2023 certainly left a lot of heads spinning. With an economy that couldn't make up its mind, staggering technological advances, and a bevy of natural disasters, business leaders everywhere are left to make sense of the year that was.
Our pal Marcus Sheridan put together a whole series of predictions about what's ahead for marketing, sales, and customer service teams. You canfind that full post here.
But our purpose here is different: not to look ahead, but to look back.
'The lessons I learned in 2023'
I asked 10 industry luminaries to share their biggest lessons from the wild, uncertain, and rollercoaster year of 2023.
This year I signed a client I was first introduced to in 2016. I also hired my mentor from my first journalism job 18 years ago. I reconnected with multiple editors I hadn't worked with in 5+ years and successfully placed clients with them.
The seeds you're planting now may sprout right away. Or you may harvest them years down the line. Or both.
It's somewhat out of your hands. But keep going, keep networking, keep planting, even when it seems like nothing is growing. Keep connections alive and remain open to new chapters in those relationships.
In 20+ years in digital, I've never seen a year with more disruption than 2023. Probably, this year (certainly this decade) will be forever marked as a turning point in history.
In this moment, it's the marketers who embrace change that are thriving. They're getting comfy with GA4 and trying new things with AI. They experiment and adapt. They see opportunity where others resist or wait.
AI is a personality test for all of us and we all end up in one of three categories: waiters, haters, or updaters.
Waiters: "Probably a better tool will come out soon. Or tools I use will catch up. I'll wait for things to settle down and then try it out."
Haters: "Artificial intelligence is inaccurate, biased, and bad for jobs. I'll resist it until the bitter end."
Updaters: "Learning to use AI is important for the future and I need to add this to my skillset. Learning it quickly will give me an edge."
Which type of marketer are you? Do you have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset?
Rob Leighton: Executive director and founder, iMission
I've gained a greater understanding of and appreciation for human and organizational development.
This is an underappreciated aspect of technology adoption and ongoing innovation.
Start with what you know and build knowledge by branching out from there.
I learned this lesson from the explosion of AI tools in 2023.
Like many, I was overwhelmed by the many tools that were developed daily in the AI space. I tried to keep track of the best of the best, and how to use them, but was easily overwhelmed by the amount and complexity.
As a HubSpot Certified Trainer, once HubSpot came out with its set of AI tools, I started mastering these first. I was able to skill-up quickly and branched out to other tools, using what I learned from a tool I was already familiar with.
Kendra Fortmeyer: Content Marketing Manager, CS DISCO
Instead of asking yourself, "Can I do it?" ask, "How can I do it?"
This simple word — "how" — turns the potentially impossible into a problem you can solve. I learned this through rock climbing.
The day I stopped thinking, "Can I climb it?" and instead, "*How* can I climb it?" was the day I stopped letting fear keep me on the ground.
Stephanie Baiocchi: Senior Director of Membership, IMPACT
Your connections and relationships with people continue to be the most important thing regardless of your role or industry.
As technology continues to evolve rapidly we have both the ability to connect with more people than ever before and the risk of those connections being very surface-level.
What do you make of the year that was? How are you girding yourself for 2024? Are you poised for a breakout year, or are you wary of what's to come? If you're not sure that your sales, marketing, or GTM plan is making the grade, reach out to us at IMPACT. We coach businesses just like yours to build a brighter future.
How does your sales & marketing measure up?
Take this free, 5-minute assessment and learn what you can start doing today to boost traffic, leads, and sales.