Happy new year! Do your resolutions for 2022 include strengthening your marketing programs or deepening customer relationships? If so, you’re in luck. In this post, we review last year’s trends and predict the top digital and print marketing trends for 2022.
The Top 7 Marketing Trends for 2022
#1 A Stronger and Varied Customer Journey
The drive toward greater customer-centricity is a trend that never goes out of style. Understanding and adapting to the shift in customer preferences has always been critical in obtaining and retaining customers. However, the pandemic has upped the ante — it’s no longer enough to tweak campaigns and messaging.
Instead, businesses need to pivot and change the framework for customer interactions. Nowhere is this clearer than in the restaurant and retail industries, where customers demand different experiences such as curbside pickup and touchless ordering using QR codes. While the transformation is most pronounced in these industries, the shockwaves of change are felt in nearly every business.
The question becomes, how can you create a more robust customer journey for your business? Top tactics include targeted multi-channel campaigns and personalized printed materials. QR codes can also streamline the entering process for contest and customer programs, making it even easier to engage customers with contests and loyalty programs.
#2 A Feature-Rich Website
People have been busy creating or improving their business websites while at home, waiting for the pandemic to blow over. Many entrepreneurs opted to start an e-commerce business while others designed web experiences for services such as yoga, therapy, and doctor’s appointments.
But no matter why you need a website, one universal truth is that a differentiated experience is essential to set yourself apart from the competition. And, if you have an e-commerce store, it’s vital to deliver a positive experience that spans from your storefront to the customer’s door front and beyond.
As you evaluate your website in 2022, make sure that it has the features and interface to deliver a smooth shopping experience. If you can’t get orders out promptly, consider hiring a fulfillment company.
#3 New Tactics to Support a Remote or Hybrid Workforce
Few could have predicted that when workers started to work from home, many would not return to the office full-time. But, here we are, years later, and where are the employees? In many cases, it’s not the office.
According to a Gallup poll, 7 in 10 office workers worked remotely in 2021— and many continue to do so. By all accounts, remote and hybrid work here to stay, especially since 39% of employees say they’ll quit if they need to go back to the office full-time. But along with work-from-home freedom comes a greater level of detachment, as evidenced by a flood of mid-career workers leaving companies as part of the “great resignation.”
Engaging offsite employees can be challenging, especially when so many of our go-to strategies for strengthening working relationships are built around in-person meetings, activities and celebrations. When employees are spread across the city, you can’t exactly gather around a box of bakery-fresh donuts to celebrate. And recognizing top performers during a Microsoft Teams meeting doesn’t quite have the oomph as an in-person acknowledgment.
We anticipate that companies will focus on improving collaboration, connection, and recognition practices in the upcoming year. One opportunity is to use fun, periodic mailings to improve engagement. Another option is to develop a recognition program, perhaps tied to an employee store.
#4 Print as a Core Part of the Marketing Strategy
The last few years have been unreal. Many of our interactions are taking place on screens instead of in person. Our work meetings are often virtual. Even happy hours and family gatherings have been relegated to Zoom. So is it a wonder that people have become fatigued toward digital ads and other online tactics? Is it any surprise that people just want something real?
According to direct mail statistics, 70% of people believe that mailings are more personal than digital ads. Plus, people like getting mail. As a result, 80-90% of mail gets opened — compare this to the 20-30% open rate for emails. But that’s not to say that digital tactics shouldn’t be part of your campaigns. The truth is that combining print and digital strategies creates a richer and more memorable experience and is usually the ideal approach for optimal brand recall and ROI.
In 2021, we saw many companies using commercial print to boost their brands and their digital efforts. Top uses included sending print brochures as a follow-up to virtual calls, materials for remote employees and mailers to customers highlighting new ways to shop or pick up their food.
While we hope that business — and life — will continue to veer closer to pre-pandemic normal, all signs point to print being a crucial part of a healthy marketing strategy in 2022.
#5 Digital Transformation
Last year, many small to medium businesses began evaluating how to leverage the internet of things (IoT). A top use was simplifying routine processes and activities with virtual assistants such as Google Assistant or Amazon’s Alexa. Other SMB used IoT technologies to monitor devices and assets for security concerns.
In 2022, we predict that marketers and entrepreneurs will continue to look for ways to incorporate automation and streamline activities. For example, we’re noticing increased interest in API and EDI integrations to boost employee productivity, improve the customer experience, and reduce costs.
#6 Virtual and Hybrid Events
Last year many events and conventions were relegated to virtual platforms. While attendees undoubtedly appreciated that the event happened, most were underwhelmed by the experience. According to one study, 80% of virtual attendees missed the experience of participating in in-person events. However, the same survey noted that 75% of marketers anticipate that virtual events will continue a year from now.
We expect that event planners will look for ways to further enrich or personalize events in the upcoming year. Some strategies may include sending a customized welcome kit in the mail with training materials. Maybe they’ll also send along something to help participants experience the sights, sounds, tastes, and smells of a themed location. After all, even if people can’t travel to Hawaii for a business meeting, they can eat chocolate macadamia nuts and wear a Hawaiian shirt during a virtual conference.
#7 Capitalizing on Change to Delivery Better Customer Experience
When the pandemic forced companies to pause services and functions, many companies took the opportunity to reimagine how to best support customer needs. At the same time, other companies doubled down on core competencies and improved services and support. For example, Point B Solutions used the pandemic as an opportunity to expand the ways that we can serve our customers, investing in:
- Laser die-cutting for packaging and printing
- Equipment for large format printing and cutting
- Additional digital and offset presses
- More coating options for printing
- Expanded mailing services
Looking forward to 2022, Point B is evaluating even more ways to offer support and services that deliver the maximum customer benefit.
We Can Help Make Sure Your Business Trends in 2022
Point B offers a myriad of services to help you strengthen the customer experience in 2022. Whether you need a print partner, order fulfillment, website development, or promotion ideas, we can help.