Digital Marketing Trends in 2022 — A Look Ahead
At the dawn of the global pandemic in 2020, we all suspected that the year would represent a disruption in a variety of ways, not only in our personal lives but throughout the world of commerce. That has certainly been the case, particularly in the digital space of marketing, sales, and customer service. We can confidently predict that a return to the "normal" of 2019 will not occur, but that is not "bad news," in our opinion.
The B2C, B2B, or H2H Strategy
The possibilities that are offered in 2022 are innovative and exciting. Far-reaching changes are no longer just on the horizon.
But unless marketing executives thoroughly embrace digital capabilities, strategic alterations cannot flourish. Research from Forrester shows up to 80% of consumers who responded will view this emerging world as entirely digital, so it's time for companies to also get on board.
This same research indicates more than half of US consumers surveyed believe that companies should already have made the required changes to respond to or prevent future disruption.
According to a survey of U.S. adults conducted by Pew Research Center, more than half have become more familiar with online resources, and more than 40% have upgraded their in-home technology since 2020.
Now is the time for the corporate world to become as confident as the public take the lead, responding to current expectations with innovative action. Time may be running out if you haven't yet entered the race.
Your company's future success and profitability may depend on taking bold and appropriate action now.
How to Take Advantage of Digital Trends in 2022
The good news is that there are many ways for smart companies to seize the moment and gain an early foothold during this transitory time.
It is evident that digital marketing trends will continue to develop along diverse paths. Some of the directions are clear today, while others will continue to morph and evolve in unique ways.
That allows for a lot of creativity and unique responses to fill individual needs and requirements. As we said before, and we cannot stress enough, these are exciting times.
Analysts and prognosticators are aligned that significant changes are coming. There is widespread agreement that business leaders who do not invest in technology and commit to refocusing on newer business strategies will be left behind.
The old paradigm that applied to marketing, sales, and customer service is no longer sufficient. The marketing direction for the future is at least partially a result of the long-term pandemic, with its stay-at-home orders and business limitations.
But the digital experiences that sprung out of pandemic restrictions, including the uncertainty, are not likely to be reversed when restrictions are lifted.
Key points now should be that any company that sells to customers must be prepared to strengthen its online strategy in the coming year. The question is not how or when but how soon a company should get that strategy in place and convey new messages to the public.
A second consideration for companies wanting to boost sales in the near term is the need to transition from strictly digital marketing to more human-centered initiatives. The winners of the future will begin to explore new techniques immediately.
Innovative partnerships and strategic creativity will pay big dividends in future growth and profitability.
A third major point that has become apparent is the transformation to human-centered technology to reduce the gap between the customer experience and the employee perception. Companies that understand and embrace this transition will emerge with a competitive advantage. According to some estimates, that could deliver a net uptick in productivity between three and five percent.
Essential Elements to Incorporate in Your Planning
Here, then, are some ideas about what we view as essential elements for 2022.
Start with a comprehensive and coordinated digital strategy. If you already have developed a basic outline, look at it with new eyes and update the elements that are no longer pertinent. Be aware that your customers' expectations have risen in direct proportion to their higher comfort levels in the digital world.
The majority of consumers and buyers today easily navigate researching through Google/Bing, shopping on Amazon or Walmart online, and engaging with others on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and other platforms. They are comfortable streaming Netflix, watching YouTube videos, and communicating digitally through WhatsApp, Skype, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams.
Remember that your digital strategy should be updated each year, at a minimum. The digital landscape is a fickle environment, and current popularities sometimes pivot unexpectedly in new directions. Constantly monitor your effectiveness and adapt to changes.
The Advantages of 'Always On' Engagement Efforts
Automated and autonomous solutions with complex tech stacks will most likely require higher budgets. Still, wise companies now realize that additional spending allocated to the right digital decisions will be a smart choice in 2022.
The advantages of effective buyer insights cannot be minimized in a marketing landscape that is destined to become ever-more customer-centric over the next year.
With digital engagement becoming the new normal, rather than previous relationships with sales reps or businesses gleaned from referrals, companies cannot afford to overlook digital competence.
Reliance on Marketplaces May Diminish
Currently, it is said that nearly 60% of online sales are consummated via marketplaces that often also represent competing companies. The wave of the future points to a need for brands to establish individualized marketplaces and create personalized shopping experiences if they are to thrive.
Enhancing the shopping experience for their customers should be a priority for companies that wish to grow. Marketing efforts from an individualized website, on social channels, or through media placement are fundamental strategies that can be employed.
Influencer marketing is another direction worth examining if it seems appropriate.
However, the basic goal is to develop a direct relationship with buyers and potential new customers and divert them from existing marketplaces.
Cloud-Based Platforms Will Be the New Normal
The digital growth and development experienced during the long months of the global pandemic have accelerated cloud-native adoption by enterprise organizations. An ongoing revamp of tech stack strategy is a certainty.
In 2022 and into the future, there is little doubt that cloud-native is destined to emerge as a core cloud strategy for the future.
