Hello and Happy New Year to everyone! As we like to do every January/February, we bring you the most important trends affecting the world of marketing, digital, and business in general.

While a few months ago we thought Covid-19 was basically behind us, the new Omicron variant which has spread like wildfire, has brought Covid back as a top news headline.

At the same time, the business world has been transformed in so many ways due to Covid-19, and continues to change rapidly…

The big story in 2021 was the rapid adoption of vaccines across the world which allowed things to get to normal at least to some degree (varying wildly depending on which state/country you’re in). This has helped drive an outstanding stock market which continued to roar back from a brief bear market in February 2020 to a very solid 25%+ gain in 2021.

Nonetheless, we’re still suffering from a severe labor shortage, supply chain issues, growing crime rates, an unsecure Southern border, and many continued geo-political risks across the world (China, Russia, Iran, etc.) which are challenging the current administration in DC.  

So with this as the backdrop, and as we’re now both feet into 2022, let’s have a look into the ‘crystal ball’ to see where the marketing and business world is trending. I’m pleased to provide the 12 marketing/business trends and predictions I believe all businesspeople need to keep in mind, and to integrate into their 2022 planning and execution. In addition, these can help answer the question on everyone’s minds… What can I do right now from a marketing and sales perspective to grow my business despite the trials and tribulations of Covid-19? After you read these, I’d love to get your feedback as to whether these do justice for what is really going on within the marketplace, so please feel free to connect via e-mail, Linked In or Twitter.

Yosi’s Crystal Ball – 12 Marketing & Digital Predictions for 2022!

And here they are….

  1. Inflation is Stubbornly High, and is likely stay high for a while, but there’s also a rare upside opportunity – Inflation was up almost 7% last month representing the highest inflation increase in 40 years. This is a result of lots of money pumped into the economy from Covid relief stimulus programs and a generally stronger economy on one hand, but a labor shortage and supply chain issues on the other hand. A rare combination of high demand chasing too small a supply of goods. And Rule #1 of Economics #101 is high demand + low supply = higher prices. Raw materials cost more, labor costs more, and transportation rates are way up, so you’re spending more to do business.

    But there is a nice upside opportunity here…If you’ve always had trouble raising your prices, whether for goods or services, now is a great time to do it as everyone knows about the inflation issue and are being affected by it, so they are much more forgiving…

  2. Shopping Is Witnessing a Major Migration to Digital, and social media as well as mobile media are quickly becoming not just for “discovering”, but for purchasing as well. – According to McKinsey, in early 2020 when Covid hit, consumers vaulted five years in the adoption of digital in just eight weeks. Across the world, people began turning to digital to access products and services. And according to Forbes, today the consumer journey begins with “when I need it”, not “where I’ll buy it”. Do I need it today or can it wait?” If it can wait, why go out shopping, just order it online! This digital trend is magnified even more for Gen Z, millennials, and higher-income households.

    “Social Commerce” (products bought while perusing social media) is on the rise as well. A passive shopper scrolling Instagram or Facebook could very well be swayed by warm content or a relevant ad. In fact, 34% percent of people say they have shopped on Instagram based on an influencer recommendation, and according to Big Commerce, 34% of online shoppers tend to purchase products on social media platforms. On top of this, “Mobile Commerce” (products bought via a Smartphone)is growing too, and by 2022 is expected to account for 1 out of every 6 retail dollars spent in the US.

    That’s why clients are asking us not only how to grow digital traffic and revenue in general, but how to better leverage Linked In, Instagram, Facebook and Amazon to drive more leads and more sales.

    And this shift is likely to stick, to a large extent simply because e-commerce is often more efficient, more authentic feeling, less expensive, and safer for customers than shopping in physical stores. For marketers, this means rethinking how to connect with consumers. Clearly a stronger emphasis on e-commerce, digital channels, social and mobile commerce is crucial, including consideration of the role of direct-to-consumer (D2C) e-commerce channels. Have you developed a plan to capitalize on this new potential income yet?

