“Before people can begin something new, they have to end what used to be and unlearn the old way.” – William Bridges.
Dear marketer, did the Covid-19 pandemic push you to unlearn and relearn many aspects of marketing a business effectively? The global catastrophe posed a unique set of challenges for marketers everywhere.
Are you still wondering what 2022 is going to be like?
In this article, let’s learn about the most probable challenges that await us marketers in the coming year. And let’s explore how we can overcome those hurdles and achieve the desired business outcomes.
Acquiring new customers in a pandemic slowdown
Most economies are still struggling to recover from the pandemic slowdown. With plummeting consumer spending, marketers will need to offer and communicate more value to potential customers.
According to a study on the impact of Covid-19 on the B2B industry, 58% of respondents noted they were worried about sales and revenues, 56% were concerned about cash flow and liquidity and 52% cited the disruption to executing their business strategy.
The biggest challenge for marketers in 2022 would be in gathering an in-depth understanding of their target customer segments.
Here are steps you need to take to reach out to an ever discerning and judicious customer:
- Work on providing proof of the value of products and services
- Run scalable marketing campaigns that offer the right messages, to the right people, at the right time
- Make sure to provide content that’s on-brand and audience-centric
Here’s the golden rule: you need to find cost-effective ways to personalize products, services, and content so you can get users to derive greater value from them.
Managing digital touchpoints
Another trend that has emerged because of the pandemic is that people are spending more time indoors and online.
According to a recent study from eMarketer, more than 74.6 percent of U.S. internet users are likely to avoid stores altogether and begin shopping online.
If a prospect or a stakeholder is interacting with your brand, they’re doing it online. Also, users have access to many online platforms where they can research for and buy products and services.
- Marketers who aren’t digital-ready yet are likely to face severe competition. That’s why it’s vital to manage all digital touchpoints effectively.
35 percent of the marketers said they found it challenging to communicate consistently with customers across channels. – Sitecore
- It’s critical to go a step further and offer relevant and on-brand digital experiences to customers and all company stakeholders.
Remember: employees and stakeholders are your brand’s torchbearers. That’s why engaging with these two user groups should be at the top of your priority list.
Upskilling the marketing team
In a dynamic and tech-driven business environment, 2022 will be about how marketers can adapt to the new normal.
According to the Sitecore 2021 Covid Impact Report, most marketers (72%) needed to upskill themselves quickly in at least one area of marketing to respond to the changes in customer behavior.
How can marketers take on this new ongoing digital disruption:
- Organize training programs to get teams to learn how to use online channels to connect with and delight customers.
- Create systems and processes to facilitate easier collaboration in a remote working environment. A good way is to deploy software for remote communication and collaboration.
- Develop an environment where you can build a strong brand and company culture that can be translated to every piece of brand communication.
- Not meeting people in person can pose a mental health risk to internal teams, stakeholders, and customers. Hence, it will be necessary for marketers to educate teams about how to communicate during a crisis. Plus, teaching them about the basics of mental health and general well-being will also be helpful.
In the year to come, marketers will have to create an agile environment for their team to come back with rapid changes in audience behavior and workplace atmosphere.
Managing a frequently changing marketing strategy
The truth is that the end of a pandemic does not mean the end of business volatility.
39 percent of the marketers felt that swift changes in strategy made their job difficult during the pandemic. – Sitecore
- Keeping track of changes in consumer preferences is going to take center stage.
- Agility in making strategic changes will help improve campaign results.
- Whether a prospect is at home or on the move, access to multiple online platforms means marketers need to be swift and flexible with the strategic direction of marketing campaigns.
Offering real-time customer service and content is one of the best ways to reach out to prospects who’re searching online while on the move.
The repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic are far from over. Most marketers around the world need to do more with less. And it’s the bitter reality of the current year and 2022.
38 percent of the marketers said they are under pressure to cut their marketing budget.
What options do you have in a restrictive environment like this?
- Work on building a distinct brand voice that cuts through the digital noise. The strategy will help you build long-term trust with potential customers.
- Building a solid brand may seem like it’s going to cost you a lot of time, money, and resources. It would help if you instead focus on cost-effective brand-building strategies such as developing a single source of brand truth, a platform that aligns all company employees and stakeholders with your brand’s core guidelines and content assets.
The way forward would be to adopt lean technologies and build a strong positioning statement. The strategy would help budget starved marketers to maintain a constant flow of leads and conversions in an ecosystem that’s now more online than offline.
Hiring the right people
According to a 2020 report from LinkedIn, employers seek marketers with soft creative skill sets and complex technical skills.
- Since these skills are fast becoming scarce, most companies must compete to attract the best marketing talent for their organization.
How do you balance budget constraints on the one hand and hiring the right people?
- Digital branding plays a critical role in helping you build trust with potential candidates. It’s the ideal way to get prospective and existing employees to feel a deep sense of connection with your brand.
- In a competitive hiring landscape, it’s also essential to offer employee benefits such as remote work, flexible work timings, transparency in salary structure, and work policies.
Here’s the rub: go out there to look for dynamic individuals who gel with your brand culture, its purpose, and core emotional values.
Team collaboration and productivity
Are you feeling dizzy, wondering how you’ll handle all of those crazy roadblocks? Don’t worry; this is the last one on my list of marketing challenges of 2022.
Speaking of collaboration, working in a remote environment is still relatively new for most marketing managers and their teams.
According to the Sitecore study, 34 percent of the marketers said that collaborating across teams is one of the biggest tech headaches they experienced during the pandemic.
- For one, not meeting and brainstorming offline poses its share of difficulties in communicating with team members and stakeholders.
- Plus, when running mass digital campaigns, making sure that everyone has access to the right content assets becomes a huge task that hampers productivity.
How would you deal with these two burning efficiency issues in the year 2022?
The right strategy would be to opt for a content portal that makes digital file-sharing and internal communication a breeze. You would need a platform that makes it possible to communicate with internal teams and external stakeholders in real-time.
Over to you
This is it. Not that overwhelming, I guess. But 2022 is round the corner, and there are still a few weeks for you to gear up and be ready with all the necessary groundwork.
Last but not least I hope, and I’m sure all of us marketers will come out with shining colors and glittering numbers.
Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday season!
Stay safe and read you soon 🙂