Year in Review: Our Top Marketing Lessons from 2023

January 18, 2024

8 Minute Read
2023 Digital Marketing Review - Be Found Online

Before diving headfirst into 2024, it’s only fitting we take a quick look over our shoulders and see what the heck we actually learned in 2023—because if you’re like us, it went by in a blur. From Twitter’s rebrand (X, still not used to that one) to the surge in artificial intelligence in the news, the digital marketing world kept us on our toes last year.

But let’s not rehash too much (unless you want to—if so, let’s chat over coffee). Below, we’re spilling the virtual beans on our biggest marketing lessons from 2023.


Embrace Emerging Technologies

AI, VR, AR—in 2023, the acronyms went on and on. And if there’s one thing we learned, it was to be the first to jump on the bandwagon. Look, Ma, I’m an Oculus!-1Otherwise, your brand falls behind as competitors find new ways to reach your audience and snatch ‘em up.


Prime example: Google Analytics 4 (GA4—because we wanted one more acronym for ya). Those who struggled to adopt the new platform were stuck with outdated information, which, in turn, made it more challenging for them to convert followers to customers.


Then, when people were forced to adopt GA4, because they didn’t put in the time beforehand, they were left wondering, “What do we do now?” regarding their data. Yikes. 

The bottom line is that in 2024, embracing these technologies isn’t just an option but a necessity. Yes, they can be scary—and that’s what an outstanding digital marketing agency can help with. We know one you might like. But the sooner you embrace what’s coming, the sooner you can break through the noise, ushering in a new era of innovation and engagement.


Keep an Eye on Google's SGE & Algorithm in 2024

Oh, Google, you quirky little thing. Always keeping us on our toes. As we enter 2024, we’re not messing around with this guy anymore. Instead,ai click we’re prepared for whatever they might throw our way (and you should be, too!).


Google SGE: Google Search Generative Experience

In 2023, Google soft-launched Search Generative Experience (SGE) by slowly allowing access to the beta for select users. SGE posed both challenges and opportunities for SEO that will carry over into 2024. While it could potentially reduce organic traffic by providing detailed AI-generated summaries that satisfy user queries without website clicks, it also had the advantage of driving higher-quality leads. 


Google described SGE as a "jumping-off point to explore web content," suggesting a shift in user behavior towards more in-depth research. Notably, traditional search results still coexist beneath AI-generated responses, and only SGE users witness these AI-driven outcomes, as many still rely on conventional search methods.


Your digital marketing partner should be well-versed in these updates, ensuring your business can stay ahead of the curve in 2024.


Google Algorithm Updates

Google confirmed they updated their algorithm nine times. Yes, nine. More changes are on the horizon this year, so when Google hits its “letsthroweveryoneacurveball” button again, you’ll want to be ready.


How? By signing up for our email newsletter. We won’t bug you more than once a week, and you’ll get all of the latest digital marketing updates straight to your inbox. This way, your campaigns will stay up to date, and Google won’t be pullin’ a fast one on you. 

And if you want to learn more about Google’s latest update from the end of last year, we’ve got a full breakdown right here!


Know What You're Doing With Your Data

These days, data isn't just power—it's the ultimate marketing super fuel. As Garfield runs on lasagna, businesses run on data. But if you’re like ourwhat to do with data clients and have more data than you know what to do with, 2024 is the year you harness those insights and put them to work (Steve’s sharing more on how you can do so here).


From analyzing customer behavior patterns to understanding which channels are worth your time, 2023 showed us that it’s not only important to collect data but to leverage it inside each of our campaigns. Implementing robust analytics tools and interpreting the numbers you gather is a fantastic way for your brand to refine and optimize its efforts.


We mentioned earlier that embracing new technologies is a necessity. So, in order to combat the deprecation of third-party cookies, we've worked with clients to implement server-side tracking as well as Google's Consent Mode.


Why? So our clients have first-party tracking and can keep their data as new privacy legislation rolls out across the US. The last thing you want is to have all of these important analytics snatched away—which is what we're here to prevent.


