How Modern Data Trends will Impact Marketers in 2023

Nov 16, 2022

It’s that time again when we start to reflect on the last year, and turn our focus to what lies ahead. So you know what that means… an end-of-year trends wrap-up!

Many “trends” come up on end-of-year lists again and again (AMP for email, anyone?) but we wanted to know what new technology big enterprise organizations think will truly impact the modern tech stack in 2023.

We sat down with a group of MessageGears customers, partners, and industry experts to ask how they expect modern data trends to impact enterprise brands.


  • Joseph Lee, Director, Marketing Technology at OpenTable  
  • Chris Marriott, President & Founder of Email Connect
  • Jared Hillam, VP of Go-To-Market at Truelty 
  • Per Caroe, Chief Revenue Officer at SageFlo 
  • Ryan Phelan, Managing Partner at RPEOrigin

What should enterprise orgs be thinking about when it comes to advancing data maturity across marketing, operations, and I.T. teams?

Joseph Lee: “A centralized data point that teams can trust is crucial.”

Chris Marriott: “The idea that it’s OK for an org’s IT/Data teams to be out selecting a CDP at the same time its marketing team is selecting a new ESP has got to end. It’s NOT OK. These two platforms have too many overlapping capabilities to treat them like separate silos. That only complicates issues around where data resides, and how it is used.”

Per Caroe: “We’re seeing the decentralization of data and folks moving their information into central hubs–data cloud warehouses and CDPs, for instance. One of the next iterations we’re seeing is email marketing duties expanding from corporate and brand marketing teams to the frontline workers–QSRs owners, regional branch & brand managers, and so forth. With the right guardrails in place (limitations on access to PII and ensuring brand consistency), we’re going to see a lot more engagement because local content is far more relevant to subscribers. Not only because it’s coming from the front line, and therefore more interesting, but they’ll also be able to leverage the power from these big data silos that were once held so closely.

This can be a truly seamless process that works incredibly well to blend relevant, local messaging with complex data personalization. For instance, if a front-line QSR owner is sending out an email, ‘the Montecito Mall’s Farmers’ Market is happening this Friday, come on down’ with the secondary message utilizing a message block and showing either the Vegan No Meat option or the Baconator option based on a given subscriber’s preference–that’s cool and doable today.” 

Ryan Phelan: Simply put, it’s all about the data. It begins with knowing who has the data and where the data-centricity is. You have to start here before you can talk about maturity. Maturity can be many things, but if you don’t know what data you have, then you can lose your way. From there, you have to separate your strategy–the ‘why’–from tactics, which are the ‘how.’ Strategy helps you answer questions like ‘What do I have? What do I need? What am I trying to accomplish?’

Advancing data maturity starts with the strategy layer of knowing your ‘why.’ You can get more mature in your data by making it more actionable with third-party data. You can make it more robust. But data maturity rests on your company’s ability to use it for things that are important and have it centralized so you can act on it.

As part of her Forrester Wave evaluations, Shar Van Boskirk will say to ESPs, ‘That’s a great feature. But how are people using it?’

I would pose a similar question about data maturity: ‘That’s great data, but how are you using it, and how is it informed by those actions?’ Data maturity is about the consolidation of data in one place and the actionable way that you use it.” 


How is it possible to achieve 1:1 personalization at scale when you’re marketing to millions of customers? What data do you need to be able to use and how can you use it safely, quickly, and effectively?

Joseph Lee:We’re at a point where the ‘how’ is not the issue but the ‘what.’ What should we personalize? What are our lowest hanging fruits having come to where we are today? We’ve done our fair share of implementing some cool data-centric strategies, most of which have been great. It allows us to move faster and pave the way for new discoveries.”

Chris Marriott:Purchase and browse behavior are the most obvious, but other types of data also come into play depending on your vertical. The KEY is the when you use this data to populate email templates. Bringing it into the email template at time of send (rather than pre-building) ensures that you are using the most up-to-date data for each email.” 

Ryan Phelan:Personalization at scale is as much about the technology as it is about the message. We talk about data maturity and using data, but when we talk about personalization at scale, we mean ‘customizing content to individuals,’ not just using fname and lname. You have to get into the technology layer, which is how to orchestrate that data in a message.

How will you use dynamic content? How will you use model scoring and supplemental tables in a database that are full of products and images and then build each email at time of deployment?

