Marketing Success in 2022 Relies on Agility, Adaptability, and Innovation
By Carly Brantz, CMO of DigitalOcean
As the global pandemic continues into 2022 and the customer journey continues to evolve, marketing teams are struggling to solidify their plans for the future. As we strive for continued growth, it’s critical that we hone in on what we’ve learned these past two years. As you might guess, it involves embracing the unknown.
In 2022, the following will be top of mind and necessary for marketing teams to be successful.
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Marketers need to be prepared to pivot, then pivot again.
If the pandemic taught us one thing, it’s the importance of being able to innovate and let previous plans go. This year will be about setting a plan and pursuing it with vigor, but then being equally prepared to redirect as needed. Will the event space ever be the same? Probably not. Let’s start to reimagine what virtual engagement looks and feels like and how we can evolve our definition of success in this new normal. Will we be able to count on a set amount of traffic to see our new billboard? Probably not. So let’s diversify our media strategy to ensure we’re covered in numerous scenarios.
Marketers are in high demand—they’re also exhausted. Take care of your team.
Marketing teams are now accustomed to making a range of changes, often at a moment’s notice. We’re planning for events that are teetering on the precipice of being completely called off. We’re doing twice the work of building out strategies for both online and in-person experiences. And even with all of the additional planning, we may never see our work come to fruition. Marketing teams are putting in more hours than ever, only to have to start all over again in some cases, meaning stress levels are likely at an all-time high.
Amidst all of those hours, we have also needed to adjust to a completely remote working environment. I would challenge all managers to complete an energy audit for their team—chances are it’s running pretty low. Now is the time to prioritize team building through fun and creative activities to help boost morale and take your employees’ minds off work. Whether it’s bringing in a podcast host as a guest speaker, organizing a virtual cooking class, or starting a social-focused Slack channel, make sure your marketing team has the opportunity to blow off some steam and get to know each other. You may even want to consider regular recharge days—we have them monthly—dedicated to getting your team off their cameras and away from work entirely. The time away will be rewarded with an increase in productivity, creativity, and most importantly, team happiness.
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Continue investing in content marketing.
In a more digital-first world than we’ve ever experienced, content marketing remains crucial to engaging with your audience. With an unprecedented amount of performance data at our fingertips, marketers need to identify which performance metrics matter most early on. There comes a point when extraneous data can become noise—so dig in and make decisions early on the specific goals of different content assets. For example, a product agnostic tutorial will be more focused on driving traffic, so don’t measure its success solely on a metric like free trial sign ups.
Deeply analyze your target audience with market research and ensure you’re receiving both qualitative and quantitative data points. Keeping a pulse on your prospects’ and customers’ needs and adjusting your approach is critical to starting your relationship off on the right foot. Whether it’s a deeply technical tutorial or sharing a research report with data to empower their next business move, providing fresh (SEO-optimized) content is a way that marketers can keep their brand top of mind.
Optimize your marketing efforts for in-person and virtual, separately.
Have you ever been one of the few remote people on a Zoom call with most attendees there in person? It’s terrible. You can’t get a word in, you likely miss half of the critical visual cues of body language or commentary you couldn’t quite hear, and the meeting moves at a pace that probably leaves you feeling left out. On the other hand, being in-person with split attention on serving a virtual audience can kill the magic of being together.
Hybrid events at a larger scale also don’t serve either audience well. Focus your marketing efforts to optimize the experience for each audience (yes, two separate events), and if your budget doesn’t allow for two events, make the difficult decision to choose one best suited to meet your needs and the attendees’ needs and run with it.
As the pandemic continues to evolve on what seems like a daily basis, marketers must come back to the skills they’ve honed and relied on over the past couple of years: agility, adaptability, and continuous innovation.