A quick playbook for marketers to up their game and plan their strategies better with these overriding trends that will continue to dominate 2022
It is that time of the year when we look at it from the rear-view mirror and probe the many changes (read surprises) it ushered. 2021 was certainly a game-changer in more ways than one, stamping some significant strides in the Indian media landscape, whose gravity may perhaps never whittle down.
Au fait with the fact that marketers’ primary role is to evolve with the world around them, the last year required them to manage an unprecedented crisis. 2022, on the other hand, looks more about recovering, striking a balance with the newfangled changes and cementing themselves in this consumer-centric world.
Even the way consumer interactions & behaviours, personalisation, empathy, use of technology and alike have stood out cannot be brushed aside. Not that they weren’t an essential component before, but the crisis has only heightened their already growing importance. As a natural consequence, marketers are constantly endeavouring to proffer an enhanced immersive experience, despite their original marketing plans for 2020 and 2021 being torn up.
While there revolves some sort of uncertainty around marketing in the coming year, it becomes imperative for marketers to come up with a solid plan for the short term while eyeing their long-term success. Here are some of the key marketing trends that will continue to shine bright in 2022. These will serve as useful predictions into some of the possibilities for 2022 and beyond.
“Businesses today are finding that doing good also means doing well.”- Mark Weinberger, Global Chairman and CEO, EY
The past two years compelled organisations to redefine their existence beyond profit. This was applicable to everything associated with them- product delivery, employees, community engagement and more. Giving credence to the Edelman Trust Barometer findings, it revealed how 68% of the consumers believe they have the power to force corporations to change, while 86% of people expect CEOs to speak out on societal issues.
Companies and their stakeholders are now seen coming forward as frontrunners on creating a more equitable & inclusive world and redefining the articulation of why they exist, where the pursuit of profit is no longer supreme.
“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.”- Jeff Bezos, CEO, Amazon
Marketers who have gathered that generic customer segmentation buckets and mass marketing campaigns aren’t doing well for business are halfway there on the success ladder. With myriad touchpoints and overload of information targeted towards the consumers, the only way to eliminate confusion and keep them hooked is by offering a personalised, customised and wholesome experience. Hence, a paradigm shift from a more product-focused approach to a more personalised consumer-centric approach is the way to be.
A study by Accenture in 2019 states that 75% of customers are more likely to purchase from an organisation that offers personalised services based on their individual preferences. Hyper-personalisation, in this regard, is a proven strategy to reduce obstacles in the sales funnel, eliminate the problem of ‘choice-overload’, save time and offer a seamless experience. And hence, a game-changer for marketers in 2022.
Change In Content Appetite
“Content isn’t king, it’s the kingdom.” - Lee Odden
The Covid crisis compelled each of us to nest at home, cancel our social plans and turn to online media streaming to fill the void. There has been a notable shift from the traditional forms of media to the new formats that tout exclusive content at low prices to lure the audiences and probably clench them forever.
According to London-based ‘Omdia's 'India: Online Video Trends and Omdia Consumer Research Highlights' report, the pandemic has been a great accelerator for the Indian SVOD market with OTT video subscriptions reaching almost 62 million at the end of 2020, doubling from 32 million at the end of 2019. This indicates that behaviour is not a mere blip but the intense online media consumption is resetting consumer expectations and reshaping the content consumption experience. This trend is only to strengthen in the coming years, believe experts.
“I think influencer marketing is going to have a golden era of a decade. I think we’re at the beginning of it and I’m very fond of it”– Gary Vaynerchuk
Influencer marketing was one of the key areas that thrived in 2020, owing to increased social media usage, change in consumer behaviour, challenges around traditional forms of media, audiences’ interest in curated content and alike. These reasons inspired a plethora of brands to engage with influencers to get the word out in a relevant, topical and mindful way.
Reaffirming that this segment is on a rise, the annual ‘Influencer Marketing Benchmark Report’ reveals more than 240 new influencer marketing-focused agencies and influencer platforms established in 2019. Also, 90% of the respondents believed influencer marketing to be an effective form of marketing, with standalone budgets for this area in future.
Some of the trends that are expected in this sector are the emergence of a new breed of influencers, brand ambassadorships over one time deals and personalisation.
Automation Through AI/ ML
“Artificial intelligence is the new electricity”- Andrew NG
Over the past few years, organisations have upped the ante on the use of automation in marketing. This trend continues to grow and the coming years will witness a new breed of marketers who will possess a unique combination of technical, analytical and creative expertise. The marketers of the future will go beyond the traditional remit of brand-building to become more holistic by being responsible for a wide range of activities including data and technology, business strategy, business growth, and customer experience.
Data-driven marketing is the future. AI and ML will become a game-changer for marketers in the coming years, by making customer interaction more personalised and engaging. MarTech, enabled by AI and ML, will be a key element in the future of business.
While marketing trends evolve each year, it is crucial for the basics to remain the same- understanding the audience and communicating with them consistently and clearly. And hence, a more consumer-centric strategy will be pivotal in establishing a solid relationship in the coming year. All set for a spiffing marketing strategy for 2022?
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