Over the last two years, marketing has drastically evolved through the COVID-19 Pandemic. We’ve seen significant shifts towards digital marketing, user privacy, AI, and more. If your business wants to stay competitive, embracing marketing trends is a must.
As we look towards the new year, here are 22 marketing trends to be on the lookout for in 2022.
- Proof-Based Marketing
- Growth Marketing & A/B Testing
- Agile Marketing
- Account-Based Marketing
- Marketing Flywheel vs. Marketing Funnel
- Customer-Obsessed Marketing
- Purpose-Driven Marketing
- Personalized Marketing
- User-Generated Content
- Content Quality vs. Content Quantity
- Growth in Video Marketing
- Influencer Marketing
- Artificial Intelligence
- User Privacy & First-Party Data
- Embracing MarTech
- Own Your Audience
- Marketing Automation
- Conversational Marketing
- Mobile-First Experiences
- Online & Hybrid Events
- Voice Search
22 Marketing Trends You Need to Know for 2022
Marketing trends are constantly evolving which can quickly leave businesses behind. To stay ahead of your competition, we recommend understanding what the current marketing trends are and which ones may work best for your business. Below, is information about 22 marketing trends that you need to know about for 2022. We’ve broken them down into three categories: Marketing Strategies, Content Marketing, and Technology & AI.
1. Proof-Based Marketing
The idea behind Proof-Based Marketing is that it’s not enough to promise prospects you can solve their problems. They want to see proof of how you’ve been able to help others with your products or services. This is often in the form of social proof, which includes customer reviews, testimonials, user-generated content, and more.
There are three major components to PBM: Feedback, Follow-Up, and Proof. Feedback allows you to understand how your customers feel about your brand. This will enable you to segment customers, improve your business, and identify your promoters.
The Follow-Up stage is where you take action on the feedback you’ve received. Request an online review or video testimonial from your promoters and follow-up with those who indicated a less-than-favorable experience. By following up with your promoters and detractors, you can control the conversations around your brand to protect your online reputation.
Finally, there is Proof. Once your happy customers have submitted their testimonials and reviews, you have the proof you need to build trust in your brand to generate new leads and increase sales.
Marketing trends show proof as a key element to growing your business. If you’re ready to build trust with your audience and increase your leads, Proof-Based Marketing may be just the thing your business needs!
2. Growth Marketing & A/B Testing
The phenomenon of Growth Marketing has evolved from the idea of “get-growth-quick” to understanding what tactics work best for your business. Traditional marketing can only get you so far when you’re using the same strategies every time. Growth Marketing can help your business improve through experimentation to find the optimal marketing strategy.
Growth Marketing leverages A/B testing to develop experiments with their audience. A/B testing is where two or more versions of a digital asset (email, landing page, ad, etc.) are randomly shared with your audience and collected data on how they engage with each version. The data is then analyzed to determine which variant performed better and comes out as the “winner.”
If your business is just starting, you’re looking to rebrand, or you want to test elements of a new marketing campaign, we recommend trying A/B testing. This experimental approach has low-risk and high rewards. It’s excellent for understanding what marketing strategies resonate best with your audience.
3. Agile Marketing
While Agile Marketing has only been around since 2012, the approach to agile work has been around for much longer. Traditionally, software developers used the agile approach to have clear communication through the entire process with small batches of work instead of a large project all at once. This leads to higher quality in products with fewer issues.
The Agile Marketing strategy takes on a similar approach ensuring everyone on the marketing team is on the same page, collaborates regularly, and uses data-driven marketing. There are three methods to Agile Marketing: Scrum, Kanban, and Scrumban.
Scrum is the most popular method which leverages sprints that last 2-4 weeks. The entire team has a specific role with assigned tasks. The team meets at the beginning, middle, and end of a sprint to ensure everyone is on the same page.
The Kanban method focuses on limiting the amount of time spent on specific tasks. By setting limits, it motivates the team to get more done. With this method, the team leverages a Kanban board to visualize the tasks that need to be completed.
The Scrumban method, as you’ve probably guessed, combines the Scrum and Kanban methods into one approach. Essentially, this method leverages the Kanban board and time limits to tasks while completing these tasks in sprints.
4. Account-Based Marketing (ABM)
Account-Based Marketing is a strategy where the marketing and sales team work closely and concentrate resources on targeted accounts. This allows for personalized marketing and sales campaigns based on the qualities and needs of the accounts.
