One of the main things I constantly get asked is “Samiha al Sabbagh where do you see the marketing industry heading this year?” Before, way back when I first started you could, more or less, take bets on the answer. Unless something comes out of the left field you could make a fairly accurate prediction. If 2020 taught us anything, it is that today entropy is king. Trends are changing, rapidly, and evolving — positively and negatively. They are being driven by metrics, by technology, research, and crazes. Don’t underestimate the power of herd mentality. So, in this post, I’ll analyze some of the best marketing strategies for 2022. What you might expect. What might happen? And what will happen? And what to keep an eye out for if you want to stay competitive. Although, as I said, and as time and reality have undoubtedly shown us, take it with a grain of salt. That’s my disclaimer. I’m no Nostradamus — and even him, taking into account today’s world theater, would find himself at a loss for words.
The top Marketing trends of 2022 by Samiha al Sabbagh
Keep the Conversation Going
A recent study by IBM revealed that 70% of users now expect better customer service. What does that mean? They expect a prompt answer to their questions and queries. Blame instant messaging. From a consumer’s perspective that is critical. What is known as conversational marketing – users interacting directly and easily with a brand, building trust, and improving their experience – is driving sales. The consensus is that if they can do so much, from their cell phone, then why can’t you with your gigantic infrastructure? There is a wide range of tools available, from live chats to WhatsApp messaging, to bots, to just about anything, even though Social Media. Long gone are the days of users shuffling through your website, unearthing, like a piece of gold, your contact information and happily staying on the phone while you play them elevator music and promise “an operator will be with you shortly.”
Netflix makes movies and series recommendations for you. Spotify tailors its music choices to your mood and taste. The same for most other services and brands. Today, users are hungry for a just unique personal experience that talks directly to them. Studies have shown that online consumers feel frustrated, 74% of them, when a supplier shows them content that has nothing to do with their interests. Today’s algorithms make it all but impossible to offer template solutions and experience. Thanks to big data, and how AI recollects and correlates it, most modern companies know more about their user than the user. They can suggest products, music, movies, and services their user didn’t even know they wanted, yet somehow needed.
Break the barrier
Most users want their companies, their brands, to interact directly with them — not just on a digital medium. Emotional connectors, how users form psychological bonds with a brand, demand that tangible handshake. If you have a company that only deals in digital services, and you want to create an ever-lasting relationship with your consumer, find creative ways to relate to them without a screen forming a barrier between both of you. Create events, send them objects and gifts they can touch and feel, and bond with them not just as a service provider but as something else. There’s a reason why Spotify gives free concerts or hands out discounts. Or why do companies like Faves and other digital startups send their users free swag like t-shirts and caps?
When Netflix unleashed the final season of “Money Heist” it ushered out global activities and pop-ups based on that hit television series. From photo-ops to an impromptu “Bella Ciao” renditions on subways, all the way to free ice cream in the shape of gold bullions. Apple, for example, implements their famous “photo-walks” in which an Apple employee guides consumers through iconic neighborhoods and teaches them how to take great photos with their iPhone. HBO, on their part, went all out with the last season of Games Of Thrones, opening up different free events where people could visit the show’s legendary set pieces. Consumers like brands that offer them bizarre, experimental experiences, not just product-based ones.
“Samiha al Sabbagh what the heck is programmatic advertising?” In a nutshell, programmatic advertising is the automation, through algorithms and key tools, of buying advertising space. Traditionally, you’d need a whole team of Mad Men to create pitches, and proposals, sign contracts and negotiate the whole advertising section of your company — your marketing department. Today, all you need, for now, and that’s just because AI hasn’t managed to break the code for imagination, are your creatives. Through tools, brands can bid for ad space, create whole ad agendas, and reserve key slots for the season in a matter of milliseconds. Many brands are now making the switch, assigning more than 50% of their ad budgets to this trend. And why use it? BIG DATA. Programmatic advertising uses real-time data analysis and targets niches and key consuming audiences. Google, for example, uses it constantly —- reaching more than 30% more people and lowering their cost per thousand impressions (CPM) by one-third.
Automate where you can
Automation is incredibly effective. Today, folks can more or less automate everything, From a contract’s lifecycle to their security team, to their marketing efforts, The pandemic not only accelerated the use of this tech in the workplace, but it also made it widespread. It might sound complex, but trust me, automation services and tools are incredibly intuitive and simple to use and adopt. Automation allows companies and brands to sell their efforts and reach more people, at a fraction of the cost. It allows businesses to collect and analyze data faster and streamline their omnichannel marketing into one platform. This increases productivity, maximizes your ROI, and frees you up from time-consuming repetitive tasks.
Another really exciting thing about modernity is machine learning and AI. Today it is an incredibly powerful tool and one that is getting even more powerful as the days go by. A couple of years back, AI was only used for analyzing big data. Today, you can practically do just about anything thanks to it. There are dozens upon dozens of software that more or less do the job of most of your departments.
Do you need to shoot a script? AI tools can give you animated actors that look more or less the same as actual flesh and bones actors. A podcast? AI can read scripts with the inflection and tone you want. Just this last year, Netflix produced a documentary, based on the life of Andy Warhol where an AI was trained, based on videos and diaries of the artist, to talk just like him. Need to write copy and content, the same, AI can help you out. Today, you don’t need a huge marketing department, all you need is a small investment to get in on the action and subscribe to cutting-edge tools.