Skip to content
Emil Björnius2023-01-26 10:414 min read

Why 2023 is the year when we return to old school marketing

Why 2023 is the year when we return to old school marketing

What is required of a marketing manager in 2023? What does it mean to go "back to basics" as a marketing manager, and why is it more important than ever that the marketing department works closely with the CFO? We had a chat with Johanna Fagerstedt, CMO at Quinyx, about how she sees the marketing manager's role now and in the future.

Have you ever thought about synchronising scheduling, time reporting, personnel optimization, and needs planning in the simplest way possible? That's exactly what Quinyx does. Thanks to AI, Quinyx solves the most complex challenges for companies needing scheduling. Johanna Fagerstedt has helped build the SaaS company from having been a Swedish company with a few people to today housing around 400 employees in ten countries with customers worldwide.

Johanna herself has a background as a management consultant and is geekily interested in personal finance and has, among other things, been involved in both Aktiespararna and Unga Aktiesparare.

As a marketing manager in a fast-moving industry, Johanna must always keep her ear to the rail to ensure that Quinyx focuses on suitable marketing activities. When it comes to the marketing manager's role, she sees that it will shift focus. Johanna explains:

– I think the marketing manager role will become more and more business-oriented. We have started to see that several marketing managers are taking the step over to CRO, that is, also beginning to be responsible for the sales part. Sales and marketing will in future work even more closely together, as a team. There have also been significant changes in the labor market regarding the transition to a remote and hybrid office, which further places increased demands on leadership.

She continues: 

– A successful CMO needs to be a leader who is interested in people and makes his team grow. Then you have to like change. If there's one thing we've learned in recent years, it's that quick mobility is crucial. We are still determining what's around the corner, and with significant changes come significant opportunities.


"When everyone does the same thing, you need to stand out by doing the opposite"


Change is a consistent theme for 2023, at least according to Johanna. Recession and cost control means we have to think more about our marketing, she believes:

– I think we can expect fewer so-called "random acts of marketing" and more well-thought-out campaigns and concepts. When resources become more limited, it places higher demands on creativity, collaboration and standing out. So we will see more intelligent and targeted niche initiatives in 2023. Account-based marketing is another thing that's on everyone's lips right now. It's an excellent way to become more relevant to a smaller audience and allows marketing departments to use resources smartly while standing out from the crowd.

Johanna continues: 

– Then I trace the return of "old school" marketing, and by that, I mean traditional mailings, networking at, for example, golf tournaments or less informal dinners. When everyone does the same thing, it's essential to stand out by doing the opposite. Finally, we will see a clear trend towards the CFO or the financial manager being involved in purchasing decisions because more focus will be directed towards cost efficiency. This means that we as marketers need to get better at clarifying the business value of a purchase decision and supporting the sales journey in order to close deals, she concludes.

Reflect the organization's needs

As CMO in a scaleup, Johanna has recruited a whole host of both generalists and specialists. But how should one think about attracting talent, and what does Johanna's philosophy look like when it comes to shaping her marketing team?

– For me, it has always been a priority to reflect on the organization's needs, collaborate closely with sales, and create a team that can think big. We are also active in nine markets, and the team reflects that. We are a B2B company that primarily targets international enterprise customers, and the team's functions and competencies must also remember that. In addition to that, I usually try to find where it is rubbing. It usually either means that we have a recruitment need and need to increase resources or that we have outgrown our processes and need to improve them.


Back to basics

AI, video advertising and storytelling – there are many buzzwords marketers highlighted the importance of in the past year. When Johanna is asked which word sums up 2022 in marketing, it is not one word, but two:

– Demand Generation. It's mentioned in many podcasts and getting so watered down that we are still determining what it stands for. However, I've realised that it's just about quality marketing - knowing your target audience, making sure you're relevant to them and investing in building brand and value a couple of steps before the purchase decision is made to ensure you're the first choice. Marketing guru Philip Kotler once said, "Marketing is not the art of finding clever ways to dispose of what you make. It's the art of creating genuine customer value." That is more relevant than ever. Somewhere you can probably say that it is a bit "back to basics" that applies. It's about creating excellent customer value.


Emil Björnius

Emil works as a senior content marketing manager at Aimfor. Get in touch with him if you want help with moving your brand with storytelling.