The key to ABM is to identify who your high-value target accounts are. Once you’ve identified the accounts, you need to understand who they are, their needs, their pain points, and where they’re at in the buyer’s journey. From there, you can develop marketing campaigns that are customized to those accounts based on your research.
The ABM strategy is an excellent way to encourage the marketing and sales teams to work together and nurture the accounts all the way through the buyer’s journey. Working together and using this marketing strategy in 2022, your business will have shorter sales cycles, accurate and measurable returns on investment, and fewer wasted resources.
5. Marketing Flywheel vs. Marketing Funnel
Traditional marketing leverages the Funnel Model, where consumers move down the funnel through stages and, ultimately, exit as a customer. The Marketing Funnel approach has been slowly fading over recent years through the rise of the digital age. A new approach has emerged that is intuitive, digital era friendly, and places the customer at the center of it all: the Flywheel.
Hubspot introduced the Flywheel in 2018 with its inbound marketing philosophy. It was developed with the customer in mind placing them at the center of it all. See, the Marketing Funnel views customers as an afterthought, but they’re the driving force of your business. Your customers can help you grow, and the Flywheel Model shows this.
There are three main stages to the Marketing Flywheel: Attract, Engage, and Delight. The Attract stage is about producing helpful information in your niche to bring awareness to your business. The goal here is to earn their attention and begin to build trust.
The Engage stage involves interacting with your leads and customers through their preferred communication channels with personalization. At this point, you can begin data segmentation, marketing automation, and sign-up trials.
The final stage is Delight. Here you provide support and the tools your customers need to achieve their goals with your business. Including a product knowledge base, chatbot, onboarding checklists, and more will help keep your customers delighted.
Remember, your customers are the driving force behind your business. If they’re successful in leveraging your software or products, they’re likely to share their experience with others and keep your flywheel spinning.
6. Customer-Obsessed Marketing
Is your business willing to go above and beyond for your customers? If yes, then you should be leveraging Customer-Obsessed Marketing (if you’re not already). To be customer-obsessed means to place your customers’ needs first, focusing on retaining them over acquiring new ones.
This marketing strategy provides immediate customer service from real people, obsession over every detail through the customer’s experience, and values quality over quantity. Businesses that leverage this strategy should also instill a customer-obsessed culture within their work and internal communications.
Customer-Obsessed Marketing is driven by customer feedback. It’s essential to frequently touch base with your customers through surveys like Net-Promoter Score℠ (NPS®) and Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT). Then, you can use the data from the surveys to determine what’s working, what’s not, and if any of your customers are not happy.
7. Purpose-Driven Marketing
Consumers are more likely to purchase from and trust a business that has a purpose behind what they do. Purpose-driven marketing aims to create a deeper rapport between the business and its audience through shared values. Companies will connect their brand with a social cause that aligns with their values and the values of their audience.
Purpose-driven marketing builds loyalty with your audience and can increase sales. Many consumers, especially Gen Z, want to know they’re supporting a business that gives back to the community. In fact, 64% of consumers base their buying decisions on a brand’s stance on a social or political issue.
A great example of purpose-driven marketing is the outdoor apparel company Patagonia. Their values focus on environmental sustainability and give 1% back to the planet for every purchase. They offer an Ironclad Guarantee for their products and share their carbon footprint publicly.
If you find social or political causes that align with your business’s values, consider leveraging purpose-driven marketing to build customer loyalty and give back at the same time. Use this marketing trend in 2022 to not only build better customers relationships but also highlight the good that you’re doing.
8. Personalized Marketing
These days, marketing is about sending the right message to the right people at the right time. Personalized marketing is about leveraging data to develop marketing assets tailored to your customers. Remember that personalization is much more than adding your customer’s name into the same email that goes out to every customer.
To get started with personalized marketing, you need to segment your customers based on the data you’ve collected from them (demographics, industry, job title, etc.). Then you can determine which marketing assets you want to personalize based on where your customers spend their time.
By segmenting your customers, you create several groups based on shared interests and characteristics. This way, you can quickly develop variations of an email to send a personalized message to your customers. In the end, your customers will have a more satisfying experience and find increased loyalty to your brand.
