Marketing trends are always changing, and it's so important to stay relevant. What are the latest trends, and how does one stay abreast of them? Is it better to be an early adopter or to see which trends stick? To address these questions, we’re asking experienced CMOs and marketing executives to share their “Top 5 Marketing Trends That Leaders Need To Know.” As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Hugo Loriot.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! To start, can you tell us a bit about what brought you to this specific career path?
I’ve always had a passion for marketing technology and I’ve worked in the space for over 15 years. I began my career working in Google’s Paris office, where I optimized paid search campaigns during my three-and-a-half-year stint. During that time, I realized I wanted to better understand the full-picture view of the consumer. I decided to join fifty-five, a global Martech consultancy that helps brands unite and fully optimize their siloed data across all channels, in order to play a more active role in making a difference for customers and their data.
I joined the fifty-five team a few months after its inception and worked in the Paris office for six years. With data privacy regulations becoming more of a concern for U.S.-based brands, I moved to New York City to set up our U.S. operations in 2016.
It has been said that our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share a mistake you made when you were first starting?
When I was at Google, I once saw a colleague edit a customer campaign and accidentally misplace the decimal when performing a cost-per-click (CPC) change. What once was a $0.10 CPC quickly became a $10 CPC, which burnt through a lot of budget in one day. That really taught me the importance of taking your time when completing important tasks, having a strong review process in place and never publishing by yourself.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person you're grateful for?
Arnaud Massonnie, who was first my manager at Google and later brought me onto the fifty-five team, has played a monumental role in my career growth trajectory. His consistent trust in me and my abilities has shaped me into the marketing professional I am today. He empowered me to be a leader who gives their employees freedom to grow while also giving them constructive feedback and guidance. He believed in me while pushing me to do better at the same time, and he helped me do the same for myself. And now, I’m able to do the same for my employees. I wouldn’t be where I am today without Arnaud and his leadership.
Are you able to identify a 'tipping point' in your career when you started to see success? Did you start doing anything different?
The tipping point for me really came when I joined fifty-five. After three and a half years at Google, I wanted the opportunity to have a bigger impact at a smaller company right after creation. Joining fifty-five’s team allowed me to take on the management of people and products in ways that I’d never done before. I became more of a leader and started taking more initiative in my daily tasks, which helped me realize my importance to the organization and allowed me to feel more fulfilled as a marketing professional.
There is always value in building your skills and expertise like I did at Google and then taking those capabilities to a position where you as an individual are more crucial to the team. Pushing myself to do this has helped my career develop in tremendous ways, and has helped me see my success more clearly.
What do you think makes your company stand out?
What makes fifty-five so special is its people. Our staff is made up of experienced marketing and data professionals around the world who genuinely care about the success of our clients. Our team is collaborative, innovative, and forward-thinking. We stand out because we don’t just want to see our clients succeed, we want to see them surpass their own expectations and thrive.
Being a global team, we have cross-cultural experience and expertise with varying regulations and political landscapes in the marketing industry. We understand the entire consumer base and the changing needs of companies around the world. We’re always in our clients’ corner, no matter the circumstance.
Are you working on any exciting projects now? Tell us about it!
All of our developments around customer data platforms and mixed media modeling taking shape in 2023 will be helpful to brands as data regulations evolve this year. As marketers prepare for the sunsetting of third-party cookies, fifty-five will support them with strategies for acquiring and optimizing customer data and discovering which media channels are best for brands.
We hope to be a guiding voice this year for both consumers and advertisers to enhance the marketing experience across the board.
Being at the forefront of the marketing space and leading diverse teams, how do you stay abreast of the ever-changing landscape?
I read a select handful of trade publications every day—spending at least 20-30 minutes each day looking at adtech news and whitepapers online—to keep myself abreast of marketing and advertising industry news.
In your experience, is it possible to forecast upcoming trends?
It seems to me that generally, people tend to overestimate changes in the short-term and underestimate changes in the long-term. Our clients often ask us about upcoming changes in the industry and digital trends they should get ahead of—and over the last couple of years, many were concerned about the depreciation of third-party cookies. That’s a perfect example of a trend the industry overestimated the short-term effects of, and I think we’ll be surprised at the ongoing impacts of the sunsetting of third-party cookies in the long run, especially as it relates to the shift in marketing efficiency measurement.
So, the short answer is: I don’t think anyone can forecast upcoming trends with 100% accuracy because it’s too difficult to predict the long-term landscape. This is exacerbated by the changes in media consumption between Gen Z and Gen Alpha, and the adoption of new social platforms that have impacted how we consume and react to news and trends.
In marketing, would you say it’s better to be an early adopter of trends or wait to see if they stick before allocating resources?
It’s important to be aware of what’s developing in the industry and be an early adopter of trends to stay ahead of our ever-changing environment. At the same time, it’s important to remember not to put all of your eggs in one basket when making widespread changes across your campaigns. You don’t want to shift your entire strategy every time there are discussions about potential changes–it can hinder you financially and distract you from present happenings in the industry if you’re always hyper-focused on staying ahead.
