What will be important in 2023? 8 "Meta-Trends

What will be important for the media and communications industry in 2023? Strategy consultant Konrad Weber has analyzed and compared more than 20 trend reports to derive 8 "meta-trends".

Trend 1: Less is more

Achieving more with less has already emerged as a major challenge in recent months. Rising prices and higher costs also have a direct impact on users' media budgets. Spending on media content is the first area to be cut. At the same time, our time budget is also decreasing. Now more than ever, real service close to the reality of our lives is needed.

Several trend reports come to the conclusion that media companies should offer less, but make the added value for users even more quickly apparent and, in the best case, indispensable. This applies to communication and advertising messages, the value proposition, and also the simplicity of the product features and payment options on offer.

Trend 2: Artificially created content

It was an eye-opener of a special kind when OpenAI launched the new application ChatGPT at the end of November 2022. Suddenly, the possibilities of artificial intelligence seemed to be accessible to everyone, seemingly overnight. Even if the true potential can only be guessed at, some observers see this as the beginning of an AI revolution. It will disrupt knowledge work in the same way that mechanical machines fundamentally changed factory work in the 18th century.

This may not yet occur immediately in 2023. But it is important to understand that social turning points have come about not so much through the invention of revolutionary technologies, but rather through their widespread application. And for that, it is worth thinking about possible moral boundaries now.

Trend 3: Let them find you

When Google presented a study on the search preferences of its users last summer, the results may have surprised some. According to the study, around 40% of younger users do not use Google Maps or Google Search when looking for a place to eat, but are inspired by content on TikTok or Instagram.

Social video is increasingly becoming the place where the search begins - or even more extreme: inspiration is found, even though you don't even know you were looking for it. In this context, Google announced its intention to make search more visual and interactive in the future.

Other providers will follow suit, which in turn will also have an impact on the findability of media content. Because the focus is no longer just on users finding their answers quickly, but just as often wanting to be surprised and unexpectedly delighted.

Trend 4: Replacement process from third-party platforms

Although some trend reports predict the end of social media (again) in 2023, the reality is different: Many media companies are still profiting from social media traffic. Nevertheless, it's no secret: 2023 will be the year when many media and communications companies try to upgrade their user engagement strategies away from third-party platforms.

In view of takeovers, restructuring, and layoffs at platform companies, media companies must develop a holistic audience strategy on and off the platforms. The answer is simple and complex at the same time: Those who can build strong communities around their own offerings will be all the more independent of market-dominating platforms. Some media companies have already understood this and are now selling access to exclusive communities instead of premium content.

Trend 5: New products, bundles and subscriptions

If you think about Trend 1 in a consistent way, you end up with Trend 5: Only those who focus their offering can sharpen their own profile in the flood of content. More and more users want an all-in-one platform for content consumption. At the same time, users are increasingly thinking about reducing their media subscriptions. Both movements will become even more pronounced in 2023.

However, focusing, bundling and redeveloping offerings can only succeed if there is clarity about the company's own portfolio and its market and user needs. Anyone who wants to be successful in 2023 should do their homework in portfolio management as quickly as possible.

Trend 6: Responses to the shortage of skilled workers

"Great Resignation," "Quiet Quitting" and the shortage of skilled workers shaped 2022 - and will remain relevant in 2023. By 2030, 5 million more workers will retire than enter the labor market in Germany alone. At the same time, 4-day weeks, reduced working hours and workation are being discussed. This makes it clear that companies will be under immense pressure to change in the new year.

Anyone who wants to recruit and retain valuable employees must therefore invest in personnel development and corporate culture. In 2023, this includes above all a focus on the psychological safety of employees and the creation of working methods that are accessible to all. For example, by building more autonomy into processes.

Trend 7: Change fatigue

Organizations are expected to become even more efficient, even faster, and even more agile. At the same time, an increasing number of employees state in surveys that they suffer from "change fatigue. While 74% of employees were willing to change their own work behavior in 2016 in order to support organizational change, this figure had fallen to 38% by 2022.

What to do about it? Stopping all change processes for the time being hardly seems to be a feasible solution. Rather, a step-by-step and participative approach should be chosen. The key to successful change lies in finding the right balance between transparent targets and measures based on personal experience that are suitable for everyday use.

Trend 8: Putting words into action

The climate crisis and activist actions have been loudly debated in recent months. In contrast to last year, several trend reports therefore see 2023 as the year of real and sustainable innovation. In 2023, companies will therefore have to focus all the more on how they can offer more energy-efficient products and services or even make their entire production processes more climate-neutral.

But the challenge in 2023 will not only be to manufacture products with lower emissions and to develop new climate-related products and services, but also to make them appealing to users who have so far shown little interest in the subject.

Here you will find all sources and trend reports in the original

Konrad Weber is a strategy consultant and coach in the field of digital transformation. He advises management teams from large companies to startups on the development of new strategies and accompanies teams and organizations through far-reaching changes. He recently published a book on trends and their impact on the media and communications industry. For more than 14 years, he has worked as a bridge builder between content and technology - before working as an independent consultant as a digital strategist at Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen SRF with several years of experience in project management and strategy development.

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