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Talent Trends In Marketing 2023

December 13, 2022
10 Minute Read

If you are hiring marketing talent in 2023 here are the trends you will need to know about. Whether you are the owner of an agency, CMO, start up founder or HR professional then this post is for you. In it we cover the key trends so that you are prepped to make the best hiring decisions in 2023.

1. Re-integration of tech talent back into marketing

Over the last few years marketing (agency and brands) have seen a massive brain drain as marketing talent left the biggest and best marketing orgs to join big tech companies like Meta and Google.

In a report by L2 (pre pandemic) WPP, the giant ad holding company, was losing 2,227 employees to the two technology giants, with only 124 heading the other way. Thats 35 leaving for big tech, for every 1 person going the other way.

The early signals in 2023 is that a large number of those people are going to be returning to agencies and brands - this swing back of talent from big tech may represent a great hiring opportunity for the right brands and agencies in 2023.

2. Work from home policies become a competitive advantage

Everyone was forced to work from home throughout the pandemic - so there was no real competitive advantage to be gained with WFH policy. Post pandemic however many corporates are now winding back WFH and mandating return to the office; usually 2-3 days per week and often on set days.

While this may have some positive upsides e.g culture + collaboration it also has many downsides. The principal risk is narrowing the breadth of your talent pool. You narrow your talent pool because you exclude some talent e.g mums with kids who can’t afford childcare and you narrow your talent pool because you restrict the geographic reach of your talent net.

In 2023 decisions around talent policy like WFH will be critical in the battle to attract and retain the best talent.

3. Margin squeeze accelerates offshore + onshore + near shore talent combinations

In 2023 brands with in house marketing operations and agencies will have to address squeezed margins. Increasing competition, increasing cost of media, increasing cost of talent and increasing cost of goods, will all play a part in squeezing margins.

No matter whether you are agency or brand, if you have more than 30-50 people you will likely need to consider how you use offshore on shore and nearshore. Many brands or agencies will opt to test near shore (similar timezone) first, and as they become more operationally confident move to offshore where timezones are bigger but costs are lower.

Understanding the pros and cons of each, and how to balance them with your onshore capabilities should be a priority in 2023.

4. People analytics drives improved talent performance

Use of data to make better hiring decisions is not new. What is new is the type of data being used, at what stage of the process, and the impact it has. Basic universal metrics like time to hire and cost per hire will remain important but the transformative data is much more granular at an individual level.

Those companies with better data on their future talent will have better talent insights. Better talent insights should lead to to faster and superior hiring, improved marketing results and also better retention in 2023.

New approaches to talent data will provide access to a deep profile of the talent you are potentially hiring; not just their roles and achievements, but their strengths, weaknesses, derailment factors, non negotiables, as well as ways of working preferences. All of this data will start to be made available before the hiring process starts leading to better faster and cheaper hiring.

5. The duopoly is over - fast shifting demand in social and search

For years we have had a duopoly in the advertising market - with over 50% of ad revenues going to Google and Meta. In 2022 this figure was 50.4% according to eMarketer.

But the duopoly will come to an end in 2023.

In 2023 their Meta /Google share of ad revenue will drop below 50% for the first time in years. Their market share is being eaten by TikTok, Amazon, Walmart, and Apple who are all now making significant inroads.

So why is this important? Because first it will impact budget allocation, then it will become a talent issue. Because in 2023 you will need to make sure you have the right talent in place to manage that budget shift: more experts in Tik Tok, Amazon, retail media, Apple Ads. These will be the ad platforms in highest demand.

6. The evolution of analytics, and the need for more econometricians

The last two years have we have seen a massive change in what can and can’t be tracked in the digital space. The result is that it has become increasingly difficult to assess which bits of your advertising works and which doesn’t.

As this attribution challenge becomes more extreme we will see an increasing depth of data and analytics expertise required to understand effectiveness.

