It’s that time of the year again! All of the so-called ‘marketing experts’ release their lists of the ‘hot 2022 marketing trends that will define your success’ that marketers must pay attention to or else they will fail miserably. Of course, as loyal readers of my blog, you’ll recall my “Ode to Trends” back in 2019 where I poked fun at the experts as they rolled out their trends for 2020, which were basically Lester Wunderman’s Marketing 101 must-haves for successful campaigns.
I wouldn’t consider myself a ‘marketing expert’―because then I would be making fun of myself―but for 2022, there are actually three trends I think are important ones to watch out for, if you’re a marketer looking to solve business problems.
The 2022 Marketing Trends You Should Pay Attention To
Before we dive into the trends, I do want to emphasize what all brands should have been paying attention to from the beginning: creating an effective brand, through compelling and relevant storytelling. It’s one thing to sell stuff to people. It’s entirely different when you empower people, or give them something to believe in. For a customer, what you make or how it works isn’t the be-all, end-all some marketers think it is. It’s what you do for those customers and how much you enrich their lives that truly matters.
Now for the 2022 marketing trends…
1. Put Your Customers First
If we are truly trying to enrich our customers’ lives, marketers should focus more on their needs and less on the product. With all of the data brands have been collecting on their customers, and non-customers for that matter, it is easier than ever before to create relevant, hyper-personalized communications AND experiences. Copy and imagery highlighting the features and benefits most relevant to the customer will not only increase response and conversion rates but will also endear customers to brands, which builds better long-term relationships. If you’re not putting your customer front and center by creating customer-centric communications, your brand loyalists will start looking elsewhere.
2. Align Your Marketing and Business Goals
While customer-centric communications certainly fall under the category of marketing best practices, making sure you align marketing goals and objectives with the overall goals of your business is a tenet for success. Too many brands are siloed in their approach to developing their Communication Plans, focusing on product groups’ specific key performance indicators (KPIs) and not tying them back to those of the business. Ensuring goals are in alignment can help brands to improve customer service and experience, increase brand awareness and reputation, and perhaps more importantly, improve response rates. This ultimately increases revenue, gross profits, and return on marketing investment (ROMI). Your Communications Plan defines goals and determines which marketing tactics you will employ to reach your customers including mass advertising, direct mail, email marketing, digital marketing, paid/unpaid search, SEO, and social media.
3. Leverage Data Analytics to Drive Results
As marketers we know that we’re only as good as the success of our last campaign. In 2022, marketing teams are going to place a larger emphasis on data analytics and metrics. The pandemic, and its effect on the economy, has played a huge role in the widespread decrease of marketing budgets across categories and the increased need to show an improvement in ROMI to justify the budgets that have been allocated. Companies are going on hiring sprees to find data scientists, data architects, and data strategists (to name a few) in order to be able to understand who their customers are, what they are thinking, and how to encourage them to respond. Measuring, tracking, reporting, and optimizing are more important than ever as evidence of marketing performance improvement. If you’re not getting better, you’re being left behind.
Better Performance = Better Results
At IWCO Direct, we’ll be helping our clients focus on these trends so that we can drive better performance, find better ideas, and push for better results. After all, the status quo delivers no status. The marketing trends that are here today, eventually are replaced with something else next year. So, when you’re developing your strategies to achieve your business goals for 2022, build your foundation with the three that I’ve outlined above: put your customers first, align your marketing and business goals, and make sure you’re leveraging data analytics to fuel your marketing for better results.
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