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Top Five Marketing Predictions to Track in 2022

January 2, 2022by Hiebing

The new year brings hopeful reflections for what the next 365 days will hold – and what challenges may arise. In an ever-changing arena like marketing, finding a foothold can be tricky. Our Hiebing experts are here to help. Here, we spotlight five marketing trends that are worthy of consideration to maximize your impact in 2022.

  1. The Year of TikTok
    The reign and rule of video is nothing new, but TikTok’s rise to the top in recent years has added yet another layer to how video content is created and consumed. In 2022, more users and brands will succumb to the platform’s advances – ensuring it remains the coolest app on the social menu.
    We predict:
    • Brands will fully embrace TikTok in 2022, capitalizing on the platform’s marketing potential. With limited time and money, few companies want to invest in spaces where their target may be a no-show. But at this point, much of the world – and a vast array of audiences – is present on TikTok, and soon all the brands will be, too.
    • Companies will divert resources from other tactics and platforms to support TikTok, both through creator collaborations and original content. All content will be designed to be “quick gets” that inform and entertain within seconds, which aligns perfectly with users’ fleeting and fractured attention spans.
    • Other platforms will fight to keep users on their channels – either creating a new offering that’s comparable to TikTok or prioritizing existing offerings that provide a similar experience (e.g., Instagram prioritizing Reels).
  1. Continued Brand Activism
    These days, brands no longer have the option of sitting on the sidelines when it comes to social justice issues and cause marketing. Be it slow but sure or swiftly, brands will seek to meet customer expectations and become difference-makers who talk and walk and use their work to change the world.
    We predict:
    • The definition of inclusiveness will continue to take on new depth and dimension – and brands that lean in will find that a little will go a long way and add up over time. In 2021, we saw “plus size” just become “size” and “toys for girls or boys” become just “toys.” New norms are being set and redefining language, products and more. As a result, we’ll see more brands make shifts and champion causes that align with their mission to build deeper connections with audiences.
    • Preferences have overtaken truth and facts as priorities in our culture over the past few years. In 2022, consumers will continue to gravitate toward what fits their predilections. To build or maintain trust, brands will not only need to have a strong brand positioning, but they’ll also have to be diligent and consistent in their messaging internally and externally across all channels.
  1. The Talent Imperative
    Amid the pandemic-induced wake of The Great Resignation, companies are scrambling to find motivated and capable talent. Corporate culture has been left to reevaluate the value they offer their employees – from higher wages to remote and hybrid work opportunities, many are shifting messaging and modes of operating to attract talent. Many marketing teams and agency partners will be tasked with helping with recruitment and keeping customers satisfied and informed amid staffing shortages, supply chain issues and more.
    We predict:
    • Companies will work to reset customer expectations to match the current realities of the pandemic era (a far cry from the instant gratification of the Before Times).
    • To minimize customer dissatisfaction, businesses will revisit and retool operations and customer communications. This might mean overhauling marketing materials, website content and more – as well as operations, e.g., how car dealers not only communicate with customers about longer lead times but adjust the car-shopping experience as well.
    • Companies will embrace the upside of the remote work talent pool, with some industries enjoying access to more and better candidates that align with the work and their values. Also, as teams are stretched thin, many will rely on this pool for contract and part- and full-time contributions to grow bench strength (and this will be especially true for marketing departments and agencies).
  1. Creative Independence to the Creators
    Last year, the value of influencer partners increased yet again for brands, especially in reaching the ever-elusive younger demographics. Because of the success of these partnerships – and the creativity and authenticity of the content influencers are creating – it’s likely companies will give their collaborators even more autonomy with the hopes of forging even bigger and greater connections with their target.
    We predict:
    • Influencer partnerships will continue to be less focused on follower counts and more focused on the quality of content, audience topic interest, platform choice, level of engagement and authentic brand alignment.
    • Brands will loosen the reigns, providing only minimal guidelines to maximize freedom for influencers to design and develop something that’s most likely to resonate uniquely with the audiences that know and love them (e.g., TikTok creator Emily Zugay’s unprecedented success “redesigning” logos and packaging for major brands).
  1. New Tech Changing the Marketing Game
    Technology is constantly evolving, so brands must be on the lookout for new channels and algorithms that affect how they’re able to reach and interact with their audiences.
    We predict:
    • Niche marketing channels will continue to pop up and prosper, particularly those that cater to specific interests, e.g., the Discord app for gamers. These channels may merit investment and evaluation of how they fit into a brands plan to reach new and untapped audiences this year.
    • SEO and site ranking algorithms will continue to shake up user experiences with new features like Google’s Page Experience. Page Experience, which comprises the user’s impression, or “Core Web Vitals,” of a website’s speed, interactivity and visual stability, will push brands to renew their commitment to best SEO practices – and to develop high-quality, accessible, mobile-friendly and secure website experiences for users.

Curious to learn how to activate one of the marketing trends identified in this article to move your brand forward? Email Dana at darnold@hiebing.com to set up a call.

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