And attribution methodologies (which use fast moving consumer data) will increasingly need to be supplemented by econometric analysis which slower moving sales and spend data. Brands are likely therefore to need sharper and possibly different analytics expertise for 2023.

7. Man & Machine - powering up marketing talent with AI driven tools

Ever since the beginning of digital marketing there has been talk of automation replacing people. In reality it has never materialised. In fact quite the opposite is true. For every £1 spent on technology there was usually £3 of service fees made from the people required to manage the machines.

But in 2023 we are going to start to see how AI will impact marketing. The arrival of tools like Chat GPT will have significant long term ramifications for swathes of the marketing industry. From search to copywriting to creative - all of these are likely to be affected in some way.

Asking ‘who can we automate’ out of the business is the wrong question though for 2023. What businesses need to ask in 2023 is - how can these AI drive automation tools enable our people to do more with less. Leaning in to the idea of Man & Machine, not man or machine, to make your business and people more efficient.

8. The 4 Day week - talent will ask - you’ll need an answer

One of the upsides of COVID was a re-appraisal of the traditional work constructs. Working in an office was the first thing to go but now people are re-imagining other traditional work constructs like the 5 day work week and the 8 hour work day. There is a growing belief that these are both ripe for disruption.

In 2022 there have been some interesting tests to figure out if changing these standards has a positive impact on business. In New Zealand and Scotland trials have been very positive. And currently the largest trial of 70 companies and 3,300 workers is being run by Cambridge University, Oxford University, and Boston College. The results of this study will no doubt concur that it is a good idea (hint: it’s being funded by the campaign group 4 Day Week Global)

The reality is, for most businesses, a 2023 recession year will not the right time to risk productivity with a 4 day, fully paid, work week. Talent will increasingly request this though, so having a testing programme and understanding of the pros and cons of mass (company wide) adoption will demonstrate a progressive way of thinking to prospective hires.

9. Set your agile hiring strategy. Agile hiring set to grow to 50% between 2023-2027

In 2023, more and more companies will need to take an agile approach to hiring in order to remain competitive. This will involve a shift away from traditional models of hiring, which can be slow, inflexible, with cost risk, and a greater emphasis on combining freelance, permanent, and contract staff.

This will be partly driven by changing nature of marketing which increasingly requires more project based access to talent in specialist disciplines channels and platforms. But additionally it will be driven by the talent pool, who are opting in increasing numbers for a more agile career path.

According to a report by CNBC freelancers and contractors will make up more than 50% of the US workforce by 2027. Shortly after the UK and other markets will follow. This is not a cyclical shift but a structural change. Marketing teams in 2023 need to adapt to short term demands but also evolve to prepare themselves for a vastly different type of workforce within the next 5 years.

10. Customer experience talent maximises existing customer value

During periods of hyper growth marketing tends to focus on growth through acquisition. During these periods consumer demand is increasing, pushing up response rates and conversion rates, reducing the cost of acquisition. Now though, with softening consumer demand that becomes harder and cost of acquisition becomes higher.

In these times brands need to place more emphasis on customer retention and value creation through existing customer experience. For the next few months this means additional focus on ensuring you have the best customer data, organised and accessible by the best relationship management technology, overlaid with the right comms, in order to maximise value from existing customers.

The talent to manage this may include systems integrators, email marketing specialists, content and copy experts. Whatever your plans in 2023 make sure you prioritise talent to nail your customer experience.


Marketing is changing at the speed of technology and talent.

On the technology side new platforms and disciplines are emerging with increasing frequency. On the talent side the speed of change is fast too; with new demands on how when where and why we work.

All of this change means that your talent strategy must be clear and deliberate but at the same time agile and flexible. If you work in marketing there has never been a more important time to have a talent strategy, to help you navigate your business through this period of instability, disruption and opportunity.

If you would like to discuss your marketing talent hiring needs for 2023 you can book in a free consultation with Traktion’s Co-Founder Stef here

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