Talk’s Founder, Cooper Jitts, tackles the important issues of what is the current state of play in the marketing landscape and where are the trends taking us in 2022

 

Well, it’s safe to say that the year definitely didn’t start how we thought it would! 

Omicron poked its head out from under the blankets just in time for Christmas, and now we see ourselves in February and feeling like the world is only just waking up and emerging from it’s Christmas slumber! 

We’ve been keeping a close eye on digital trends week on week to identify any differences in search patterns for 2022 v 2021 and 2020 to make sure we can not only keep our finger on the pulse of what’s coming up, but to look back and reflect on where patterns and trends have come from. 

To date we have seen activity fairly in line with late 2021. However late 2021 was a boom time compared to the rest of 2021 when much of Australia was under some kind of lockdown. 

‘Shadow lockdowns’ are 100%, without a doubt, very real right now. We have many communities isolating and acting as though they are in some kind of finally mandated government lockdown, even though they are not. 

This has been the case through January and the second half of February. The silver lining has been household savings, which are at an all time high, have been able to bolster some (not all) of the shock to local and national economies. It’s very early days, but we’re thankful to be able to report that we are starting to see a shift away from this. 

In terms of the different industry categories, search trends and volumes for movement based categories (dining, travel, out of home gyms) are trending upwards and we are seeing a significant increase in campaign planning for most clients and industries through March, April and May. 

In terms of forward planning for your business, there are a few recommendations that we have for you to take a look at; 

 

Plan for a ‘new normal’

We’re big believers in face to face interaction. There’s no ignoring the reality that the human race has always needed it, and while VA and AI might mean a fully virtual future for society, our bet is that it’s a pretty long way off. 

But that doesn’t mean some of the pandemic induced societal changes won’t stick around longer term. One great example of this is the hybrid work model. An overwhelming amount of office based workers report a new normal around Monday and Friday being flexible days where many often choose to work from home, while Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are interaction days where many are in offices together. 

Be sure to plan for permanent changes to the way society operates in your marketing planning. Day of week, time of day, consumer location, tastes and trends have all adjusted through the pandemic and may well remain as 2022 starts to show some semblance of ‘new’ normalization. 

 

Revitalize your channel mix

2021 sparked an unprecedented change in the way hardware (iOS, Apple) and software (Facebook et al) interact with each other. Apple exerted a massive power place over Meta (formerly Facebook) by allowing users to opt out of some tracking metrics platforms often utilize and in the process knocked about $10B from their annual revenues. 

This means that while paid ads have been a tasty way to deliver your CEO results virtually on the spot, their effectiveness is decreasing and their costs are going up. 

2022 is THE year to consider your digital marketing mix and build that content strategy once and for all. Anything to wean a business off the addiction that is advertising is a good thing. 

 

Consider digitisation of service delivery 

Businesses are looking to digitize faster than ever before and we are seeing this (largely thanks to COVID) being a permanent, accelerating fixture to business operations. 

Most components of not just marketing but also service delivery, fulfillment and operations can now be digitalised. 

2022 is a great time to consider how a traditionally digital function such as digital marketing manager can reach further into an organization to deliver value in not just demand generation but also in operational efficiencies through end to end digitalisation. These types of projects can be as simple as some shared, off the shelf CRM software and can get as detailed as a complete, end to end ERP system. There’s solutions to match every sized organization and the improvements you can drive through these types of projects, particularly given customer demand for it, are quite significant. 

While 2022 wasn’t the start everyone had hoped for, each day is bringing more good news around vaccine effectiveness and the gradual move of Omicron from a pandemic to an endemic. This is very much mirrored in the positive pick up and sentiment in most industries – both digitally and physically at the P&L level 

So get the marketing planning docs out and get strategising – there’s a great year ahead.