather than pursuing new assets, take time to harness the technology and human capital in which you’re already invested. Be responsible. Be level-headed. Stick to the basics, and leave the risky purchasing decisions to your competition. The top trends of 2023 will have a familiar ring to them, and that’s OK ― you can thank your dad later.

1. Diving into your existing toolkit

With many economists forecasting a recession of varying degrees in 2023, budget constraints will be a reality for marketing departments everywhere. Instead of fretting, take stock of the last few years. Which tools in your marketing toolkit have worked? Which haven’t? Which might be underutilized?

If you have held off on upgrading your organization’s software or diving into a recent tech trend ― AI-assisted search, voice-activated search, virtual reality, etc. ― 2023 might not be the right time to act on your impulse. New technologies bring the potential to reach new audiences, but maybe your best audience is the one you already have. In tight-budget situations, it’s OK to focus less on using a new set of tools to bring in a new audience when the results aren’t certain to work.

Yesterday’s trend might be today’s best practice. The hottest new trend isn’t always the best fit, and the pace of change is likely to slow in 2023. Social media’s ad revenue is projected to grow by 5.2 percent in 2023 after seeing 48 percent growth in 2020 and 11 percent in 2021. The marketer pitching high-risk, bleeding-edge trends against this backdrop will appear tone-deaf while their corporate peers double down on austerity.