Top marketing trends: sustainability, emerging tech and metaverse

18 July 2023 3 min. read

A new report from professional services firm Deloitte explores the top marketing trends in the Middle East, with sustainability, emerging technology and metaverse coming out on top.

In this year’s edition of Deloitte’s annual ‘Global Marketing Trends’ report, a survey asked brand executives and chief marketing officers (CMOs) in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to highlight what trends and developments they believe will make the biggest impact on marketing in the near future.

Out of a long list of trends – the marketing function is like any function undergoing major disruption – the top three identified are sustainability, emerging technology, and metaverse.


Sustainability is a key focus area for the surveyed business leaders. More than ever, consumers value efforts related to improving the sustainability of internal practices, the promotion of sustainable products and service offerings, as well as establishing long-term sustainability commitments.

Top marketing trends: sustainability, emerging tech and metaverse

While sustainability initiatives were previously often seen as a liability and not a great move in economically difficult times, businesses now see them as integral parts of making their operations future-proof.

A total 51% of CMOs surveyed said that improving the sustainability of their internal marketing practices was a top priority in 2022. Another 47% insisted on the importance of promoting more sustainable products and services.

Emerging technologies

The findings from Deloitte indicate that company leaders in the region also have their sights set on emerging technologies. This should prioritize high potential technologies like artificial intelligence, algorithms, virtual reality, and social platforms.

Top marketing trends: sustainability, emerging tech and metaverse

Several categories that involve developing and using new technologies were at the top of CMOs’ priorities for the next 12 months, as shown in the survey.

“This highlights the importance of staying ahead of the curve and embracing the latest technologies to remain competitive in the market,” said Hussein Dajani, a partner at Deloitte Digital.

“The findings show that high-growth brands are more likely to foster a creative environment, while the main reason cited by brands for not engaging in the metaverse is the difficulty of complex technology implementations.”


Many companies are becoming interested in the metaverse and plan to connect the physical and virtual worlds in the next couple of years. Even industries like energy and healthcare are starting to explore the metaverse, showing that it's relevant across different sectors.

Top marketing trends: sustainability, emerging tech and metaverse

A staggering 92% of technology, media, and telecom companies have set the goal of exploring strategies that incorporate the metaverse within the next 24 months, with 28% of them already exploring it.

Brands should set clear goals and objectives for creating experiences in the metaverse if they want to be leaders in this virtual space. It is important to start building a foundation for this growing area of potential.