B2B Marketing Trends To Move The Needle In 2023 (And Beyond!)Summer is still in full swing, but we know how these things go… before you know it, the days get shorter, the air begins to chill, and the holiday decorations will begin their annual migration to rooftops, windows, and office spaces. B2B marketers are looking forward to the 2023 holiday season with ardent anticipation. The holidays are rapidly approaching, and if you haven’t begun to plan for this key sales period, now is the time: this festive and fruitful period offers a golden opportunity to end the year with strength and vigor by bolstering relationships and laying the groundwork for 2024. Of course, it’s sometimes easier said than done: as every seasoned marketer knows, the holiday season brings its unique set of challenges and opportunities. Rapid shifts in customer behaviors, supply chain uncertainties, and the continuing evolution of digital and physical marketing environments have significantly transformed the holiday landscape from previous years. However, it is this very dynamism that will make the 2023 holiday season the best one yet. For those who think creatively, embrace new trends, and craft campaigns that resonate deeply with clients and stakeholders alike, success will be swift and satisfying.In this guide, we delve into some key trends shaping the 2023 holiday season and discuss how B2B marketers can leverage knowledge and contextual relevance to drive impact and results. We’ll look at the changing customer attitudes and highlight emerging marketing strategies that move the needle, all while providing actionable tactics to help you navigate this bustling season with confidence. From omni-channel efforts to innovation in promotional products, the right strategy will amplify your brand and drive sustainable growth far beyond the 2023 holiday season. After all, effective B2B marketing is about the complete experience – a calculated array of various business actions working in harmony to create meaningful and lasting brand impressions. So, let’s embark on this festive journey together! Sit back and relax while you learn about the tips you need for a successful holiday marketing campaign that will shine long after those 2023 holiday lights fade away. Key Forecasts For The 2023 Holiday SeasonLooking ahead to the 2023 holiday season, it’s essential to consider the complex socioeconomic landscape and shifting customer behaviors that are redefining the rules of engagement for B2B marketers. The forecast suggests a steady growth trajectory, similar to 2022, despite the potential for rising unemployment rates. Amid these looming uncertainties, customer spending continues to demonstrate surprising resilience, with total retail sales growth projected to remain in the mid-single digits. In fact, overall retail spending is expected to increase by 4.5%, reaching a staggering $1.328 trillion during the 2023 holiday season. There is also an expected 2.3% rise in online Black Friday sales over the previous year and the anticipated overall holiday sales increase of 6-8%. Almost a third of all US sales occur between Black Friday and Christmas, underscoring the immense potential of this period.The past year was a roller coaster marked by record high inflation, creating a challenging environment for marketers. Despite this (or perhaps because of it) the pace of customer spending quickened, showing significant changes driven by an acute focus on value, timeliness, and convenience. As we prepare for this year’s holiday season, we’re already witnessing the continuing impact of rising prices steering customers towards value-consciousness, triggering an early start to the holiday shopping frenzy. And this evolving customer landscape has prompted both large-scale retailers and e-commerce forces to launch substantial holiday promotions earlier than usual, indicating a nimble response to the surge in customer demand.These insights serve as a crucial call to action for marketers. Rather than be daunted by the challenges, it’s time to utilize the lessons gleaned from the past year. The era of real-time, sense-and-respond marketing is upon us, demanding a robust strategy that adapts in the moment to shifting circumstances. The key to navigating this season successfully lies in the ability to capitalize on these trends and intelligently integrate them into your marketing approach. Thus, as we examine the upcoming trends for the 2023 holiday season, our goal is to equip you with the strategies and insights needed to seize these opportunities and optimize your marketing efforts for maximum impact. Here’s what we’re seeing: Trend 1: Get Organized2023 has been an important year on many fronts, and it has rapidly underscored the critical importance of efficiency for B2B marketers. Primarily driven by a challenging economic landscape, the intensifying pressure on productivity is prompting businesses to reassess their strategies, prioritizing ways of “doing more with less” and maximizing efficiency and output.This holiday season, as more marketers strain under immense pressure to perform, any strategy to help “get organized” is highly valued and appreciated. These tactics take the form of concerted efforts to streamline operations, optimize resources, and foster an atmosphere of orderliness. People are looking for a systematic approach that aims to synchronize all moving parts of business operations, facilitating seamless and sustained growth.Did you know that 75% of struggling small business owners associate disorganization with productivity loss? Organization is where improvement begins. It’s clear that ineffective organization can pose a significant impediment to productivity, detracting from core operations and marring businesses with avoidable inefficiencies.In an environment where poor organizational skills can mean becoming entangled in piles of paperwork, an investment in good organizational tools can significantly bolster efficiency and productivity. A clean, well-structured office space or work environment can not only reduce the time spent searching for information but also contribute to an uplift in emotional satisfaction.The ripple effects of a well-organized environment transcend mere physical tidiness. They can create a domino effect, improving mental clarity, reducing stress, and fostering a more conducive workspace, which in turn enhances creativity and decision-making.Marketers in the B2B arena who are aware of these dynamics and how to reign them in are increasingly prioritizing solutions that aid in creating this kind of structured, systematic functionality. By creating environments that are conducive to productivity and organization, they are better equipped to meet the challenges of the current economic climate. Holden HighlightsBinders: At the core of a well-structured system is effective documentation and storage of critical files. Custom-branded binders can serve a dual purpose: enhancing