Five Things to Consider in Your 2022 Marketing Plans
As Q4 creeps closer to a new calendar year, we are preparing for new changes in ever-evolving marketing trends and COVID-centric consumer shopping habits. Marketers need to know how to best align strategies to these changes to make your new year marketing footprint one that’s foolproof and action-packed. From retail customers to B2B clients, online shoppers, and service-based buyers, every solid marketing plan is tailored to treat its target audience with a unique customer experience. Consider these five suggestions for your 2022 marketing plan as intended to best serve your audience.
1. Reevaluate the Needs of Your Target Audience
Marketing may seem rather effortless when we think we already know all there is to know about our target audience. However, let’s not forget how they are humans who are much like ourselves. Just as we tend to change with time, age, and various life circumstances, our target audience will continue to grow and evolve regularly, too.
Because of this constant, often emotional evolution, we must actively work to refresh our knowledge base as we redefine our audience’s interests, hobbies, goals, and preferences to best serve their new needs. We realign our marketing efforts with their latest changes to remain relevant to their renewed needs and wants. This is how we ensure products and services stay needed and wanted for businesses to continue profiting in congruence with the growth and expansion of our target audience.
The world is changing rapidly as more people make the bold choice to move away from a traditional office space and structure and to also work from home. Entrepreneurship is booming as hard workers seek new ways to flourish for themselves. Demand is climbing higher as desires increase and magnify, along with new leveled-up goals and more preferred lifestyles.
For example, if your client was living a traditional nine-to-five structured lifestyle with children in school prior to COVID, things have inevitably flipped all kinds of ways from work-life to balancing kids’ virtual school and managing household tasks like grocery shopping and keeping the house clean. We’ve experienced new shortages on essential items like the lack of toilet paper, paper towels, and bottled water. We’ve learned how to entertain ourselves at home much better than we ever could or had to before entering this new COVID era. All of these small yet meaningful notes of day-to-day lifestyle nuances snowball into significant change all around. From the way, we now order takeout through a choice of automatic delivery apps to virtual grocery shopping via click-list on our laptop, tablet, or smartphone. There is not much that has not changed when you look back at pre-COVID versus now.
As these things continue to grow and change into 2022, our marketing efforts and strategies must accurately reflect the societal shift we are all experiencing together in real-time. In order to stay connected and remain afloat, it’s pertinent to realize how people prefer to purchase from brands that truly know them, their personality quirks, and their unique needs as they continue to grow and change with time, age, and various life circumstances.
2. Consulting Customer Experience
Consulting customer experience when it comes to marketing strategy efforts is a guaranteed, regular recommendation. However, it’s become an undeniably integral component of marketing plans in 2022. As we recently crossed the 19-month mark of an all-new COVID era, we’ve grown newly accustomed to pandemic-induced norms and unpredictable shifts in habitual tendencies.
From the fresh concept of curbside pickup spreading from grocery to takeout, and pet store purchases, to widespread delivery apps for everything under the sun and rapid arrivals driving last-minute online shopper agendas, we are starting to see which new trends are here to stay. As people slowly start returning to pre-COVID shopping options, many are now sold on this evolved way of e-shopping. What’s easy, convenient, and cost-effective wins the day. This is not new and has always been how we nudge forward in all things momentous. When it comes to marketing, we must continue to adapt, rising to each occasion above standard-setting expectations to stay lightyears ahead of any potential competition.
Customer experience has been revolutionized in the wake of COVID with heightened attention for all things sanitary and hygiene-centric, specific to health-conscious precautions. Hand sanitizer, wipes, and masks will never be looked at the same again, having seen the integral role they continue to play in this global pandemic that is still panning out in new and unfamiliar ways. It seems that the light at the end of the tunnel may be trying to start to shine. However, we are not quite out of the woods just yet, and it’s still a bit dark and unclear just ahead.
As we all continue to do our best to wade through these new waters of life together, it’s important to note the significant role we as marketers play in helping our clients and customers alike rest assured with safety protocols in place for their direct benefit, comfort, and continued good health. What’s most important here is how we choose to actively pursue the best ways to display our care for clients and customers. This is an opportune time to shine light upon healthy practices as we market our products and services in the new year.