  3. Video Continues to be the most influential form of digital content for businesses –According to Forbes, this is because as our attention spans decrease, marketers are relying more on creating short video content to get people’s attention, boost search engine rankings, increase engagement, and website traffic. And no wonder…With 5x higher recall than the written word, video is the most engaging media format and the most effective in assisting conversations. In fact, 72% of businesses say that video has improved their conversion rate. And according to Cisco, by 2023, more than 80% of online traffic will involve video watching!

    And videos really deliver for marketers. For one, videos on landing pages increase conversion by 86% and shopping cart sizes by 125%! In fact, according to Forbes, YouTube has the best ROI of any social platform.

    And don’t just think YouTube for video dissemination. You can also post videos or start a live broadcast on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook or TikTok as well. So are you ready for this revolution yet?

  4. Amazon Continues to Dominate E-Commerce and “change the game” in so many ways and in so many categories –  Another trend that is here to stay….Since Covid-19 started, virtually every day, there are Amazon delivered packages on our home’s door step. Why? Because nothing is simpler and more convenient than ordering from Amazon Prime. To illustrate…I ordered a product on Amazon last week on Saturday night, and it was delivered (On Sunday at 6pm!), less than 24 hours later!

    In fact, E-Marketer reported that with an incredible 49.1% market share of online shopping, Amazon is bigger in e-commerce than eBay, Apple, Walmart, Home Depot, Best Buy and Macy’s combined! (And those retailers are all ranked in the Top 10 online!)

    If what you sell can be sold on Amazon, you should look for ways to do it.

    And for 2022, be on the lookout for new mediums Amazon is now testing…Including “Amazon Live and “Posts by Amazon”!

  5. Digital Continues to Accelerate Historically and many business and behavioral “pivots” have started to become permanent – Since the pandemic began, there has been major transformation in the ways we interact with our families, get our work done, talk to our doctors, travel, spend leisure time, and conduct virtually all of our “way of life” tasks. According to McKinsey, these changes have accelerated the migration to digital technologies at a stunning scale and speed, across every sector. As one CEO remarked…“We are witnessing what will certainly be remembered as a historic deployment of remote work and digital access to services across literally every domain.” Through the Covid-19 recovery, and well beyond, digital will play a defining role…or even the defining role. And most of these changes will likely be somewhat permanent. No wonder digital now accounts for over 60% of all global ad spending!

    Hence, it becomes critical to continue to quickly accelerate your digital efforts. Ask yourself…Do I leverage and monetize my website and my other digital channels as well as I could? We’re now in a new world. As customers continue to interact with digital more than ever, companies need to quickly rethink their customer journey and accelerate the development of digital solutions….whether their website, e-commerce, e-mail, blogging/content, social media, search, lead generation via Linked In, Amazon, video, etc. Are you doing this as well as you can? If not, you’re likely leaving lots of money on the table, no matter what kind of business or service you’re in!

  6. Welcome to the New Remote Working Culture where “virtual” is the new modus operandi – According to Forrester, only 30% of all companies say they will embrace a “full return to the office model” once the pandemic ends. In fact, pre-pandemic, I used to have 3 meetings per quarter via Zoom. Today, even almost 2 years later, I’m having 3 or more Zoom meetings per day! Truthfully, it almost feels like you’re actually sitting in front of the other person. Zoom will likely significantly affect how and where we conduct business going forward. And virtual “events” are also growing dramatically.

    Many businesses who thought they were going to come back to the office, have now figured out that people are happier working out of their homes, and the cost of supporting those arrangements are much lower….so working remote has become a “win win” that everyone likes.

    To give this perspective, think about this…Who needs to fly out to Los Angeles for a meeting or a seminar when one can accomplish the same thing via Zoom? The travel industry will likely continue to suffer for some time as business travel will decline even after the pandemic recedes further.

Yosi’s Final Predictions for 2022:

As there is so much to say, and we’re out of room here, please join me in a few weeks for the second half of this report when I’ll lay out the second set of 6 additional marketing predictions. We’ll discuss some of the other hottest topics and trends of the day including voice search/chatbots, influencers, marketing automation, LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator, “purpose” marketing and more.

So until next time, good luck and good selling in 2022…and please stay safe!