Almost everyone has had to adapt to a new way of working, and this is especially true for marketers. While the pandemic is not over yet, it’s clear that its legacy will change the way people market, sell, collaborate and communicate forever.
The modern consumer demands a far higher level of personalisation and an improved experience on their preferred platforms. At the same time, the modern employee needs to be part of a well-oiled machine that is no longer 100% office-based.
Digital acceleration means that technology has become an enabler in the rush to find the most efficient and competitive ways to communicate, collaborate, and market. Here are some trends that I believe will shape businesses in 2022:
Keeping remote workforces engaged
McKinsey’s report on The Future of Work After Covid-19 predicts that companies will continue pursuing more flexible workspaces. Driven by positive experiences for employers and employees, as well as the ability to reduce office overheads by up to 30% in some cases, hybrid working is here to stay.
This brings a number of challenges for managing teams. For instance, remote employees have been known to struggle with a lack of communication and collaboration; both of which are important aspects of employee engagement. Processes that were fit for office-based working simply don’t work anymore.
Luckily, communication technology can be an enabler for better collaboration and engagement. Partner this with a robust internal communication plan and you can keep everyone on the pulse of the business. In today’s age, a successful business relies on well-oiled internal-communication-and-collaboration machinery.
Increasing focus on conversion metrics
Privacy and security are more important than ever before. For one, technology giants are adding stricter updates to their email applications, making tracking opens less reliable. Some antivirus software also open and click on links within our emails to protect us from malicious content. This, however, embellishes some email marketing results, making it harder to track true engagement.
Open and click metrics will still play an important role in analysing the effectiveness of your content in 2022, but it is now more important than ever to be able to track what happens after the user has clicked through from your email campaign. Did they make a purchase? Did they submit an enquiry? These are the types of metrics that will carry increased weight in 2022 and beyond.
Higher interest in conversational marketing
Technology has enabled businesses to interact more personally with customers where and when they want. This is called conversational marketing, and automated emails are one way you can execute it.
For instance, you can create valuable email content for customers and send it from the sales agent’s email address, while still having a professional look and feel to it. The recipient benefits because they receive content that is relevant to their needs and they can respond directly to that salesperson. Additionally, it gives the salesperson more time to think strategically about the client environment, empowering them with the ability to provide an even better client experience.
As the cookie crumbles, first-party data is key
Google may have delayed third-party cookie blocking until 2023, but time flies. It is imperative that businesses make gathering first-party data (compliantly with data privacy laws) central to their 2022 strategy, along with the phasing out of any reliance on third-party cookies.
Start making changes soon so you’re prepared when this change takes place. There are various ways to collect data compliantly, but one of the easiest is through sign-up forms. You can run campaigns across various channels, including social media, to gather these sign-ups.
Connect with Gen Z – be authentic and personal
It is vital for brands to understand how to market to this up-and-coming generation born between 1995 and 2010. Brands must know which platforms are used most, their purchasing behaviour, and what drives brand loyalty. Various studies show that this generation values authenticity, transparency, and uniqueness. Understanding how a Gen Z engages with content and wants to be marketed to will help brands stay relevant.
Interestingly, Gen Z has not abandoned email marketing. Rather, email marketing helps this generation with buying decisions. Remember, they value authenticity and they want individualisation… You can support this by gathering relevant data on them, their purchases, and behaviour, and by partnering with a communication platform that enables them to control what content they want and how many emails they receive.
Being customer-centric at scale requires automation
These trends are fantastic, but how do you implement them? Managing a personalised customer journey can be tedious if done manually. This is where automated communications and pre-defined journeys play a key role. Once created, they allow you to keep your customers engaged, providing snippets of value throughout the journey. At the same time, they free up time for your customer-facing teams to focus on strategy and driving business within the customer environment.
The best part? You spend the time upfront creating an automated journey, and subsets of that journey, and then you let your communication platform manage the experience for each contact automatically.
Karyn Strybos is marketing manager at Everlytic.
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