3. Funnel of Thought
The deeper into the funnel we take our marketing strategy plans for 2022, the more fruitful the results. At the top of the funnel, buyers are busy gathering pre-purchase information. Not yet ready to buy, they are researching and reading about the possibility. When they move along to the middle of the funnel, the buyer starts to interact with brands online, as well as in stores. This involves talking to people who have purchased from the brand to learn about previous customer experiences.
The bottom of the funnel is where buyers are ready to purchase or begin a service. For your 2022 marketing plan to work, the messaging needs to be specific to each stage of the funnel. For example, at the top of the funnel, we need to provide customers with their preferred options for resources. This helps the buyer better understand and identify with confidence that this is the right decision for them. In order to do so, we must be prepared to educate them on what they can expect and anticipate. The middle of the funnel may involve access to documented testimonials with target messaging specific to the buyer’s demographics, industry, or browsing history. Finally, the bottom of the funnel includes hot, time-sensitive offers like a promising promotion, temporary flash sale alert, or notifications reminding them to return to their cart for the final checkout of their previously chosen items.
Some things we need to make a note of now that we may not have had to ever before in a business sense include mindful, precautionary measures, such as social distancing and sensitivity to pandemic-related propaganda. Many of our clients and customers have dealt with tragic losses resulting from COVID, be it beloved family, childhood friends, lifelong careers, homes, and dreams. It’s been a time of great loss, but with it comes a time of great hope. We can contribute to the revitalized spirit with our funnel-specific messaging. Mindfulness and sensitivity are prominent here as what we say may be taken to heart more than it would have before. People are having a hard time adjusting to the new sense of what’s normal now, and we can do our best to help them as we continue to cater our message to their new needs and wants.
4. Clarify Your Message
Clarifying your message can make or break the intended outcome of your 2022 marketing plan. Statistics don’t lie; people are not willing to spend much time waiting on a website to load regardless of what they’re looking for. What’s more, if they don’t see exactly what they seek in that blip of an allotted, three-second time frame, they will leave your site for another that serves them faster and clearer, hence the significance of clarity in your messaging. It must be upfront, centric, and clearly displayed so buyers can see exactly what you offer without question or room for doubt. It should not be difficult to figure out the intended purpose of your landing page. The more you actively work on clarifying your message, the better the target audience will identify with buying what you are selling.
For example, whether your end-goal is to sell the shiny, electric vehicle to a new, high-profile client, or it is to seal the deal on a major service-based contract with a national corporation, the client must be the center of your message and serve as the hero to their own story, not your brand. As you learn more about their problem and how your solution can serve as a tool to help them solve it, you present that information to them strategically. Watch as they can put the pieces of the puzzle together on their own with your professional, well-intended guidance, ultimately deciding for themselves that this purchase is in their best interest, solving their own problems.
5. Be Real
When building out your 2022 marketing plan, it’s best to remember people can read between the lines of a calculated sales pitch as well as they can sense honest, well-meaning genuineness. Be a real brand that showcases who you are candidly. People appreciate authenticity and transparency, and it speaks volumes when identified in messaging.
At the same time, people disconnect when it comes to industry-specific corporate language and have difficulty comprehending it. Think about how you feel at the doctor’s office when the physician starts to speak in medical jargon that you might not be as privy to in the professional, textbook sense. It sounds like a bunch of mumbo jumbos, doesn’t it?
You don’t want your target audience to read your messaging as mumbo jumbo, yet they will do just that if it is not crafted in a natural, well-meaning, authentic method of communication articulated to match how they prefer to receive new information without feeling like they lack the knowledge necessary to understand truly. The more real you can be with your messaging, the better you will serve your target audience.
Wondering what’s next and where to begin? Let’s continue this conversation. You are invited to learn more about how to best align your 2022 marketing plan with messaging that meets your customers right where they are. Get started with a free consultation with our team, here.