It will no longer be simply an option or a nicety; instead, it will become the "normal" that we will all have to become accustomed to living and working with, no matter what industry one considers. Fueled by customer understanding and buoyed by smart tech investment, creativity, resilience, and adaptive agility, a bright future lies ahead, according to Gartner Marketing thought leaders.
Their view is that "there is no going back" and that strategic marketing leaders must take the lead and deliver new "strategies that embrace digital as the foundation of new connections with and between customers, employees, business partners, and social influencers."
We concur with that assessment.
What to Include in Your Digital Strategy
At a minimum, you will want to:
- Define specific business goals and objectives that will be highly impacted by your marketing, sales, and customer service efforts.
- Complete an assessment of your current marketing, sales, and customer service activities, processes, and tools.
- Perform a digital competitive analysis of your top 4 competitors.
- Develop or update your descriptions of ideal buyer personas and become familiar with each buyer's profile. Through this kind of tracking, it's possible to develop ways to encourage your customers to make decisions in your favor.
- Identify the online search demand for your products and/or services, and analyze the most popular content that consumers engage with on their personal journeys.
- Examine your existing content marketing strategy with the intent of rethinking existing content to suit your ongoing requirements better, and plan what content you should develop and promote on the various digital channels. Look at your website, blog, social media use, email, online press releases, and external media use. Try to remain objective with your analysis.
- Establish an inbound marketing plan to identify website improvements, marketing automation, sales enablement, email sequences, and customer service enablement. Aim for a six-month campaign schedule designed to create enhanced company awareness and greater public knowledge and understanding of your company philosophy and your products and services. This is a necessary step to generate more leads and higher sales totals.
A sales enablement strategy offers vital support to your sales team at every point of the sales funnel, providing insights and resources that will create more sales opportunities and help close more sales.
The purpose of any digital marketing strategy is to maximize the tools at your disposal and use those tools most effectively to achieve your stated goals. If you'd like to learn more, we have outlined what we believe to be the 9 Key Ingredients of an Effective Digital Marketing Strategy.
Download your copy of this thought-provoking eBook, free of charge.
Invest in a Human-Centered Approach and Technology Stack
Your approach should focus on delivering a personalized experience for every lead, sales opportunity, and customer. If that seems like a lofty goal, know that it is completely doable in the modern digital world.
We believe that is the key approach to marketing success in 2022 and beyond. Each experience should be customer-based, considering how each individual has interacted with your company at any given point in time.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) marketing and sales automation now allows marketing departments to personalize content to your contacts in "real-time" as they engage with your website pages, landing page, and email campaigns.
This information helps you direct prospects more reliably through the process and promises more leads and sales opportunities. It is a time-saver for your team because it frees them from repetitive tasks even though it provides greater insight into your marketing opportunities and sales efforts.
The ability to implement and operate a unified CRM plan for a company's revenue operations team, instead of using technology silos that cannot be integrated, is nothing short of revolutionary. By taking advantage of the available digital and technological capabilities, you will take the first important step to grow your business in the coming year.
A unified, robust CRM that provides thorough and actionable knowledge about the customer experience with your company is a crucial way to provide your marketing, sales, and customer service teams with the needed reboot for a productive future.
In addition, we recommend that, instead of thinking of B2C or B2B, you take the H2H (Human-to-Human) approach by putting the needs, desires, and fears of real people at the forefront of your marketing strategy.
Buying decisions are often based on emotional attraction. When you focus on human marketing, it is simply a return to the basics of selling, and that is based on trust.
Learn more about how to deliver the content you need to grow your business in 2022.
Want to Improve Your Sales Order Management and Processes?
If you're eager to build brand awareness and generate more leads, we must underscore the value of an integrated content marketing strategy. It's not difficult, but it can take some planning and effort before it becomes second nature.
Study the strategies we have outlined. You will gain knowledge and competence, build confidence throughout your team, and be able to implement and integrate new, more effective strategies within your existing marketing framework.
You know that building brand awareness will generate more leads, and it follows that a unified marketing strategy is instrumental to brand-building. By creating awareness of your company on the digital channels used by your target audiences, you will, in turn, help them overcome the problems and challenges they face as they seek to achieve their goals.
We believe it is imperative that companies begin to revamp and consolidate their tech stack by giving the RevOps teams a more robust CRM platform that will allow automated processes to integrate natively with other Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platforms.
Such integration leads to better management of all business activities, including finances, supply chain, operations, commerce, and human resources.
If you don't yet know much about modern CRM programs, or if your past experience with such systems has been less than satisfactory, the time is ripe for investigating today's options.
HubSpot is considered one of the best CRM packages on the market today. As an all-in-one product, it offers the ability to manage your marketing, sales, customer service activities, and website within a single system. HubSpot can, almost effortlessly, integrate all your marketing, sales, and service funnels, providing helpful and illustrative insights into your customers' buying journeys and decision-making processes.
Schedule a demo today to learn more about how the HubSpot system can point the way to a better future. We are experienced providers of customized training on using the HubSpot system to benefit the unique needs of individual businesses.
If you have questions about HubSpot, or a CRM in general, we are happy to help you determine what your specific needs for 2022 and beyond might entail.