9 Key Factors That Will Affect Marketing In 2022

9 Key Factors That Will Affect Marketing In 2022 -  WebNewsOrbit

Along with the obvious impact that the crisis and the decline in the solvency of the population have on the life of companies, there are many specific marketing factors. Few people take them into account in their plans for the future, and in vain.

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1. Lack of qualified personnel

Three years ago, this factor was in third place in terms of importance among the top managers surveyed, but today it is in the lead. Over the past few years, the labor market has been slowly but surely moving towards the job seeker market.

If we talk about the field of marketing, then some top vacancies are sometimes closed for two or three years, periodically disappearing from the “air”, but quickly reopening. The three main competencies that businesses want to see in a modern Chief Marketing Officer (CMO):

  • strategic thinking and search for directions for business development and diversification;
  • expansion of competencies in IT and Internet technologies;
  • focus on the financial result of the business (perhaps even responsibility for it).

As you can see, competencies that were previously more inherent in the CEO are gradually coming to the fore.

2. The impact of the crisis and the decline in the solvency of consumers

These two factors have not lost their top positions since the 2014 crisis. The crisis is a factor leading primarily to an increase in costs and a drop in business profitability and revenue. Another consumer trend is superimposed on the decrease in purchasing power - the so-called rational consumption. This applies to both B2C and B2B consumers who have already adapted to the price race of players in different markets and can almost always get a better offer, because sales are no longer seasonal, now they replace each other throughout the year. At the same time, the sensitivity to any kind of sales is gradually decreasing. So, our surveys show that if three years ago 30% of respondents did not believe in discounts, then in 2021 this figure was already 55%.

3. General current uncertainty and instability of the external environment and business conditions

The statistics are relentless: some companies, especially those in the most affected industries, have closed or are in a state of bankruptcy. For the rest, the time of agile has begun. In marketing today, this is one of the main trends, which, precisely under the influence of this factor, is increasingly being introduced into business, not only as a type of project management, but also as a new approach to solving marketing problems. Agile in marketing is:

  • flexibility in promotion, development of new products and client processes while maintaining brand stability, quality, product safety;
  • constant experiments and the right to make mistakes, in which the lack of financial results is not always a failure;
  • openness to opportunities, small steps towards big goals and the ability to appreciate small victories;
  • the ability to solve problems that have not been encountered before, taking into account a large number of uncertain factors and often in a situation where at the same time it is necessary to solve business survival issues;
  • introducing a risk-based approach in business that leaves marketing to take part of the decisions, and explaining to financiers that the world is changing rapidly.

There are many examples where flexibility has helped save businesses on the brink. But this would not have been possible without the support of the management, and this is the main barrier to the implementation of the agile approach in companies.

4. The consumer today is becoming increasingly difficult to surprise and retain

This factor is faced today not only by companies operating in consumer markets, but also by B2B companies.

If earlier the speed of introducing new products to the market, for example, in the food industry, could be six months, now they appear at least once a quarter. It is important to note here that not all of them and not immediately appear in federal retail chains. But this does not mean that most manufacturers do not have them.

In the clothing market, new collections are increasingly appearing not a couple of times a year, but once a quarter or even once a month.

New phone models come out once a year, and this is much more often than the real need to change the gadget. All this is a response to the desire of consumers to constantly receive new consumer experiences.

At the same time, consumer markets today have an almost limitless choice, offered not only by traditional retail, but also by online stores and marketplaces that deliver goods from almost anywhere in the world. Although there are fewer suppliers (sellers) in the B2B sphere and the importance of the logistics shoulder is greater, this problem is also characteristic of it. Finding something “with mother-of-pearl buttons” is now not difficult, for this you just need to spend time searching the Internet or purchase a customized or personalized solution.

In such a situation, a business faces a difficult task: in such a way to form its assortment matrix and the overall market offer in order to best meet the needs of its target audience. Flexible assortment management, taking into account constant feedback from consumers, is one of the main tasks of marketers in the coming years, which is backed by customer development, design thinking, value approach, jobs to be done, etc., which have not yet been mastered by most companies.

5. Decrease in the effectiveness of promotion and advertising

Information noise continues to increase, it is becoming more and more difficult to reach consumers.

The efforts of many companies are now focused on social networks, and the number of new professions in this area is growing right before our eyes - targetologists, copywriters, story makers, warm-up specialists, etc. And this is quite logical - business goes where its target audience is located. The target audience itself, which previously complained about the large number of advertisements on TV and in magazines, is now dissatisfied with any advertisement. Therefore, it is not surprising that the effectiveness of promotion and advertising is falling.

New conditions require new approaches.

