The beginning of a new year is always a good time to revisit or write plans for the year for your business. This may well include your marketing plans for the coming year. There are many predictions for marketing trends in 2022 and many of them will depend on your type of business. In this blog I cover 5 marketing trends that will be or continue to be important to many businesses.
1. Customer experience
Maybe you think this doesn’t involve marketing and it’s true that great customer experience throughout the customer journey isn’t just about marketing, but marketing does play a part in it, and it should be seen as a critical element of your marketing mix. Great marketing that merely tries to convince people to buy your products or services isn’t enough if your customer experience is bad overall.
Providing exceptional customer experience will keep your customers coming back for more and will more likely lead to them recommending you to others. Recommendations are one of the most powerful marketing tools you have.
Customers now expect a seamless experience from their initial interest to after sale service. But what makes a great customer experience? Things like convenience, knowledgeable and friendly service, and easy payment options are amongst them. But aspects more traditionally classed as marketingdomain are also important too. Things like up-to-date technology, personalisation, an easy mobile experience, brand, and visual design all add up to the overall customer experience.
I may sound like I’m covering ‘old trends’ here rather than new trends, but despite video being around for years, it’s still a critical marketing tool for many businesses. Platforms such as YouTube, TikTok and Instagram continue to grow and dominate. Don’t always rely on written content – use the analogy of ‘show don’t tell’.
Video is the primary form of marketing media being created in 2021, followed by blogs (used by more than half of marketing teams), and infographics (Hubspot).
If you’re at the beginning of your video journey, then there are plenty of free online tools and help sites to show you how to get the best from video for your business.
The more data you have on your customers and potential customers the more you should be able to personalise your marketing. Personalisation can be incredibly powerful if done well. For years, psychologists have told us that people love to hear their name and see it in print. But today’s technology allows digital marketing teams to go even further. Improvements in areas such as AI and better data collection and insights from online platforms and other sources make it possible hyper-personalise everything, depending on your time and budget.
The more you can personalise your marketing and your customer experience the more successful you will be.
4. Omnichannel marketing
If you’re not sure what omnichannel marketing is then see it as giving your customers and prospects access to your products, services or offers through all channels, platforms, and devices.
For example if you’re a retailer then giving customers the ability to order online, via a mobile app, through visiting a physical store or over the phone would be considered omnichannel.
If you widen this beyond just marketing and to customer experience, then your customers should also be access after sales support in the same way. You can also add things like Livechat to the list of omnichannel options.
Customers these days should be seen as channel-agnostic i.e. they expect businesses to be available on any channel that’s convenient for them (Gartner).
Make 2022 the year that you widen your marketing and customer experience channels.
5. The power of community
Since the pandemic, consumers have begun to crave what they previously took for granted which is community and the ability to connect with other people. With many people now working more at home, the ability to build online communities that really add value to customers is still key. But as lockdowns ease and people get some freedoms back, the ability to reconnect and build memorable moments for people in person has also become important. Whether its through events or novel experiences in the virtual or real world, building memorable moments and the ability connect could be key in 2022.
You’d be forgiven in reading this blog that by merely adding these things to your marketing mix in 2022 will give you success. Many people believe that by simply hooking into the latest marketing trends will give them the results they crave, but you also must remember the basics. The basics are that all of your marketing should be underpinned with a clear business strategy and a marketing strategy that closely aligns to your business strategy.
The other thing to bear in mind is that no matter how much time and budget you spend on your marketing, you still have to be clear on how you ‘tell your story’. By this I don’t mean always focus on you and your business but how your story and mission revolve around your customers.
Getting marketing right for your business isn’t easy. Marketing in 2022 and beyond is a complex mix of strategy, planning, budget, resource, and tactics. But get it right and your business will benefit hugely.
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