Prediction Consensus 2022 - What Do the Experts See Coming, and How Will it Affect Your Marketing

If 2021 wasn't tumultuous enough for you, strap your seatbelt on for an even more exciting and cautiously optimistic 2022.   Since my San Francisco Giants only win the World Series in even years, I am highly optimistic this year could be a big hit. Still, baseball aside, the experts' consensus, according to research from Visual Capitalist, who analyzed hundreds of articles, whitepapers, podcasts, and interviews, points to several trends that certainly have the potential to affect your marketing. Let's take a look at a few.


Shifting Labor Dynamics
“2022 will be the year of the worker.  Workers have more bargaining power than they have had for years” – Callum Williams, The Economist

With workers in the driver seat more than ever before, finding skilled and vertically familiar marketing talent at reasonable prices will be a challenge for many small and mid-sized companies.  Building marketing leadership, an experienced cross-functional team, and securing execution dollars may be cost-prohibitive for many as yearly fully loaded costs can easily reach low to mid-six figures.


And with the most creative marketers availing of new technological ecosystems and infrastructures enabling them to monetize the right side of their brains more easily, individual content creators not tied to single employers are poised to flourish. Considering increasing hiring risk, the push to hybrid work, and turmoil regarding idea workplace culture and regulations, building a well-oiled marketing machine has never been more challenging.


Influencers Become Storefronts

“By 2026, 60% of Millennial and Gen Z consumers will prefer making purchases on social platforms over traditional digital commerce platforms”  - Gartner Research


To effectively market your product or service, you need to identify and engage with the right audience. For many businesses, this means targeting influencers – individuals who have a large following and can influence others’ purchasing decisions via social media.  But what if you could take it one step further and actually sell your products straight to the influencers?  The next few years will be a period of change for vendors and influencers.  


As consumers start to purchase more products on social platforms and straight from the influencer, it becomes increasingly important that vendors effectively set up their influencers to sell.   Early indications are that purchasing products directly from influencers will prove so successful that the marketing world will have no choice but to change.  


Vendors looking for new ways to set up their influencers to sell directly need to look no further than white-label eCommerce solutions that can be scaled according to your needs with minimal effort on your end, whether you’re a contractor or an established brand.


Marketing Through Inflationary Periods
“Inflationary pressures and supply-chain disruptions should ease gradually, laying the foundation for the global economy to post above-trend growth in 2022.” -  Barclays Bank

Marketing efforts during periods of inflation can be tricky to navigate, but with the right approach, it is possible to emerge from these periods with an improved brand impression. To capitalize on increased demand and higher prices, businesses need to focus more than ever on communicating the value of their products and services and how they alleviate consumer pain points.  But caution to the greedy.  


There will always be a cycle of highs and lows in any business. For vendors, this usually means that prices will go up as supplies dwindle during times of high demand and curbed supply. However, some vendors take things too far by price-gouging their customers during a short supply cycle. This borderline unethical behavior can ruin customer trust and likely drive away business in the long run. For example, I spent this past weekend browsing through a local Ford dealership that was charging a 23% premium over MSRP for a new middle-of-the-road car currently in short supply.  


Were they playing the supply/demand game, sure they were, but what impression will that leave with the consumers who were beginning their buying process and can afford to wait until supply chain backlog improves?   Yes, they may sell that one car at the colossal mark-up, but I, for one, and those I influence, will look elsewhere as the prices soon return to baseline and buyers again have brand and dealer choices.  


Vendors should be mindful of how they price their products and services and always put the customer first. By being fair and reasonable with pricing, vendors can create a positive relationship with their customers that will last well beyond our current supplyageddon cycle.