One-to-one personalization is a data and technology leap forward for any organization because it changes the mindset from the static (one to everyone) to the dynamic (one to one).  Personalization at scale isn’t just the message but also how you interpret your data at scale, how you use personas and models. What are the sliders in that model that indicate intent?

Personalization at scale is hard. But it’s supposed to be because the payoff is incredibly rich, not just in customer value but also in revenue.” 

How should leading brands be building their modern tech stack? What should their strategic investments prioritize?

Joseph Lee: Data is only as great as its quality AND its availability. With that said, a centralized data point that people can trust is always priority #1. Next is making it available across various channels without recreation. e.g.) Landing Page, App, Email, SMS, Push, {insert any customer-facing channel here} should be able to utilize one source of truth to create a uniform, personalized experience.”

Chris Marriott: Getting the right ESP is more important than anything else a brand can do.  Modern ESPs do much more than send promotional email—they are multichannel, provide marketing automation and journey orchestration and drive an enormous amount of revenue.  If you don’t get your ESP right, the rest won’t really matter.”

Ryan Phelan: First: Stop buying technology because it’s cool. Your tech stack should allow you to act on data effectively and quickly. Your tech stack should reflect your priorities, processes, people and logistics. 

In my work I often see companies whose tech stacks have components, processes and items that make no sense. They’re there as a stopgap measure, as middleware or as temporary fixes or workarounds that somebody installed five years ago and never reviewed.

Just as an example, the number of companies I see buying central data platforms because everybody’s talking about them is just off the hook. Do you really need that technology?

Now, I’m not discounting the value of CDPs in general. A lot of companies do need them as a data orchestration layer to fast-track them with data insights and propensity. But far too many companies have tech stacks  made up of irrelevant platforms or held together with duct tape and baling wire. 

Strategic investment across the organization means the entire organization has to be on the same page, which is hard. But you can achieve a smart tech stack when you have that alignment.”

What are the most exciting developments happening in modern marketing technology?

Joseph Lee: Utilizing cloud-based warehouses is the most exciting development, and it will still be into 2023. It’s a playground for tech/marketers who know SQL. A lot of the ‘sludge’ work is now nearly frictionless, leaving you wondering, ‘what’s next?’ instead of ‘what’s the next fire?’”

Chris Marriott:I’m closely following the emergence of what I call ESCDPs. These are hybrid platforms that can claim to be both ESPs and CDPs. It’s not right for everyone, but for brands looking at bringing in a CDP and a new ESP, they should absolutely be on the consideration list.” 

Jared Hillam: “Every cloud provider today offers a host of services and capabilities, but over time their relevance will narrow to core capabilities that they provide: Compute and Storage. This doesn’t mean that the services they sell today will no longer be available, just like GE still sells refrigerators. But over time, the cloud vendors’ offerings will succumb to the “best of breed solutions” for a wide variety of bespoke applications. Additionally these tools will have no concern about which cloud compute and storage solution the customer wants to use- they’ll be as ubiquitous as the power outlet in your house.

The cloud that is the most convenient to work with will get the most of the spoils. One trend that you can see is that we are layering networks on networks. We have the power grid being one network and the communication network layering on the power grid, and now the compute storage network layering on top of that. These layers of surfaces have me wondering what the next layer might be.”


Ryan Phelan: One word: COVID. Yes, because COVID made us think differently about communication. It also accelerated digital transformation for many companies that had previously been complacent or lackadaisical about technology and transformation.

COVID, and all the rapid changes it brought, forced companies to do a hard pivot. We’re still seeing those effects, too. People are thinking differently about data, cross-channel messaging, even their teams.  

Modern marketing technology should help us deal with those hard pivots and grow beyond them. Yes, COVID was and is a bad thing. But one good thing to come out of it was that it forced companies to stop dragging their feet on digital transformation.” 

What trends do you predict for 2023?

From multi-channel communications strategies to more strategic use of data-driven personalization, it’s clear that these thought-leaders see the next year as a potential turning point for marketing technology. 

For many large brands, utilizing cloud-based warehouses for better access to their data is a must in order to stay competitive in a world where customers expect more from their buying experience.

What about your brand? What “trends” will you be looking to implement this year? We’d love to hear about it. Tweet us as @MessageGears or share with us on LinkedIn and be sure to tag us!