Adopting trends early gives you more time to do change management and prepare your teams for the future, but putting too much focus on this creates a lot of noise and makes it harder to accurately measure success.
What are some of the past trends that you embraced, and what results did you see?
fifty-five has been dedicated to the collection and optimization of first-party data almost since the creation of our company, so we’ve been on top of this trend for quite some time now. With the multifaceted nature of first-party data, our longtime familiarity with the topic has given us the expertise needed to guide clients and create numerous opportunities for our company.
For brands, obtaining more first-party data is always a good idea. By championing the importance of first-party data from its onset, we’ve positioned ourselves as strong advisors for brands as they update their data collection strategies in today’s privacy-first era.
What factors should leaders consider before jumping on a trend?
Marketers must consider the lifetime of their campaigns and their sustainability. You don’t want to invest time and resources in a trend without first prioritizing your current campaigns and their continued success. Before jumping on a trend, you want to be secure in the present landscape and understand how your work can thrive there. New trends can be attractive and shiny, but they can also distract you from what’s right in front of you. Leaders must consider the viability of new trends and remember that at one point, they were looking ahead to what’s in front of them right now. Being able to manage your current projects is more important than jumping into what’s coming next, so I definitely recommend securing that sense of stability before investing too intensely in new industry trends.
Based on your experience, what are the top five marketing trends leaders should know about in 2023?
- Federal data privacy court decisions bring regulatory compliance to the forefront
From Meta to Sephora, 2022 saw large retailers being held accountable by federal courts for flouting data privacy compliance regulations—and we can expect to see more of these cases in the coming year. These cases have been a wake up call to brands on the importance of privacy. While there is confusion around growing compliance regulations in the US—especially with legislators still working to pass a federal privacy legislation, most recently, the American Data Privacy and Protection Act (ADPPA), that will provide a single, national foundation for data privacy—GDPR will be the golden standard for brands to follow in the near term. The “grace period” for privacy compliance is closing, and both global and US brands have to ensure their compliance standards are up to par if they don’t want to be taken to court.
- Decision-making flexibility is a priority amid economic turmoil and budget cuts
Businesses have seen their share of disruptions over the last year, and in 2023, they will continue to deal with the impact of rising inflation and budget cuts, as well as greater regulatory and compliance changes at least for the short term. What’s most essential is how organizations will mitigate the effects of these disruptions on their marketing and business performance. Increased granularity in marketing dashboards and the use of predictive analytics to understand forecasting and demand generation will empower marketing professionals with real-time data insights to meet fluid market conditions. Expect to see marketing teams delay non-critical changes and place an increased emphasis on flexibility in marketing tools and planning in the coming year as marketing teams look to remain nimble and quick-footed in their strategic decision-making amid a possible recession.
- Data clean rooms take center stage with increased privacy capabilities
With the sunsetting of third-party cookies, we have seen data clean rooms grow in popularity this year. In 2023, we expect to see them take center stage. As we move into a world with tightening privacy regulations, we will see marketers increasingly demand solutions – like Publisher Advertiser Identity Reconciliation (PAIR) – that allow for the continual sharing of data in a safe and privacy-first way. Data clean rooms enable brands to cross-match anonymized, aggregated data without actually revealing any personally identifiable information or allowing access to the data outside of the clean room.
- Media Mix Modeling makes a comeback and drives data-driven decision making
The rise of biddable media and audience planning raised expectations for a granular, near-real-time feedback loop that traditional Media Mix Modeling (MMM) studies are not designed for – leading marketers to believe MMM is “dead.” However, in 2023, we expect MMM to make a comeback, in an evolved form. As third-party cookies fall by the wayside, there is a growing need for greater control over all steps of the marketing decision-making process – and a refreshed, faster, more granular and transparent version of MMM will offer marketers that. As we enter this new privacy-centric era, we expect to see marketing teams reconsider their approach to MMM in order to gain greater control over the marketing decision process, provide pragmatic recommendations and accelerate decision-making.
- Customer Data Platforms are the key to breaking down data silos in a privacy-first era
Data silos are a pervasive problem for companies across industries and can impact nearly every department, from marketing and sales to customer experience and HR. While businesses have been trying to reduce data silos for years, with the sunsetting of third-party cookies, the need to break down silos to drive continued business disruption will become paramount in 2023 – and Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) will play an increasingly important role in doing so. CDPs are one of the most effective ways to create a personalized customer experience while putting a stop to disjointed profiles, and will be a core element to the martech stack in 2023.
Lastly, if you could inspire a movement that would bring a great amount of good to the most people, what would that be?
A piece of advice I’d give to people in all walks of life, especially those pursuing careers in marketing, would be to always stay flexible and curious. Success in this industry is determined by always being willing to adapt and learn more – and I would love to challenge people to lead lives of curiosity and creativity.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
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