- Personalization allows marketers to deliver key messages and images crafted for specific markets.
- Artificial intelligence systems continue to get more advanced, which means they will play a bigger role in marketing.
- Delivering a world-class customer experience will always be a high priority.
New year, new marketing plan. It’s time to look back at the previous year to see what worked, but it’s also a good time to look at some of the top trends in marketing. After all, it’s important to stay at least one step ahead of your competition; understanding what’s happening in the industry can give you some new ideas and fresh approaches that can attract new customers and wow existing ones.
To give you a little inspiration, we’ve identified seven of the top marketing trends for 2022.
The Top 7 Marketing Trends for 2022
Okay, so personalization is not a new marketing trend. Especially when, according to a Salesforce 2021 State of the Connected Customer report, 66% of customers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations, yet say they’re generally treated like numbers.
However, it’s foolish to overlook the extent to which personalization has evolved in 2022. Where once it simply meant dynamically inserting someone’s name into an email campaign or sending a coupon on a customer’s birthday, personalization has taken on a significantly larger role in marketing.
More than ever before, marketers have more customer and audience data at their disposal, as well as sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI) systems to help them identify patterns, segment audiences, and deliver personalized content automatically (more on AI-driven automation below). Even with privacy concerns taken into account, customers are often willing to share more information with brands they trust when that results in a more personalized experience.
Today, the personalization marketing trend allows marketers to deliver key messages and images crafted for specific market segmentations. If 52% of customers expect offers to always be personalized, then personalization in 2022 means giving customers what they want, when they want it, and how they want it.
91 percent of those polled said they’re more likely to make a repeat purchase after a positive experience. Want ideas on how to create a positive, personalized experience that can be scaled? Try sending them a gift to break through the digital noise.
2. Account-based Marketing (ABM)
For several years now, inbound marketing has dominated marketing strategy discussions. But what’s old is new in marketing, and recently account-based marketing has seen a resurgence given an increased level of personalization that’s possible today.
“I think the future of ABM and gifting are just going to be huge for B2B marketing … [and] sending platforms are a great way to do that,” says board advisor Carol Meyers, who has spent 20 years as a CMO, but has also spent time prior to that as a VP of sales.
Account-based marketing is a growth strategy that targets current customers. If you’ve ever heard that it’s easier to sell to existing customers than acquire new ones, then you essentially understand ABM. Think of it as finding ways to deliver highly personalized experiences for existing customers with the intent of nurturing your relationship with them.
Don’t get us wrong, inbound is an excellent tool for getting prospects into and through your sales funnel. Both inbound and ABM leverage targeting techniques to maximize sales; the main difference is that inbound marketing tends to focus on getting more prospects in at the top of the funnel, whereas ABM focuses on extracting more value out of a much smaller segment.
Wondering where to start with this current marketing trend? There are several ABM strategies to choose from. Learn about one where Sendoso helped a client influence $5.5 million in pipeline revenue from a campaign that cost a little over $4,000, and achieved an 84% response rate.
3. AI-driven Marketing Automation
Another marketing trend this year that’s been around but continues to be refined each year is the role artificial intelligence (AI) plays in marketing. Artificial intelligence systems are getting more advanced every year, which means their role in marketing is getting larger.
In the coming year, we expect more and more businesses to embrace AI to automate a wide variety of applications. For example, AI-driven natural language processing can quickly identify customer sentiment. Combined with a campaign creation AI, it’s now possible to identify potential customer desires and serve up content recommendations to reflect that. AI can also help uncover new audience segments that are similar to ones a company already sells to, making it easier to grow a customer base than ever before.
CEO of Sendoso Kris Rudeegraap shared in TechRound: “Business relationships will find ways to automate highly-personalized interactions. Companies will invest in AI and deep analytics to provide recommendations on how to best foster these connections — whether it’s through eGifts, physical gifts or digital experiences.”
4. Conversational Marketing
Another big trend we’re seeing picking up steam is conversational marketing. As the name suggests, this is marketing that seeks to engage customers on a one-to-one conversation. This often takes the form of AI-driven chatbots that use machine learning to identify a set of standard questions and responses, while also helping customers choose the right products and a personalized experience.
What’s more, when connected to a customer database, the AI can more easily use previous orders and other customer profile information to deliver a far more personalized conversation. (Side note: Noticing a trend yet?)
5. Direct Mail
Despite the explosion of digital channels, direct mail, specifically corporate gift giving, is expected to reach an all-time high. Not only is it being used to sway potential customers who are on the fence, but it’s also being used more frequently to incentivize and reward employees who are now more geographically disbursed than ever before thanks to the growth in remote work.
But corporate gift giving doesn’t just mean a branded mug, shirt, or other swag. Like other marketing trends, corporate gift giving is becoming more and more personalized. Incorporating both physical and digital gifts, companies can now use a profile (customer, employee, etc.) to deliver a gift the recipient actually wants — a coffee at Starbucks, a gift card to a favorite restaurant, or a pass to a virtual experience such as online yoga, wine tastings, and more.
“I fundamentally believe in direct mail as a marketing tool … [and] sending platforms are probably one of the most critical technologies in my tech stack,” says Andrea Kayal, CMO at Electric.
6. Experiential Marketing
Experiential marketing is all about creating a brand experience as opposed to a product-based experience. The Apple store is a prime example of this, but this trend in marketing doesn’t have to be just about the in-store experience. While in-person experiences have somewhat taken a back seat because of the pandemic, virtual experiences are increasingly becoming a focal point for marketing initiatives.
Virtual Reality (VR) has become a key technology used in experiential marketing. This can include delivering a 3D-rendered virtual tour of a physical location or live streaming an event. But it can also include Augmented Reality (AR), which layers digital information over a real-world digital image. If you’ve ever used a photo filter, for example, you’ve used augmented reality. Many brands, particularly fashion and furniture brands, are using these tools to allow customers to see products in a realistic, virtual context, such as showing how an outfit might look on a person or how a sofa might look in a living room.
Like other marketing trends, both these types of experiences can be customized for each individual, providing an immersive experience that fits their lifestyle.
That said, it’s likely that experiential events aren’t going away any time soon. As the world slowly bounces back from the pandemic, it’s likely consumers are going to crave more in-person experiences in the near future.
7. World-Class Customer Experience
This timeless marketing trend never goes out of style. Especially in a B2B landscape that is shifting to digital-first — the happy customer is the returning customer.
Is your website and mobile experience UX-friendly? Are your customer support teams following up on questions and frustrations by responding to inquiries quickly? Are they seeing every inquiry through to the end?
They might be, but according to a study by PwC, 54% of US consumers say customer experience at most companies needs improvement. And one in three consumers say they will walk away from a brand they love after just one bad experience. Ouch.
Whether you’re making a knockout first impression, rekindling an old customer relationship, or repairing damage from an honest mistake, sending the wow factor will deliver brand affinity. At Sendoso, we understand the importance of world-class customer experience. Just ask our SuperSenders.
“Sendoso has excellent customer support. We have asked for many features to be added and accommodates to be made for us, and they’ve always done that. The fact that we could talk to a person to get the technology to do what we wanted it to do was really awesome,” says Kayal.
Refresh Your 2022 Marketing Strategy
Marketing trends are just that – trends. They can only inform decisions, and finding a trusted B2B partner in the marketing space requires a company that is in sync with the latest marketing trends. If you’re looking to incorporate more personalized and account-based marketing into your strategy, request a demo to learn more about how partnering with the leading Sending Platform can play a key role in your marketing tech stack.