This year will be remembered for the aftereffects of the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in companies rethinking their approach to marketing, sales, and customer experience (DX). The economy shifted from focusing on in-person meetings to online interactions, remote working, and digital marketing. The implications of this shift profoundly impact how we engage with customers and market to them. That’s what this article is focused on, exploring 2022’s biggest trends and how you can act on them to improve your marketing effectiveness.
1. Personal Branding Is The Key
Despite the big brands’ efforts to focus on the “traditional” marketing methods of TV ads and billboards, the odds of success for B2C (business-to-consumer) products continue to dwindle.
Personal branding is more important than ever before. While previously, brands could own your product with advertising, today, they need a much more comprehensive understanding of you as a person. This includes everything from your social media accounts to your website and what you say about yourself in interviews. It’s about having consistent, recognizable brand messaging that extends beyond the product, such as a blog or social media account. This is your chance to define yourself as a brand and build a reputation for yourself that is consistent across all platforms. Marketers must also define the difference between themselves and their competitors and act like spokespersons for your brand, building authentic, lasting relationships with your audience.
2. Authentic Humor Is Now The Mainstream
While the economy shifted to digital marketing, the need for salespeople didn’t disappear. This makes sense, given that we are biased towards people we know and have something in common, such as shared experience, education, or interests. Authentic humor is one way of creating a connection with a potential customer, establishing an emotional bond before the subject of the sale even comes up. If you combine humor with another form of relationship building, such as a contest or a shared experience, you can form a lasting bond that will make your work much more effective. For instance, if you could persuade customers that your product could make them laugh and offer them a unique experience, you could drive a highly profitable sale.
3. Video Content Is On The Rise
Thanks to TikTok’s ascent toward the top of the charts, and the explosion of video content on the internet, marketing video content is now an essential part of any marketing plan. In 2022 videos will account for 73% of all consumer internet usage, compared to just 19% for text-based content. As audiences have trained to expect rich media content in GIFs, memes, and even VR tours, marketers are scrambling to keep up.
The video content doesn’t just have to be about your products or services. People remembered videos with a face – either that of a person or a cartoon character – better than those with no face. That’s because people subconsciously remember faces better than anything else.
The great thing about videos is that they can be used in many different ways. You don’t just need to show your product in action to get the point across. Instead, you can use videos to show how your product can improve lives, how it is made, and who it benefits.
4. Authentic Experiences Are The Key
While many companies have jumped on the gamification trend and turned their entire employee experience into a digital form, from how they engage with customers to tracking their productivity, the benefits of doing so are clear.
People want to do business with companies they know will provide them with a satisfying experience. This is why, in 2022, nearly one-quarter of consumers want to do business with a company that offers a “lifelike” experience, such as online shopping with a real-life salesperson or a call center where the agent can help them over the phone.
Marketers can harness this by creating more “authentic” experiences for consumers, whether through a VR tour of a product’s design process. This game teaches employees how to provide better customer service or a YouTube channel that shows the daily operations of a company.
5. Customers Who Are Active On Social Media And Mobile Apps, Transact More Often
Customers now have the ability to access all of the information they need from companies and authorities via social media. This puts tremendous power in the hands of consumers, who, if properly used, can be a formidable ally to businesses.
As a marketer, you must be present on social media and make sure you’re easily accessible. One-third of customers have searched for information about a company on social media before purchasing a product or service from them.
You must be consistently present on social media accounts relevant to your target audience, whether Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn. Being present on these accounts means you’ll have the opportunity to engage with customers, gathering vital information about their needs, wants, and behaviors.
To get the most out of this channel, develop a social media strategy that centers around community building and establishing thought leadership. This involves engaging with people on social media and other platforms, such as blogs, by sharing valuable information that will help them make better decisions. It also means providing them with content that is interesting and often helpful, whether you’re an expert or just starting out. Doing this can increase your engagement rate by 20% and grow your Twitter following by 300%.
6. Customer Empowerment Is The Key
Being a business owner, product manager, or marketer for a SaaS company means you have to get your hands dirty every day with the details of the company’s operations. You might not always get the chance to impact a customer’s experience as an employee directly.
You can, however, have a big impact on customers by giving them the information they need to make better decisions. Customers wanted to be guided through the purchasing process, given the option to compare different features and options, and be able to research the product before buying. As a business owner, product manager, or marketer, it’s your job to put the power in the hands of your customers and guide them through the buying process.
You can do this in dozens of ways, from creating easy-to-understand, plain-English product descriptions to providing customer service training for agents who will eventually be fielding customer questions. (Forbes)
You can make a massive difference in boosting your business’s bottom line by putting the right information in the right place at the right time. Customer empowerment is critical in any business plan and a trend that will continue in 2022 and beyond.
7. Customers Are Researching Online Before They Buy
While most consumers still go through the motions of researching a product or service before buying it, that time has become somewhat of an “era.” Thanks to digital marketing and the internet, consumers have the information they need right at their fingertips.
This trend toward digital research shows no signs of slowing down in 2022, particularly for busy consumers who want to make the right choice without spending too much time thinking about it.
As a marketer, how you present and advertise your product determines whether or not an interested customer will click on your ad, make a purchase, or simply ignore it.