Marketing trends in 2022

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The budgeting period has arrived.

Inbox, as in previous years, is full of letters entitled “what exciting trends will digital marketing bring in the new year?”

It is quite clear why this is being done. Somehow, it is necessary to surprise the management and people. We need something new and shiny.

If you think I’m going to drum the same as every year and list a number of innovative solutions here, you’re wrong.

Here are 6 reasons why instead of marketing trends, you should deal with the basic things of marketing in 2022.

01Know your client’s pain points and motivators

Your client is not a 34-year-old Penno with a tattooed sleeve. She’s also not a blonde-haired Maili who likes to listen to the retro house on a no.2 tram on her way home. He isn’t also Marko, who pushes 160 kg from the bench and who’s watching your ad from the Viru MyFitness window on Friday at 19:43.

Knowing a customer does not start with describing their appearance, gender or interests behind a meeting table. Knowing your customer is not an opinion of which customer you are serving or not. You know the customer best when you communicate with him or her face-to-face.

Your customer is someone who has a problem. They are looking for a solution to their problem:

  • Do you know what problems are your existing customers looking to solve?
  • Is the answer to the last question based on your personal thought or is it a real customer feedback?

Next, we need to understand their core values. What drives them? What makes them tick?

For Stiven, the decision to buy an apartment may be influenced by the desire to live in Kalamaja, because he draws inspiration from there for his creative work. Maivi from Rapla may want to feel close to the nature, because she wants to get away from the city noise and restore a farmhouse similar to that of her grandchildren, where she grew up as a child.

By understanding your customer’s problem and core values, the company can begin to position itself based on the customer.

“We all want to buy, but we don’t like being sold.”

The same applies to the todays digital marketing landscape. Create your digital marketing strategies based on the opinion of your customer.

02An unknown area in digital marketing – direct traffic

It’s a nice Tuesday night. The office is empty. It is time to start compiling marketing reports in a cozy and quiet office. John opens Google Analytics and writes with an ease “87 conversions came through direct traffic in the last 30 days.”

Fine, but some questions arise…

  • What is really behind it?
  • What exactly does direct traffic mean?
  • How do these people actually get to the website?
  • Is it strong brand awareness that generates these sales or is there something more behind it?

Direct traffic in digital marketing is like Mongolia. We all know that it exists, but when it comes to choosing a holiday trip, we go down the path of easier resistance and buy a ticket to a beach resort in Turkey. Few travel to Mongolia and fully understand its potential. But those who go there come back stronger than ever because they say opportunities where others did not.

The same goes for direct traffic.

Few take advantage of its opportunities to get to know their customers, but those who do are happy with the results and are able to align their marketing mix to grow faster.

I don’t know, but something in me says that in 2022, more and more marketers will start to understand what drives direct traffic to their website.

03Brand as a moat

Differentiating from competitors is becoming more and more important year by year.

People don’t just make a purchase based on price and features. Also, differentiating between the two is not strategically sustainable, because there is always someone who offers a cheaper price and more functionalities than your company ever can.

So, how do you stand out? Ask yourself, “What does our company have that our competitors can’t take over from us?”

  • A cool landing page that competitors don’t have? Copyable.
  • A super-useful feature that other competitors don’t use in their software? Copyable.
  • An awesome customer gift your customer could brag about in the golf club? Also, copyable.

A strong brand is the essence for your business.

Offering positive customer experience to your clients you start to create a strong brand for your company.

Positive experiences can come from a more efficient shopping journey, a sense of togetherness in tackling a bigger problem, or focusing on one specific niche that makes you an industry leader.

“Economic moat is a clear advantage that a company has over its competitors and that allows it to protect its market share and profitability. This is an advantage that is difficult to replicate or duplicate (brand identity, patents) and thus creates an effective barrier to other competitors” – Warren Buffet, the creator of the concept.

Peep Laja covers this topic perfectly in his podcast on “How to Win”.

04Class A marketers play in the same sandbox

It has become increasingly important in marketing teams that the philosophies or patterns of marketing in organizations align with each other.
Gone are the days when a business leader is forgiven for failing to understand marketing. If marketing is not understood or desired to be understood at the company’s board level, then class A marketers make an informed choice not to work with that company.

The world is full of collectives, where there are no boundaries and where they are heard in the decision-making.

The following are real life examples (names have been changed, maybe…):

“A marketing strategy is needed in order to create a business plan to get grants, not to actually run a business”

or something like

“F***, Peter! Please, stop f***** around with your tests. Where are those 17 leads you promised me today?”

05Accurate sniper shots vs scattering shots

I don’t understand what a habit it is for marketing managers to write marketing strategies in a drawer. If no one sees this, it will not be possible to move towards the final implementation of this strategy.

But for some reason (naively) I hope it will soon change:

  • Hands up, whose marketing team knows what the marketing strategy for the next year is all about?
  • Do your team have a one-page marketing strategy so you can monitor the progress of the strategy over the next year?

Its existence is important for the whole organization. The marketing strategy is part of the company’s overall strategy. It should not be written simply for “approval” by the board, but should be available and visible to the marketing team throughout the year.

Our humble recommendation is to create a one-page marketing strategy to discuss the progress of it in every monthly team meeting.

Pro tip

Not just with the marketing team, but with the whole company.

06The success of the personal brand and mailing lists

Recent incidents (Facebook downtime) have initiated marketers to look for strategic ways to protect themselves from external threats.

Solution: Create a personal brand and mailing lists.

The presence of personal brands in the company gives a competitive advantage (moat) when the management communicates directly with the customers on a personal level. A personal brand is a person’s name. As long as your ideal customers recognize and identify with the name, you have a winning strategy.

People want to do business with other people, not companies.

Mailing lists give you the reassurance that even if Linkedin or Facebook were to close, you still have a number of people you can reach via email.
When these two work together, you have complete control over what happens. They give you the opportunity to act even when other digital channels have collapsed.

Summary

I may be naïve (no doubt), but something in me says that instead of following pseudo-trends, we start seeing marketing again at the grassroots level and keep a sober mind. Just as when we see a rainbow, we don’t start looking for a pot of gold in the end of it. So, we shouldn’t act the same with fluffy marketing trends.

I am not saying that the new marketing should not be tested out and seen if it has a positive impact on your company or not, but I advise you to treat them adequately. Don’t look for a miracle that will solve all the grassroot problems your existing marketing mix might have.

Often, the biggest opportunities to grow in the marketing landscape lie in looking into your existing marketing activities and analyzing what we can do better.


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