Smart Marketers Are Taking These Three Steps to Adapt and Succeed in 2022

By Mirko Holzer, CEO of BrandMaker

You’ve heard the old saying, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Marketers have heard it too, and most of them know the opposite is true: the more things change, the more they change.

For example, it seems that many of the changes in consumer behavior brought on by the pandemic are here to stay. A McKinsey study titled “The Great Consumer Shift” shows that 75% of U.S. consumers changed at least one of their shopping behaviors since COVID-19 hit, and many intend to stick to their new habits.

The loud and clear takeaway of the past two years is change. It’s coming harder and faster than ever, and all business operations departments must be prepared to handle it—especially the marketing department.

With that in mind, here are three ways smart marketing organizations can deal with change and use it to their advantage in the year ahead.

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CMOs will feel the need for speed

In 2022, CMOs will have to move more quickly than ever. Their mandate will be speed and agility because that’s what wins in today’s fast-changing marketplace. Just look at the state of the supply chain, where massive disruptions continue to ripple through the global economy. CMOs spent the past 18+ months—and will spend the coming year—reacting to these disruptions and trying to get ahead of the turmoil.

In the same way supply chains have been forced to shift to real-time manufacturing, CMOs will have to shift to real-time marketing. All marketers need to move this rapidly because of what the economy now demands.

Data analytics will be critical to campaign success 

It’s very hard to predict what will happen next in our continuously changing world, but marketers now must do this if they want to win. To be successful, they will have to rely on data analytics, which helps them predict the future, make informed decisions, and build campaigns and activities that increasingly resonate in the market. 

Access to data is good. But data itself won’t help you unless you can leverage that data to make accurate predictions and smart decisions in a very narrow window of time. For this, marketers need clean, trustable data.

Winning marketers will also be using technology and real-time data to help them innovate and reinvent their brands to stay relevant. This reinvention will have to happen on an ongoing basis, based on changing market conditions and customer behaviors.

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The CMO’s chief of staff will be doing more

The coming year will see the rise of a new and increasingly influential role within the marketing department: the chief of staff to the CMO. This person will be a strategic partner to the CMO, helping streamline strategic initiatives, drive program management, manage marketing budgets, and much more. 

Today’s CMO wears many hats: customer champion, innovation catalyst, and growth driver. To lead their teams and grow the pipeline, they need the right insights. 

This is where their chief of staff comes in. The chief of staff plays a strategic role in marketing operations and serves as a link between strategy and execution, and between ideas and data. The chief of staff should be a practiced decision-maker, a determined problem-solver, and capable of navigating many competing demands and priorities. This is a person CMOs will desperately need in 2022 and beyond.

Final takeaway

I started this article with an old saying that has proven to be untrue in marketing. A more apt phrase for marketers is: “The only constant is change.” 

It gets more accurate every year. The world is changing faster than ever, and consumer behavior is changing with it. And the best way marketers can succeed is to change just as swiftly. 

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