What does the marketing crystal ball say for 2022? Several marketing prognosticators shared their marketing predictions for the coming year:
1. Prediction: People will buy brands, not products. “Although brand awareness is not anything new, in 2022 and beyond we will find consumers that are less focused on buying a specific product and more so looking to invest their dollars in a brand they trust, believe in, and that aligns with their core value,” says Penry Price, a vice president with LinkedIn Marketing Solutions. “Given that only 5% of buyers are in-market to buy a product at any given time, organizations need to spend this year focused on how they are going to stay top-of-mind for the 95% of buyers who are not looking to make a purchase. Elevating brand awareness, developing an active community, and building trust as opposed to pushing product updates and approaching your marketing in a self-serving manner will be critical if you want to close the deal in 2022 and beyond.”
2. Prediction: B2B digital advertising will never look the same. “Before, B2B marketers could tap into B2C lookalike approaches to drive campaign success, but those days are over,” says Gyanda Sachdeva, a vice president with LinkedIn Marketing Solutions. “Marketers must reimagine everything from the products they use to how they reach their audiences to what campaign success means. This is unchartered territory. The brands that win—that really redefine the future of B2B digital advertising—are the ones that are nimble and quick to test and iterate; they are the ones who never look back and plow forward knowing that, although the future will never look the same, it will look much more successful than it ever has. The future is built on privacy, understanding buying groups, and mining the insights to effectively evaluate the buying signals to drive effective B2B marketing campaigns.”
3. Prediction: Marketers will look to boards of consumers to make critical decisions. “Consumers are now leading cultural and buying trends that brands once solely dictated,” says Rob Holland, CEO of Feedback Loop. “This means that consumers also need to have a seat at the table when brands make decisions about everything from campaign concepts to product creation. While marketers are focused on what they think is right for consumers, consumers will simply share what they want or don’t want. In 2022, we’ll see more brands introducing de facto ‘Boards of Consumers,’ and many that won’t make critical decisions without them. Marketers will rely on consumers’ advanced input, rather than their after-the-fact feedback, to make key decisions.”
4. Prediction: Increased sensitivity to marketing. “The sensitivity of marketing will reach an all-time high, with campaigns being more attuned to diversity and inclusion,” says global marketing consultant Tim Parkin. “Additionally, the veracity of digital advertising—and the content it appears alongside—will be of utmost concern to prevent fallout and the fear of cancel culture. Major brands will waste exorbitant resources experimenting with new technologies, including NFTs and virtual reality. Advocates will use these efforts as case studies to justify the legitimacy and viability of mainstream adoption. But these projects will fail due to a lack of adequate participation coupled with the inordinate resources required.
5. Prediction: Marketing to toughen. “Marketing is getting harder, and there’s no end in sight,” says Parkin. “There have been numerous disruptive changes that have dramatically impacted marketing and advertising in the last several months. You’ve probably been affected by at least one of them, including Facebook’s privacy changes affecting social advertising, Apple’s iOS updates impacting email marketing, Google’s algorithm changes upsetting SEO rankings, or Instagram’s shift to focus on video. Marketing in 2022 will be more difficult and more complicated, resulting from platform and technology changes like these combined with the continued evolution of culture and consumer behavior.”