  1. The time of “typical” competitive advantages in communications is running out. For example, good quality, reliability, taste, originality, extensive experience and other qualities (properties, characteristics) are offered by almost all companies operating in specific markets. And what are these characteristics for consumers? And do they really matter to them? For example, quality is an integral characteristic; therefore, different components of it may be important for different consumers.
  2. Content marketing  is not only writing posts for social networks, but generating content in relation to a communication strategy. And this means that just a good copywriter who is “hands” is no longer enough, you need a “brain” in the form of a marketer (brand manager, manager, etc.), who thinks systematically and strategically.
  3. Flexibility and speed  - experiments, different advertising for different sites, the need to move along with the target audience on the Internet and offline, situational marketing, collaborations, etc. This is not about point solutions, but about situationality in the presence of a single communication general line.
  4. B2B actually has a lot of newsbreaks , but they need to be found. One piece of news on a website or only 100 subscribers in social networks is a marketing flaw that does not know how to beautifully package and sell communications.
  5. People sell to people. The formation of personal brands is relevant for small businesses (personal brand of the owner) and areas tied to specific professionals (beauty industry, medicine, fitness, consulting, etc.).

6. Incessant price competitive wars and falling profitability in industries as a whole

Official statistics show that the number of new businesses opened annually is growing, while the number of end users remains unchanged, while their purchasing power is falling, and their behavior is changing. It is important for new players to gain a foothold in the market, most of them start a war for consumers, luring them away from competitors with more favorable price offers. The “old-timers”, in turn, have long been drawn into the price game, which makes it possible to win in the short term (make a plan for revenue or take the desired market share), but at the same time leads to a decrease in profitability in the whole market (industry).

If even ten years ago a profitability of 0.5-3% was considered extremely low, today it is almost the norm for some areas. B2C companies constantly arrange promotions, B2B managers use price as a key factor during negotiations and are ready to “fall” almost immediately to keep the client.

At the moment, there is no easy way out of the price war - many markets have already turned into markets for consumers who are not ready to pay more if they know that someone will sell cheaper.

We need solutions based on managing not price, but customer value. Behind this is a clear positioning, the search for uniqueness, the search for "your" consumers, a balanced range of prices, etc.

7. Rapid copying of ideas, concepts and novelties by competitors

This factor has limited influence only in knowledge-intensive industries, where there are more opportunities for protection and it will take a lot of time to copy. In other areas, everything that can be copied will be copied as soon as possible if it is of interest to consumers.

This is one of the reasons for the illusion of choice described above and, at the same time, a development driver for the markets. As research by the Global entrepreneurship monitor shows, most businesses operate in markets with a large number of players, offering goods and services that do not have novelty. Under these conditions, any offers that are different from those already presented are of interest to consumers and the desire of companies to copy them from competitors. This is not about the so-called copying to the point of confusion (for example, Adidas and Abibas), but about creating analogues that are as close as possible to the original, or about modifying taking into account the specifics of the company making the copy. This trend is observed in the food industry, online learning, IT and restaurant business. Companies that have managed to skim the cream off the market benefit from this, especially if they are large players,

In this situation, it is important to understand that copying is inevitable - all trending novelties will be distributed throughout the market in response to consumer demand, while increasing it. This is most clearly seen today in healthy lifestyle products. Therefore, it is worth shifting the focus to the possible legal protection of the product and the formation of a business image that is always one step ahead of competitors for the benefit of consumers, because only the best are copied.

8. Digital revolution requiring the introduction of new tools in the company

Industry 4.0 is gaining momentum around the world, more and more processes are going digital and online. This requires, if not cardinal, but changes in many business processes. For example, more and more B2B customers after the first wave of the pandemic prefer to interact online instead of wasting time on face-to-face meetings or calls.

Pre-calculating the cost of orders using online calculators is a convenience for potential customers, allowing you to understand whether it is worth contacting the company without talking to the manager.

Digital twins of industrial enterprises are an opportunity to significantly reduce risks and improve the quality of control of production (technological) processes.

Online surveys provide a huge opportunity for getting feedback from consumers.

It is important to understand that digitalization is not a panacea. It only works if the processes work well without it. Otherwise, a digitized process that has “discontinuities” will not improve the company’s work or customer interaction, but will create even more chaos.

9. Increasing cross-category and cross-format competition

And so the difficult competitive situation in many markets is exacerbated by the proposals of players from adjacent markets and markets-substitutes (substitutes). Competition now goes not only on price within the "native" market, but also at the level of solutions. For example, to drink coffee, a consumer can go to a coffee shop, buy coffee to go at a coffee point, take coffee to go after dinner at a restaurant, or brew it at home or in the office. Similarly, consumers can choose between online and offline purchases. The solution for companies is omnichannel (simultaneous work online and offline in the optimal ratio for the company) and increasing the likelihood of meeting with your target audience. This means understanding the consumer trajectory in relation to their style and lifestyle. At the same time, following consumers, it is important not to forget about profitability,

The presented conclusions are based on the results of research by the Trend Lab (trendwatching, market analytics and consumer research), business surveys by the Leningrad Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

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