Marketing teams will face a steep road this year stringing tech and changes to online eccentricities while trying to meet the changing habits of pandemic-weary customers. In a religious sense, there is some kind of respite, but the first weeks of 2022 have carried an unwholesome sense of déjà vu. Like someone mentioned, “2022 is pronounced twenty twenty too.”
Amid the uncertainties and struggles to get past the pandemic hurricane, brand leaders need to lock in their agendas for the year. Marketers must recognise the fact that consumers are still feeling the weariness of the pandemic – realising that 2021 was filled with unfulfilled promises of a stronger reopening.
“Pandemic-weary consumers are looking for brands that relate to them within the current world we are living in. They have gone through an incredible couple years full of constant uncertainty and doing less of what they love,” Matt Kleinschmit, founder and CEO of Reach3 Insights, said in an email. “Marketers who empathise with this condition while not pandering will build trust, and those that craft inclusive, inspiring and distinctive experiences will remind consumers of the world they aspire to have back.”
There are many trends that will heat up the marketing space this year, we listed 7 of them:
See also: 5 Marketing goals to adopt in 2022
It is almost two years since the first COVID-19 case was recorded and announced. It is more than one year since Nigeria opened activities and allowed public spaces to operate freely. Many Nigerians no longer think the pandemic is with us. It seems like NCDC publishes the numbers for people in other countries. Amid this, Nigerian customers are still exhausted and confused. Yet, they are likely to be open to change this year and will have shifting expectations – notwithstanding the fact that they are always prepared for anything. Marketers should build their messages around practical solutions, values and swinging moods.
Visual content has always attracted the average Nigerian customer. This year is no different, with social media ad spending forecast to increase this year – even more than TV. Marketers are shifting away from Facebook – the biggest of them all yet – to focus on trendy short-form platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels. The entry of TikTok, Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts showed the interest in short-form content and short attention span. Consumer appetite is pushing concise, entertaining video as an increasingly core component of brands’ social strategy.
Before the Twitter ban, micro-influencers were already making inroads into marketing strategies. Now, the ban hurdle is out, as Nigeria’s Federal Government has lifted the ban. Micro-influencers are forecast to pull ahead and drive industry growth in 2022. Micro-influencers have been found to have a small, yet focused, audience that draws up strong ROI. While Instagram remains top of the influencing chart, TikTok is drawing the attention of lesser-known creators as brands explore how the buzzy social video app fits into their strategy. Podcasts are also becoming more popular.
How else to say that creativity is paramount in marketing campaigns? Brands like Coca-Cola, Guinness have repositioned their marketing approach to focus more on brand value, deploying fresh creative campaigns conveying simple concepts like friendship, community, success and scaling through the pandemic phase. In an increasingly noisy landscape, one creative strategy is to not overpromise in campaigns and instead do some soul-searching to establish a marketing message that communicates a brand’s core value. Customers want to feel some kind of empathetic communication from brands, which builds trust slowly over time.
If you are talking of reaching a larger audience, you cannot run away from emerging and pop cultures. In 2020 and 2021, brands tackled the growing imperative to get closer to culture in a variety of ways: UBA reimagined their campaigns for younger audiences. In 2022, brands and agencies could continue to look at culture as a source for leadership, integration as marketers seek to engage consumers; especially younger generations.
Not just concise content to fit into the short-term span. Interactive content is a huge part of standing out in today’s marketplace – more reason comedy skits to advertise a product usually get the engagement. Audio and visual content are growing quickly and have been seeing increased importance year after year. There are many ways to push out interactive marketing that is both successful and engaging – questionnaires, quizzes, polls. These help you gather information while grabbing consumer attention.
Another trend that is necessary to keep in mind for 2022 is that loyalty programs are no longer as effective as they once were. Membership systems are taking over. Consumers want to be part of an exclusive community and may find it more appealing than loyalty rewards. Marketing teams that embrace this can do many things to add value to the membership, including access to certain products, free shipping, and other exclusive events.