9. User-Generated Content (UGC)
If you want your audience to engage with your brand, share user-generated content. UGC is content created by brand users and shared either directly online or with the business. This content can be in the form of an image, tweet, review, social media video, or testimonials.
Most consumers don’t trust advertising and marketing directly from a brand. They prefer to ask their friends and family first. Or they turn to social media for more information about a product or service. Social media is the most common place where consumers find UGC. Therefore, your presence on social media is more important than ever to engage with your customers and leverage their UGC.
As a disclaimer, you should always receive a customer’s permission before using their content. Be clear in how you intend to use their content and get their permission in writing.
10. Content Quality vs. Content Quantity
The debate between content quality vs. content quantity has been ongoing for a decade. While both are important to your content marketing strategy, content quality should take precedence. This is because search engine sites, like Google, weigh the quality of the content heavily.
To produce quality content, you need to understand your audience and meet them where they are. Your audience wants to see and read about relevant content and helpful information. Knowing their pain points and interests will benefit you in creating quality content.
With all that being said, every business will be different depending on your audience. The quality of your content is essential, but it’s also important to share enough content. This is especially true for social media, as many algorithms depend on the frequency of posts.
11. Growth in Video Marketing
Currently, 86% of businesses leverage video as a marketing tool. This is a 41% increase since 2016. Of those businesses who use video, a vast majority claim it’s essential to their marketing strategy. It’s safe to say that video marketing is an essential marketing trend in 2022, but what do consumers think?
When consumers are asked how they prefer to learn more about a product or service, 69% say they prefer to watch videos. Furthermore, 84% of consumers were convinced to make a purchase after watching a brand’s video.
Video marketing may seem intimidating at first, but all it requires is a smartphone, creative minds, and simple editing skills. To create a video marketing strategy, you’ll need to know your audience, set your goals, and determine which videos to make.
Depending on your industry and goals, the types of marketing videos you create can vary. Marketing videos can be educational, entertaining, or explain how to do something. If you’re looking to create videos for advertisements, you could leverage video testimonials. Video testimonials tell your customer’s stories about their experience with your product or service.
12. Influencer Marketing
A rapidly growing marketing trend that can increase your visibility is influencer marketing. When influencer marketing first began, it was limited to celebrities and select bloggers. Now, social media influencers saturate the market and come in every niche.
Influencer marketing leverages niche-expert individuals who have a relatively large, but loyal social media following. This marketing approach works because of the strong trust the influencer has built with their followers.
Businesses can pay social media influencers to create an #ad with specific criteria. Most often, the influencer can incorporate their brand and style into the ad. This makes the ad feel authentic and acts as a form of social proof to your newly obtained audience members.
Technology and AIxz
13. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial Intelligence has been growing as an up-and-coming marketing trend. Businesses are investing in AI technology and software to improve and enhance the customer’s experience. AI uses customer data and machine learning to predict how customers will behave, their interests, and more.
AI is built to learn and respond as a human would. In marketing, AI can be used to answer your customer’s questions and even provide shopping recommendations. It can also assist marketing teams with Google Analytics Intelligence, Dynamic Search Ads, and even copywriting.
Consumers can easily become frustrated when their questions are not answered promptly. The results of their frustration can cause them to leave a negative review or take their business somewhere else. Companies are adding chatbots to their website and social media to provide continuous support to their customers.
Chatbots are an excellent way to provide 24/7 customer service to your customers and site visitors. Not only that, chatbots can be tailored to your brand and respond as a human would. This way, your customer can receive the answers they need and have a positive experience with your business.
15. User Privacy & First-Party Data
Consumers should have control over their privacy. Over recent years, consumers have become increasingly aware of data tracking. Companies like Apple, Meta (formerly Facebook), and Google are taking action to protect their users’ privacy. By 2022, 85% of the browser market will no longer support third-party cookies.
The question then remains: How can marketers target an audience without their data from third-party tracking apps?
The answer to that question may be easier said than done. Marketers will need to leverage first-party data. First-party data is information collected directly from a business’s audience (customers, site visitors, social media followers, etc.). Companies can create surveys, use gamification, or implement a simple consumer/brand interaction online to collect the data.
Developing and retaining trust in a brand has never been more crucial. Businesses will need to place customers at the center of everything they do to establish a first-party database – think flywheel model. This will increase trust and loyalty to the brand, making prospects and customers willing to share their data voluntarily.
