It’s that time of the year again. Time to look ahead to the future. What does the future hold for small business marketing? How will marketing strategies change?
Meclabs Institute has reviewed hundreds of reports, discussions, and surveys of what marketers are thinking. Here are some of our top predictions for what marketing trends will shape 2022 for small business marketing.
The first trend will be how all digital channels (email, social media, video, SEO) become one integrated marketing strategy. Because everything is connected to everything else online today, it’s no longer good enough to do one thing well. For instance, you might have an amazing email marketing program, but you’re not doing email marketing if your Facebook ads aren’t getting you results.
With less than 2 years before the next round of digital marketing budgets is divided up, it’s time to decide where to spend your precious dollars and ensure that you’re not just paying for another round of spreadsheets. For example, chances are, if you’re doing Twitter Ads, you should also be doing YouTube videos.
The rise of the direct-to-consumer, personal manufacturing brand.
Small businesses are starting to realize that consumers favour products that are made in America. The best way to create the perception that a product is made in the USA is to manufacture it in the U.S.According to recent research by Nielsen, forty-nine per cent of consumers are willing to pay more for their preferred brands when they are manufactured in America. In contrast, only 16% of consumers will pay more for a brand which they believe is made in the USA but in their opinion is not.
Consumers’ influence will become key.
More than ever before, consumers will have more power to influence what products come to market. If you want your business to thrive in 2022, consumers must be at the centre of your marketing strategy. So how do you build a strategy around consumers?
Consider this: there are 2.6 billion consumers in the world, and this number is growing steadily. Global spending power will increase by over $5trillion (yes, trillion!) by 2022. This kind of money is impossible to ignore, and businesses need to think about how to position themselves in the mind of their customers.
Marketing will become more conversational.
With the rise of conversational platforms like chatbots, voice platforms, and augmented reality, it’s no surprise that marketing will become more conversational. Even today, the average consumer spends more than 5 hours each week on various messaging platforms. Calling upon consumers through messages optimizes the efficiency of marketing tools because messages are likely to be read, viewed, or heard by recipients at their convenience. Businesses that can successfully leverage this technology will create an excellent customer experience and high satisfaction rates.
CMOS are getting more powerful.
We’ve seen a huge shift in marketing power in recent years. With the rise of social networks, increasing control over marketing budgets by the CMO, the rise of growth hacking, and larger companies being acquired by smaller ones, marketers are becoming more and more powerful. And this trend isn’t going away any time soon.
Social media will become more personal.
Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and other social media platforms will succeed by making their user experience more personal. Businesses can capitalize on this by driving relevant conversations with their audience via the channel that they find most relevant. For example, brands will soon begin to utilize Snapchat geo-filters to engage people at relevant events or places; it could be as simple as having fans take a photo at your display table at an industry trade show. This provides for a more authentic experience with your audience, which ultimately builds brand loyalty.
Artificial intelligence (A.I.) and augmented reality (A.R.) will play a huge role in small business marketing in the next few years. It’s important to know what these technologies can do for your business and how they work. The rise of A.I. will continue in the coming years, and more companies and brands will adopt it. A.I. is used for handling repetitive tasks such as data entry and customer service calls. One major advantage of using A.I. over humans is that A.I. doesn’t get tired, won’t take sick days, and, unlike humans, A.I. doesn’t need benefits or hourly pay. Another benefit is that A.I. learns and improves over time, and it’s up to date with the latest trends in marketing and business. Its ability to learn and analyze data also makes A.I. an excellent diagnostician, which will help marketers find out what customers want. That translates to better-targeted ads and a better understanding of client needs at a particular moment. The main drawback of A.I. technology is its cost.
Conversion rate optimization will become more important
That’s right – we don’t think conversion rate optimization (CRO) is going away. We predict that CRO will become more important as businesses continue to be inundated with data and metrics about which marketing channels and tactics work best. This article from Search Engine Journal dives into why it’s important.
Main Takeaway: Conversion rate optimization will become more important as businesses continue to be inundated with data and metrics about which marketing channels and tactics work best. This article from Moz dives into why it’s important. Meclabs Institute has a dedicated page on CRO resources (conversion rate optimization marketing courses and help).
Chatbots take over: Chatbots that can support e-commerce transactions will allow businesses to take over the entire conversation with the customer – reducing friction and helping them close more deals. Chatbots for marketing purposes will begin to replace email campaigns in the best-case scenarios. Businesses will need to create an experience that motivates customers to engage with their brand. Chatbots will offer businesses the opportunity to do that by understanding the customer in real-time. It will be critical for merchants to build out their chatbot strategies to engage in
Democratization of data
The democratization of data is the next important trend in small business marketing. Big brands have been using internal data to inform their decisions for some time now. Brands will use data from various sources, including smart devices, websites, and social media channels, to better understand their customers.
Online retail will continue to grow, as will the continued evolution of the internet of things (IoT). Businesses that leverage data from these sources will provide a better experience for their shoppers and increase revenues. One aspect of the IoT that hasn’t been discussed much is how it can help small businesses market themselves on a shoestring budget.
When coupled with intelligent marketing automation tools, smart devices can help businesses develop new products and services, better understand their existing customers, and improve operational efficiencies.
Real-time conversations with customers. For example, if a customer purchases a plane ticket, they may want to compare different flights, routes and prices. A chatbot could understand this and compare the prices in real-time while engaging the customer in a conversation. In this scenario, a chatbot would learn from its mistakes and provide information that is valuable to the customer, ultimately resulting in a more valuable purchase for all involved.