We are now two years into a world where COVID continues to reshape our working environments. With the recent spread of the Omicron variant, those continual changes and reliance on digital selling aren’t going anywhere.
What does that mean for marketers in 2022?
Buyers will continue to control the sales process more than ever. Increased digitization has led to buyers completing significant product and vendor research long before ever coming in contact with a salesperson. While the sales team is still critical in getting a buyer over the finish line, it is up to marketing teams to create compelling on-demand customer experiences across the entire funnel, including opportunities for self-guided experiences. We need to meet customers where they are to secure their interest earlier in the process.
A meaningful way to help solidify a better digital experience earlier in the sales process is to ensure tighter marketing and product team alignments. CMOs understandably tend to focus on driving sales-led growth and the relationship with sales, but stronger alignment with the product side of the organization is now vital to create opportunities for product-led growth.
On a broader level, the year ahead is likely to be even more challenging than the one behind us. Whether greater CFO and board scrutiny on marketing investment and ROI, higher rates for digital media buying, difficulties recruiting and keeping the right talent or engaging the ever more digitally savvy buyers, new and higher expectations are now set that will remain as the new baseline moving forward. In that environment, marketing leaders will need to uplevel their leadership skills to keep themselves and their teams motivated and at their most effective, without burnout.
Marketing is influenced by a great variety of positions in any organization, so I reached out to several other leaders in the space to gather their predictions on what lies ahead for marketing teams in 2022.
1. Ditch the Boring Ad Copy and Stock Photos
“If B2B marketers want to prepare for the future, including the possibility of metaverse, they have to adapt their strategies. Relevance, creativity and consumer experience throughout the advertising journey will be critical. In the hybrid world of AR and VR, boring ad copy and stock photos won’t cut it.” – Nirosha Methananda, VP of marketing, Influ2
2. Marketing Without Third-Party Cookies
“Personalization and data will continue to play a vital role in the success of marketing and advertising campaigns next year. Brands need to think outside the box and use a more targeted medium designed to provide unique, personalized experiences for shoppers. While we rely on DSPs to target audiences, audio out-of-home (AOOH) technology enables marketers to offset the loss of cookies with venue targeting and product on-shelf targeting. It’s the perfect time for AOOH to increase its presence in the programmatic space and for buyers to take advantage of the environment we’re in.” – John McAdams, VP of sales, Vibenomics
3. Using Customer Data Platforms (CDP) to Organize Data
“Before Google’s announcement of removing third-party cookies, many organizations relied on vendor data or outsourcing a big portion of their marketing efforts to agencies. With Google now abolishing cookies, brands are forced to look from within and utilize the data they’ve collected themselves. In 2022, more brands will be adopting Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) to organize their data, streamline marketing and ad campaigns and ensure personalized messaging is delivered to the right customers at the right time. “ – Diaz Nesamoney, founder and CEO, Jivox
4. Conversion Tracking and Analysis for Calls
“In 2021, the industry realized that call tracking is more about understanding–– not just viewing––the performance of an advertisement when it comes to utilization. In 2022, we will see a deeper focus on conversion tracking and the analysis of outcomes we can derive from those ads. As a result, brands will better understand the connection between a phone call and the information discussed on that call, thus allowing them to convey the likelihood of conversion automatically.” – Todd Fisher, CEO and co-founder, CallTrackingMetrics
5. Invest in SEO
“While we may think of the internet as ubiquitous and seemingly everyone is online, in 2021 the reality is only about 60% of the world is connected to the Web (source.) Google, the world’s largest search engine, continues to send more and more traffic to 3rd party websites as this number grows, and users like us continue to increase the number of searches they perform each day. A huge amount of growth potential in SEO as a global marketing strategy remains untapped, while ROI remains strong. For this reason, expect investment in SEO marketing channels to continue to reach record heights in 2022 and beyond.” – Cyrus Shepard, SEO strategist, Moz