If you asked 10 marketers to predict the emerging marketing trends for 2022, you’d get 10 different orders of priority. It’s equally likely that there would be at least a few trends that everyone would validate as being critical to the success of any marketing strategy.
Since early 2020, so many tried-and-true marketing tactics have begun to yield unimpressive results. The seismic shifts we saw in 2020 brought permanent changes to how we attract buyers in 2022. So, are there any safe bets for the coming year?
6 Emerging Marketing Trends Sure to Gain Ground This Year
Successful marketing firms are all betting big on at least the following six trends.
1. Relationship Marketing
After two tough years, consumers have migrated steadily toward businesses that see them as people, not just customers. Many consumers are also even willing to pay slightly higher prices in exchange for evidence that their concerns are taken seriously and promptly addressed.
One way companies can increase the number of positive interactions they have with customers is through creating content that doesn’t sound cookie cutter. Everyone can address frequently addressed questions from their customers, but is that what will make your company a trusted industry leader? Instead, focus on creating content that will set you apart from the competition. The marketing team at MarketMuse follows a 10x marketing formula where they research what their competitors are writing about and then make a conscious decision to cover other topics.
Customer satisfaction will steadily increase as a key indicator of the health of any business, regardless of industry. Your business may have the best prices and widest selection, but that’s not a guarantee consumers will choose your business. If your store is not welcoming or your content isn’t helpful and unique, consumers will shop elsewhere. The same metric applies to your website and social media presence. People want to feel valued and heard regardless of if they buy something or not.
2. Ongoing Audience Fragmentation
Customization of sales approach is the name of the game here. Business owners who increasingly customize their products and services to the felt needs of their customers will gain more loyalty points and sales. A middle-aged customer should have a different online experience with your business than a teenager.
While that may sound obvious, many online retailers are still presenting a “one size fits all” online experience. With website cookies going the way of the Ford Edsel, retailers have to find new ways to capture and retain customer-specific information without crossing any moral or legal boundaries.
3. Staying Ahead of the Enhanced Privacy Curve
As mentioned above, cookies are yesterday’s news. The issue of increased customer privacy will gain steam among consumers. They have already begun pushing back against “the Big Brother factor” in digital marketing.
Navigating the line between “we know who you are” and “we know way too much about you” can be tricky. This is especially true when trying to tailor the customer experience based on age, gender, geographic location, and so forth. Business owners who strike the proper balance will only collect the information they can act upon. After that, they’ll take whatever precautions are necessary to guard that information and protect it from an embarrassing data breach.
4. Relevant to Us…Relevant to You?
Staying relevant is not just about tailoring your campaign to a specific audience, as mentioned above. While it certainly includes making your appeal to the right person, it also involves timing your appeal properly and delivering it when the customer is in the best position to respond positively. Relevance can be summed up succinctly with the phrase, “right time, right place, right message, right approach.”
Businesses can increase their ongoing relevance to customers by keeping track of purchases and leveraging that information to craft a timely message. For example, many vendors now send out emails that follow up on the value of a previous purchase, i.e. “How’s the new TV working out for you? Is there anything we can do to enhance your viewing experience?” Although messages like this have no sales pitch or other call to action, they demonstrate a commitment to the individual. This makes the business more relevant to the consumer’s daily life.
5. Effortless Messaging
Back in the days when website designers were falling all over themselves to design sites that were cool, edgy, and visually stunning, Steve Krug wrote a great book with a killer title: “Don’t Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability.” The simplicity and clarity of the title mirror the content of Krug’s philosophy. If your website, app, social media presence, or literally anything about your business causes your audience to have to think too long about the intent of your message, give yourself a zero.
6. Making Sustainability a No-Brainer
A growing percentage of clientele prefer to shop with companies that demonstrate care and concern for our planet. Pursue ways your business can make your products and service more environmentally friendly. But be wise about how you promote your initiatives as some consumers could see your effort as disingenuous. (If you blow a trumpet every time you do something good for Mother Nature, you’re more likely to arouse suspicions than build increasing customer loyalty.)
A lot of companies, perhaps eager to make sales at the expense of long-lasting credibility, have made the mistake of saying that they care about the environment but then engage in business practices that seem to indicate otherwise. Rest assured that any claims you make will be investigated by someone seeking to discredit you. The best way to “go green” is to look for opportunities to revise existing business practices rather than invent new ones. Encourage your employees to recycle their beverage containers in a central location, just for starters.
Adopt, Adapt, and Improve
The emerging marketing trends above are not groundbreaking, but they may require your business to break new ground with technology, customer experiences, and everyday routines. As you seek to make positive changes on these six fronts, give yourself the grace to learn along the way. By focusing additional attention on doing right by customers, employees, the community, and the environment, we have a strong chance at simultaneously improving our bottom line!