Prioritize Adaptability

Yes, it’d be easy to launch a new campaign, kick up our feet, and call it a day. But 2023 looked us dead in the eye and said, “Absolutely not.”fish out of water-1 Nowadays, it’s vital for marketers and business owners alike to be agile, adapting swiftly to changes in consumer behavior and technology (which seem to happen constantly).


Things are evolving quicker by the year, so in 2024, make sure you’re prepared to change things at a moment’s notice. Otherwise, you’ll be like that one dish at a potluck that sits untouched for hours, causing everyone to take a pity scoop after it’s really too late. Don’t be that dish.


Instead, embrace emerging trends and meet consumers where they are—even if it’s somewhere you’ve never been before. Navigating these shifts in the market will allow you to stay ahead of the curve and deliver campaigns that resonate.


Make Sure Your SEO and Paid Media Are in Sync

In 2024, your SEO and paid media should be two peas in a pod. We’re talking Batman and Robin, Chewie and Han Solo, Woody and Buzz Lightyear. Though important on their own, when you combine these twonysnc-seo-sem strategies, they can take your campaigns to the next level.

We’re talking about a major symbiotic relationship here (fancy science term we remembered from 8th grade biology, nbd). You’re already putting time and effort into both aspects of your digital marketing strategy—at least, we hope you are—so why not ensure they work together? Check out Curtiss’s, our Director of Paid Media, blog on bridging the gap between your SEO and paid media if you’re looking to get started here.


Diversify Your Marketing Channels

Don’t get us wrong, sometimes, we love a little risk. One we don’t love? Relying on a single marketing channel. That’s why, for 2024, we recommend you spread things out a bit. Figure out which platforms your audience spends the most time on, diversifying your campaigns andoprah maximizing your reach. 


The digital landscape is dynamic, and platforms undergo changes that can impact visibility and reach. To mitigate these risks and cast a wider net, embrace your inner Oprah.


“You get a campaign! You get a campaign! We all get campaigns!”


By embracing a multi-channel marketing approach, your business expands its reach to a broader audience and safeguards itself against platform shifts. This proactive strategy will help you better adapt to changes and ensure your message resonates across different platforms and with diverse audience segments.


Don't Be Afraid to Go Local

2023 underscored the importance of taking a personalized approach when it comes to marketing. Users are tired of seeing content that doesn’t apply to them, which is why focusing on your local area is alocal smart strategy for your 2024 campaigns. You can personalize the content to specific areas, ensuring anyone who sees it falls into a particular geographical range.

Local search is powerful, with 93 percent of consumers using online searches to find a local business. When you fine-tune your campaigns to cater to unique markets, you’ll notice a surge in engagement and resonance. In an age where meaningful connections may seem hard to come by, personalized, local content can be what sets your brand apart.


Prioritize User Experience (UX)

We lied before. When we said we wanted one more acronym, we really wanted two. UX is topping our list of lessons learned in 2023, as thedesignux importance of user-centric design and seamless experiences topped the charts. 


When you create interfaces that anticipate and cater to user needs, you’ll witness a boost in customer satisfaction and engagement. Whether optimizing website navigation or refining mobile app interactions, every touchpoint is a chance for your brand to impress its audience. So this year, change your status with user-centric design from “it’s complicated” to “in a relationship.”


We're Ready for 2024!

2023 took us through plenty of trends, technologies, and aha moments. As we officially say goodbye, we’re entering 2024 with a handful of new strategies acting as our trusty sidekicks in this ever-evolving digital saga. So here’s to a year of growth, excitement, and, of course, even more acronyms.

Don’t want to tackle things solo this year? We’re ready when you are. Reach out to us today so we can help you make the most of your campaigns in 2024!

Kyle Geib - Director, Marketing & Digital Communications

Kyle Geib

As Director of Marketing and Digital Communications, Kyle brings an extra layer of enthusiasm to BFO’s incredible team of experts. Dedicated to continuing to cultivate BFO’s presence as a unique and knowledgeable voice in the industry, he leans in on his experience marketing in both the B2C and B2B spaces.