Marketing professionals keep an eye on the tactics that work to bring in new customers. Marketing trends change from season to season, depending on new technology and where consumers put their money. The last year and a half has been unique thanks to the pandemic and people’s changing priorities.

Recent surveys show while people are in a good financial state, they are using their extra funds to pay down debt and prioritise things other than entertainment. Around 31% of people plan to use their extra stimulus money to pay off credit cards and other bills. Understanding your target audience and how they plan to spend money helps market to them more effectively.

Along with a better understanding of your typical customer, you may want to keep an eye on these marketing trends for 2022. See which ones apply to your industry and implement them accordingly.

1. Marketing Trends - Virtual Events

Even though the fears of the pandemic seem to be easing, variants keep emerging and are putting a damper on in-person events and shopping. With that in mind, any events you plan into 2022 may need to have a virtual option.

Not everyone feels safe attending conferences, parties and gatherings. Even if you take every precaution, things could shift and require you to take things online. Instead of being caught at the last minute, plan for a virtual option from the beginning. You can more easily shift the entire activity digitally, but you can also appeal to those who don’t want to be around crowds.

2. Better Communication

When times are hard, as they are right now, people want to know you care. Survey your customers and find out what their greatest needs are. If you run a restaurant, they may want delivery service. If you sell clothing, they may want a generous return policy so they can try clothing on at home and exchange what doesn’t work for them.

Take the time to talk to your target audience and find out how you can fix their pain points. Your customers may have ideas you don’t. Work with them to become an essential part of their days.

3. Omnichannel Marketing

People are spending more time online than ever before, but they are all over the place. You can no longer reach your customers on a single channel. They are also flooded with noise from numerous brands marketing online. The more times you appear to your audience, the better chance they’ll remember you when they need your product or service.

At a minimum, you should engage on a couple of social media platforms, your website, via email and perhaps with SMS messages. Invesp's State of Omnichannel Marketing survey shows an 89% retention rate for companies using omnichannel versus only 33% for those with a weak omnichannel strategy.

4. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Marketers are turning to AI to analyse their marketing efforts. With the help of machines, they can present personalised recommendations to users and run data through a computer to find out what promotions work best with their customers.

AI saves time, money and results in a higher conversion rate. AI helps to automate repetitive tasks. As the data available grows, the benefits of AI for marketing increase. Businesses currently use AI to expand their audience, perfect buyer personas, recommend products to current customers and optimise campaigns as they occur for better results.

5. Voice Search

More people use smart speakers in their homes and the voice search services on their phones to gather information. Making sure your website is voice search ready is a smart move to ensure you don’t miss out on any traffic.

Keep in mind natural language patterns and how people ask questions of their smart devices. Seek out keyword phrasing rather than single keywords for maximum impact. Make sure you’re answering queries fully on landing pages. Any images should have alt tags.

Marketing Trends Change Frequently

The trends of today may stay around, but you can be sure new ones will arrive tomorrow. When looking toward 2022, try to imagine what technologies might advance and how you might best serve information to your audience.

You can guess marketing trends based on current electronics, but no one can predict everything. Marketers didn’t predict more people would shop online in 2020 due to a pandemic, but now that we know there has been a faster shift than expected, professionals can hit the ground running and increase their digital marketing presence. Be ready to pivot and embrace new trends as they arrive.

Eleanor is the editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. She’s also a freelance web designer with a focus on customer experience. Eleanor lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.