Three future trends: insights from Web Summit 2023



23rd November 2023

~ 3 min read

In the fast-paced world of marketing, staying ahead of the curve is crucial. Sophie Wooller, Croud’s UK Chief Operating Officer, recently attended and spoke at Web Summit 2023, a thought-provoking event that delved into key themes shaping the industry. The event, with a spotlight on micro-communities, authenticity, and the circular economy, provided valuable insights that are set to redefine marketing strategies in the coming years. Sophie's talk shared practical tips and insights on using generative AI to support women-led businesses with high growth ambitions, and you can access her free AI cheat sheets here.


1. Micro-communities: Nurturing authentic experiences

The importance of micro-communities was a key theme throughout the event, but particularly during the panel discussion on "Social and live commerce: What will it take to break through in the west?”. This panel unveiled a paradigm shift in approaching retail ROI. Contrary to the conventional belief that success lies in massive social networks, the emphasis here was on niche communities. It's not about drawing in colossal audiences; instead, it's about building authentic experiences within smaller, dedicated groups.

The talk emphasised the need for a community-centric approach, enhancing the experiences brands are already delivering by integrating shopability and interactivity. A prime example was presented of Pandora, a jewellery brand that seamlessly combines large-scale initiatives for reach with targeted approaches to amplify and receive feedback from micro-communities.

In addition, the future of marketing, as highlighted in the "Marketing in 2024" session, suggested a blend of centralised and micro-community approaches. Brands, it was argued, should engage in both broad-scale efforts for reach and focused strategies to connect with specific communities. This dual approach demonstrates the effectiveness of catering to both the masses and niche markets.

2. Authenticity: The key to success

Building on the micro-communities theme, it was emphasised that authenticity is the cornerstone of successful social and live commerce. 

It's not about presenting a perfect image but about creating genuine experiences built around communities. The negative connotation associated with live shopping in the West is gradually shifting, with a move towards more authentic, influencer-led experiences that connect with communities on a personal level.

The talk on "Integrating your brand in games" highlighted the importance of contextual experiences. It reinforced that authenticity doesn't necessarily mean perfection, and emphasised the need for brands to integrate seamlessly into the context of user experiences.

Tony Wang, Sophie Frères, Eamonn Carey, Brittany Robins

3. Circular economy: Europe leading the way

Shifting gears, the event also tackled the important theme of climate change and sustainability. The talk on "Strategies for tackling climate change in Europe" positioned Europe as a global leader in climate action. The circular economy, a key player in driving down carbon emissions, was highlighted as a vital tool in challenging unsustainable practices.

The talk addressed the high cost of capital and the need for more efficient circular economy innovations. Europe, often considered the 'good cop' for climate change, faces the challenge of not only innovating but also scaling green technologies. The message was clear: Europe must encourage and enable the widespread adoption of sustainable practices.

Sara Deshmukh, Avni Deshmukh, Jennifer Quigley-Jones


In conclusion, Web Summit 2023 provided a great number of insights, woven around the core themes of micro-communities, authenticity, and the circular economy. Brands looking to stay relevant in the evolving landscape must consider the power of niche communities, embrace imperfections in the pursuit of authenticity, and actively contribute to a more sustainable future through circular economy practices.


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