16. Embracing MarTech
Marketing Technology, or MarTech, is about leveraging software and technology to aid in achieving marketing objectives. In this day and age, it’s quite difficult to do anything as a business and not use technology. Common MarTech among businesses includes email marketing, content management system (CMS), and customer relationship management (CRM).
This software and technology help businesses focus on retaining customers. It can cost five times more to bring in new customers than it does to retain existing ones. MarTech also allows businesses to incorporate A/B testing through a CMS, like HubSpot.
This marketing trend will only continue to grow as technology continues to evolve. However, predictions show marketing budgets will shrink, especially as businesses are still recovering from the pandemic.
17. Own Your Audience
It’s easy to build and grow your audience on social media, but that’s just rented real estate. You don’t actually own your audience; The Metaverse does.
To “own your audience” is to have direct connections with them through data like email, phone number, address, and so on. This data is often collected through third-party cookies but can be collected in other ways like first-party data.
After multiple social media outages in 2021, it’s important to own your audience. Marketing experts are emphasizing the importance of websites and contact lists. You should always have a direct connection with your audience.
18. Marketing Automation
Marketing Automation can certainly benefit any business. For large organizations, marketing automation is almost a necessity to organize contacts and leads. For smaller organizations, marketing automation allows them to maximize the value from their prospects and customers.
Depending on the needs of your business, you may only need an automation tool for your email marketing or social media. On the other hand, some businesses need an all-in-one tool to manage multiple aspects of marketing automation.
Implementing marketing automation tools is undoubtedly a valuable marketing trend in 2022, but every business is different. Carefully consider your marketing automation options, your goals, and your budget before making any decisions.
19. Conversational Marketing
Among the AI marketing trends is a relatively new concept – conversational marketing. That is, marketing that talks to customers. These conversations can happen through a live chat, chatbot, voice assistant, and more.
Compared to the other marketing trends we’ve discussed, it may seem like this one should belong to sales, but that’s not the case. Conversational marketing leverages traditional marketing materials and turns them into an interactive experience.
For example, businesses can use conversational display ads to talk with, not at, your prospects. These ads can provide real-time recommendations to prospective customers tailored to their needs and wants.
20. Mobile-First Experiences
Gone are the days when designers only needed to focus on creating the best desktop experience. Consumers prefer to use their mobile devices to browse the web. Currently, mobile-web experiences account for more than 50% of web traffic.
If you want your business to be mobile-first, you need to optimize the user experience for mobile devices. With mobile-first in mind, design your website and apps starting with the smallest screens to the largest. The last thing you want is for a customer to be frustrated with your website on their phone.
The mobile-first experience is so vital that Google no longer indexes sites based only on desktops. If you want your business to show up in Google’s search results, you’ll need to make your website mobile-friendly.
21. Online & Hybrid Events
When the COVID-19 Pandemic hit in 2020, online and hybrid events took precedence as everything face-to-face was canceled. This caused a significant shift in the marketing industry, advancing many businesses to an online experience, whether they were ready or not.
Many businesses found success in hosting their events virtually. It was a great way to increase their reach and visibility. It also lowered the cost of attendance for many and allowed the host organization to invest in quality content.
Marketing trends show that online and hybrid events are here to stay. Businesses will likely choose hybrid events due to the expanded reach, reduced carbon footprint, and higher quality content.
22. Voice Search
From Alexa to Google to Siri, voice search is a marketing trend that is on the rise. Over recent years, voice search technology has developed to a point where 41% of adults use it at least once per day. Voice search is commonly used with smart speakers and mobile devices.
Google has already incorporated word and phrase recognition with RankBrain to improve voice search results. In fact, about 75% of voice search results will rank in the top 3 positions on a desktop search. Knowing this, how can you optimize your marketing content for voice search?
When writing content, avoid jargon and words that may be difficult to recognize or understand in a given context. Schema markup and rich snippets can help search engines best understand the query and answer. If you have a brick-and-mortar store, you’ll want to keep your Google My Business listing up to date.
Embrace Marketing Trends to Grow Your Business
This list of 22 marketing trends may feel overwhelming at first. We understand that it’s a lot to take in – and that’s okay. Spend time understanding the pros and cons of each marketing trend. Then you can determine which ones will work best for your business.
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