Whether attempting to stay ahead of the curve, looking for ideation, or validating channel investments, businesses want to be sure they're covering the spread as they prepare for their 2022 digital marketing strategies.
To make it simple for you, we tapped into the incredible resources of some of our top platform partners and peers to offer you a collective overview of the marketing landscape. The rapid change in customer needs has created a monumental shift and marketing priorities in the last two years.
What you need to know:
- In 2021, brands focused on authenticity and optimizing the prospect experience (did you?)
- Short-form video and long-form blog content continues to be a winning combination.
- Sales leads and web traffic continue to be the most significant measure of success.
- Many businesses and marketers aren’t paying attention to the basics (i.e., quality SERP results).
- Paid advertising is more important than ever as businesses fail to invest in organic strategies.
- Social media is more social than ever; companies are spending more time social listening and evaluating audience engagement.
- Understanding your audience behavior is more critical than ever.
- Account-based marketing strategies continue to be a hot topic and a very successful one.
- Design and development still needs to focus on web accessibility and technical health (i.e., Core Vitals)
- Savvy marketers need to embrace change by investing in web and automation technologies.
- Marketing is spelled D-A-T-A (*wicked great title borrowed from Salesforce)
Let's start with the more complex discussion points and work our way down.
Investing in Marketing Automation Technologies
It will be essential that your business builds the right marketing tech stack for your team. Make sure your content management and web platforms are scalable for your business, products, and industry. Make sure that your business operations and ERP systems integrate smoothly with the rest of your marketing tool kit. Intelligent personalization and automation improve digital outcomes and add value.
Marketing Automation technologies fall into three primary use cases:
- Automation helps increase efficiencies between marketing, sales, and finance. It is very effective in simplifying tasks and freeing your team for more extensive endeavors. This will allow you to run lower costs on human capital and individual resources.
- Automation that allows you to create custom messages based on your customer accounts, prospect, or web visitors (i.e., the Hero content on your homepage could be different depending on if this is the first time a user has visited or if a client stops by)
- Automations, including augmented reality and machine-learning, help analyze and demystify data. It can help personalized ad targeting, encourage purchasing, and support customer services (i.e. Alexa/Echo devices).
Takeaways: Savvy marketers need to establish a human connection more than ever. Automation does not remove the need for human support but augments it to use time and resources more efficiently. Omnichannel marketing plays a large role if your business is ready for multi-channel marketing and advertising plan. The challenge will be to ensure that automation is helpful, personal, and empathetic across the buyer's journey.
We know that many organizations have already invested in their technology stacks based on how they have grown. Even though businesses have their preferred interfaces, conventional technology may no longer align with your consumer's expectations.
Technology has grown into an overwhelming depth. Because of this it is not only difficult to manage but challenging to use to its full potential. Be sure to ask your agency partners to work directly with your platform providers to get the most out of your investment.
Marketing is Spelled D-A-T-A
Many organizations failed to implement and leverage marketing analytics properly. They often use the wrong data sets or do not understand how it directly influences business activities. On top of this, customer data remains plentiful, but it is tricky to manage. With the restriction of third-party cookies, digital identity details become vital. This includes the user's email address, transactional and provided information such as preferences, and their social persona (i.e., who they are online versus offline.)
Data is a double-edged sword.
- On one hand, with GDPR guidelines and other data restrictions, it is becoming more difficult to gather and disseminate general user information.
- On the other hand, consumers prefer custom experiences… Which can only be crafted from personalized data. We need to give them a good reason to provide it.
Takeaways: Collecting customer information will continue to be vital. You must be sure you have the systems in place to handle customer requests regarding their data. This is why account-based marketing is effective and why social listening has become more important. Companies are focusing on organizations rather than individual people and listening to social channels to understand their evolving needs.
Refining Your Digital Marketing Tactics
We are currently living in a customer-driven economy. Past marketing assumptions and approaches are no longer valid. The shift in customer behaviors has opened the door to new challenges and opportunities. Business as usual now means constantly reevaluating your strategy, campaigns, channels, and tools. You still need to make meaningful and timely communications, but you will need to establish a human connection as quickly as possible. The buyer's journey includes many micro-moments that are tied to different devices, platforms, and channels.
What to focus on in 2022:
- Advanced Audience Profiling: To craft a stronger human connection, you need to know exactly who your target market is. Reinvest in R&D to ensure that you have a defined audience profile. Understanding your audience's behavior is more critical than ever.
- Syncing with Sales: Understand which analytics directly affect the sales funnel. Be sure your business objectives are being met (i.e., if you're looking for 100 new leads specific to selling Adirondack chairs, then you want to make sure you are using SEO content for Adirondack Chairs, that you create a video on how to assemble an Adirondack chair, and that your display ads feature sales related to Adirondack chairs. Then be able to report on which channel is working and which is not.) Why are we referencing Adirondack chairs?
- Creative Turnover: Marketing needs to be faster and more flexible than ever. In the last few years, reaching the right customer with the right message at the right time was a matter of cadence. It's now about placement and unique messaging. Pro Tip: A holistic strategy help eliminate c-suite interference, which delays progression and reduces impact. Winning strategies often have a short lifespan and you don't want to miss it.
- Brand Voice: Marketing authenticity needs to be mastered to create relevant engagement. People now expect fun, imaginative, and surprising content. Find a brand voice that is authentic and relatable across all of your channels regardless of campaign or trend topics. Only include a TikTok video with a proprietary dance if it is relevant to your business.
- Video Production: 50% of your audience will view video snippets that are shorter than one minute. Provide a very simple, straightforward answer to your audience's largest questions.
Takeaways: Though there has been a shift in priorities and challenges for marketing leaders, it is still vital to limit the exploration of new campaigns without ensuring that your house is in order (i.e., you don't want to think about growth opportunities if your basics are not tip-top.)
80% of customers agree that the experience a company provides online is as important as their product or services.
General marketing has become fairly mainstream. This means your team needs to be progressive when considering automation, platform, and marketing technologies. As we approach 2022, data, flexibility, and messaging are more important than ever.
If you’re interested in discussing web and marketing automation platforms, or if you are looking for support in managing your 2020 digital marketing activities, give us a call to speak to an expert at (414) 347-1866 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This overview was assembled by leveraging the comprehensive and detailed whitepapers provided by a few of our platform partners and industry peers, Kentico, Salesforce, and HubSpot.
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