What Will Influence Marketing Strategy in 2022

gigcmo
25/01/2022

As we head into a new year, we wanted to look at the general trends that will help shape business and marketing strategy heading into 2022. A combination of big picture events and micro trends within local markets and businesses themselves will influence business risk, forecasts and the customer experience. Here are some of the top trends we're looking out for.

Big picture trends

Marketing strategy is influenced by two broad elements: business objectives and the world in which we're operating. In the last couple of years, the latter has changed enormously, and in 2022 those big picture trends will continue to influence business decisions and marketing strategy.

For example, the Economist identified some particularly:

Geopolitical trends

Political upheaval, America's mid-term elections and China's Communist Party congress are all swirling along with a general tension between global democracy and autocracy. The hope is that things will settle, but any upheaval can impact business, depending in part on the industry that you're in.

Beyond the pandemic

Omicron pending, we have moved into a different phase regarding the pandemic and hope to continue moving beyond the acute impact that it had over the last 18 months. However, moving beyond it isn't the same as going back to how things were before. Travel will have changed, which has a knock-on effect on work and leisure. While wealthier countries will likely have made Covid-19 less dangerous for their populations with vaccination, poorer countries remain far more vulnerable, resulting in political and ethical debates and challenges.

Inflation

It's no secret that inflation is rising and may well continue to do so, spiking supply chain disruptions in an already disrupted arena. Questions over the Brexit impact continue to rumble on, and while there's a general belief from the Bank of England that the trend is temporary, the jury's out.

Tech tensions

The rapid rise of technological development in response to the pandemic brings excellent opportunities for business leaders and marketing experts, from cryptocurrencies to deep tech. However, these advancements also bring difficulties- not least, the political debates about how to control market dominance.

The changing working environment

The changing working environment and how that will look moving forward is a debate that now surprises nobody but challenges most businesses. How and when working from home is appropriate is up for discussion and continues to evolve as tech develops. However, in a world of skills shortages, to what extent does this put the employee in the driving seat? Each business will need to navigate its course. Still, its prevalence deserves a place within the marketing strategy if it will support and not be detrimental to business objectives.

Climate change

Climate change has been another big topic this year. COP26 went a long way to set out a plan for business leaders, and environmental impact is a top priority for employees and consumers. An authentic approach to your business's social and environmental policies is essential for the planet and your business moving forward. If it's not already in place, it should be.

Global events

On a truly positive note, the Winter Olympics in Beijing and the football World Cup in Qatar are amongst the significant events that will see sport inject enthusiasm and opportunity into businesses both locally and around the world. That's in addition to the 2020 Dubai Expo, which continues into the early part of 2022, these events provide opportunities for the region and businesses seeking to expand into the UAE.

Microtrends influencing business and marketing strategy

Most of the more immediate trends influencing business and marketing strategy stem from the pandemic. Lockdowns, supply chain issues- they are all ongoing. Most businesses handle them exceptionally well and are finding their feet again after 2020. However, the 'Covid explanation' is wearing thin on customers. It's increasingly clear that these challenges need to be incorporated into business and marketing strategy more fully to improve the customer experience and protect short and long-term business outcomes.

Supply chain delays

Many customers will have seen messages when ordering online that seek to caveat against delays and absolve businesses of responsibility for overdue orders. Most of the time, anecdotal evidence suggests that orders continue to be delivered on time, but the messaging around it is clumsy. While supply chain issues are likely to continue for a while, how we communicate them to customers needs to take the customer perspective into greater consideration if it's going to maintain customer loyalty or help the business grow.

Lockdowns

With any luck, lockdowns will become less likely with the uptake in vaccination, but as we type, the UK is still very much in two minds about whether another lockdown will take place over or after Christmas. It has been widely reported that Covid aside, pandemics are likely to be more prevalent in our world from now on, which means lockdowns might be as well. With that in mind, in so much as it's possible, businesses need to consider how to handle them as a matter of course instead of an 'unprecedented' event.

Skills shortages

A lack of drivers, a lack of waiting staff, a lack of experience coming into industries ranging from hospitality to logistics- what businesses have had an extremely rough ride as skills shortages follow lockdowns.

This also leads to a reputation impact for companies as new team members who joined businesses in peak seasons are training on the job and often don't meet expected standards. Those who have handled it most successfully have seen senior management take a much more hands-on approach to the business's day-to-day running and customer service.

While the size of a company will dictate to extent that's possible, the skills shortage is another thing that customers are swiftly tiring of hearing about. They might understand, but they're not that interested in the most part. So how are you going to take control and organise your business strategy to account for it?

Access to finance

All businesses need working capital to function, and many more will need additional funds to refurbish, reshape or redirect businesses in the wake of the pandemic. Perhaps you need to alter your approach to working, implement more permanent Covid secure measures in the office or purchase new machinery. As emergency government grants draw to a close and banks remain cautious about lending to SMEs, it's the smaller lenders that are reemerging in the marketplace. Accessed in line with clear business objectives and marketing plans, access to finance could prove essential to business growth and success.

2022 will bring unique challenges and opportunities for businesses of any shape and size. Although our lives and livelihoods continue to be disrupted, humanity’s ability to overcome and adapt remains as strong as ever.

gigCMO provides a unique and cost-effective solution to bring commercially driven, battle-tested marketing leaders to help any business survive and prosper in these disruptive times.

Our team offers expertise to support CEOs, senior leadership teams and venture capitalists in their growth objectives. If you would like to speak to us about our services, contact us any time.

 

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