organization while subtly reinforcing brand identity. More than just a stationary item, they can be a cornerstone of a culture that values tidiness, accessibility, and efficiency.Tally Books : If you’re in the oil and gas industry, the importance of accurate record-keeping can’t be overstated, especially in a challenging economy where the slightest misstep can be costly. Custom tally books not only support this endeavor but also subtly bring your brand into everyday operations, seamlessly integrating functionality and visibility.Backpacks: As the lines between work and home continue to blur, providing custom-branded backpacks can be a thoughtful way to support your employees’ or clients’ organizational needs no matter where they are. Besides being practical for carrying essentials, they also act as a moving billboard for your brand, marrying utility with clever promotional opportunities. Trend 2: The Intersection of TouchpointsAmid the relentless pace of the digital marketing landscape, the discovery and utilization of new and emerging channels have ascended as a saving grace for B2B marketers. As we chart the course towards another bustling holiday season, a strategic re-evaluation of campaign platforms becomes vital. Now is the time to examine existing channels, discover fresh avenues to inject dynamism into your campaigns, and seize inspiring moments presented by completely novel channels that are yet untapped.Innovative, burgeoning platforms such as Connected TV (CTV), encompassing various internet-based television services, have become increasingly popular. Audio platforms, spanning podcasts to voice assistants, offer rich opportunities for narrative marketing. In-game advertisements cater to an engaged, diverse demographic, and digital out-of-home (DOOH) ads ensure your message gets out in the public realm in a visually compelling format. These mediums are not just channels but gateways to diversifying your marketing portfolio. They provide a stage for capturing your audience’s attention in immersive, unique ways and distinguishing your holiday campaigns in a crowded market.A thoughtful deployment of custom branded products can have a transformative impact on audience engagement with these emerging channels. When thoughtfully integrated into a marketing strategy, such products have the potential to magnify your brand’s visibility, amplify impact, and nurture customer relationships. The key is finding organic and natural ways to bridge the gap and create excitement that lasts throughout the 2023 holiday season and beyond.Custom branded products can become a conduit for storytelling, allowing for a more intimate, personalized connection with customers. They can carry your narrative, encapsulate your values, and serve as constant, tangible reminders of your brand identity. They facilitate the transition from passive reception to active engagement, converting audience members into brand ambassadors.In the context of emerging channels and touchpoints, the value of custom branded products lies not only in their practical utility but also in their potential to embody your brand’s message, augment brand recognition, and facilitate enduring connections that inspire innovation. With the right strategy, the interface between emerging channels and custom branded products can result in a synergy that sets your brand apart, driving brand loyalty and stimulating business growth. Holden HighlightsUSB Drives: In a digital age, custom branded USB drives still serve as a practical yet innovative giveaway. An audio ad, for example, could promote a unique code, directing listeners to request their free USB, pre-loaded with valuable, industry-specific resources.VR Goggles: With the rise of dynamic video content and immersive ads, branded VR goggles stand out as a compelling promotional product. They offer users a way to engage with your brand within a unique digital context, enhancing user experience while keeping your brand at the forefront of their minds. Plus, there are now simple and affordable solutions, allowing cardboard cutouts to be converted into VR goggles when a smartphone is inserted.Portable Chargers: For digitally-oriented marketing, custom branded portable chargers can be an excellent promotional product. By offering a practical solution to a common problem – the need for on-the-go charging – your brand becomes associated with utility and thoughtfulness, encouraging a positive brand perception. And with wireless functionality now available, customers will appreciate the convenience as much as the sentiment. Trend 3: Thematic ExperimentationAs the holiday season approaches, marketers and storytellers are often tempted to revert to the tried and tested “winter” themes, immersing audiences in a world of snowflakes, candy canes, and cozy fireplaces. But amidst this flurry of familiar imagery, could there be room for some thematic experimentation? With a little innovation, marketers can break from tradition and venture into unexplored territories of brand narrative development and contextual creation.Customers today, ever more sophisticated and discerning, are seeking novelty even as they cherish the familiar. By eschewing classic tales and introducing contrasting themes – think summer motifs, tropical escapades, or futuristic landscapes – marketers can keep their audiences intrigued and engaged, simultaneously fostering a sense of anticipation and surprise. This unexpected twist can provide a refreshing respite from the repetitiveness of standard holiday imagery, offering a unique brand experience that stands out from festive motifs. This strategy can be a potent differentiator in a competitive landscape. As the common brand vies for attention with similar holiday themes, a bold and nuanced departure from the norm can make your marketing efforts more distinctive, memorable, and effective. It can spark curiosity, initiate conversation, and, importantly, carve a unique space for your brand in the customer’s mind. Holden HighlightsTowels: Even as cold weather approaches, a high-quality custom-branded towel can transport your audience to sun-drenched beaches and azure seas. These brand showpieces serve as a canvas for countless creative narratives, embodying the spirit of your unique holiday theme and ensuring your brand becomes a part of your customer’s summer dreams.Reusable Water Bottles: Whether adventuring through a tropical jungle or flying through space on an extraterrestrial journey, staying hydrated is key. Custom-branded reusable water bottles are versatile and can be an integral part of your unconventional holiday campaign storyline, connecting your brand with eco-consciousness, exploration, and practicality.Sunglasses: A stylish pair of promotional sunglasses can impart sultry summer themes at any time of the year. Not only does this help your brand stand out, but it also provides customers with a practical and fashionable accessory they can use year-round.