Once again, it's been a year like no other. The pandemic has taken its toll on organizations, especially marketing and sales organizations. Covid has destroyed markets, made markets, and changed markets. Very little has stayed the same. So what is the top marketing trend this year? Drumroll please……
The top marketing trend is Back-to-Basics!
Every one of our clients is approaching 2022 with caution due to the pandemic's uncertainty. They are taking a back-to-basics approach to their marketing and sales.
Ensure a Strong Foundation
First, companies are reviewing their brand message, market positioning, and current marketing plan. Although we recommend that they do this annually, most don't. In the past, if they hit their KPIs in the previous year, many will take the attitude" if it isn't broken….then it doesn't need fixing."
It is very important to get your messaging and positioning right. It forms the foundation for every other activity. If there are cracks in the foundation, then the tactics won't bring the desired results.
This year we are definitely seeing major shifts in several markets. Some markets have become very fractured, while others have reset. Customers are rethinking their priorities and as a result, vendors are repositioning and changing the dynamics in markets, making them "new".
We have conducted many competitive communication audits In the past 60 days, and we have seen vendors shift positions, leave markets, and change how they talk about their offerings. You can learn a lot about what is happening in a market by conducting a competitive communications audit.
Marketing plans need to change to accommodate these shifts. With more than 50 different tactics available to marketers, it can be unclear which tactics you should use, given current market conditions. What worked in the past or worked for a different company may not work now.
Content Still Rules
We see significant investment in new and revised content. Content will need to be updated if your message or market position changes – everything from website updates, marketing content, and sales enablement tools.
Current content trends include more short-form videos for top-of-funnel, more in-depth guides/playbooks for middle-of-funnel offers, and shorter blog posts (from 1200 words to 600-700 words.)
Inbound marketing remains a best practice for brands
Following the theme of back-to-basics, inbound marketing remains the top marketing strategy. Educating and satisfying your target audience with engaging content never goes out of style.
According to Hubspot, the process ofrequires you to produce quality, valuable content tailored towards your target audience and buyer personas needs.
B2B Case Studies
If you only have the budget for one piece of content, develop a case study. Longer-form case studies offer prospects a deep look into how people or brands benefit from your offering.
Although many marketers don't leverage case studies, those that do use them find them effective. In a recent Hubspot survey, 64% of marketers who launch case studies found them effective, and 15% said they brought the biggest ROI of the content formats they leveraged.
When we look across our clients, case studies are among the top content types that convert to sales leads, while ebooks and blog posts drive the most traffic to websites.
Most companies have been fairly quiet in terms of new products over the past two years and we expect to see a proliferation of new products hit the market. Many companies stumble during a product launch. Successful product launches are a process, not a singular event. Check out these great resources.
- Winning Product Launches
- Was Your Product Launch Successful?
- 4 Secrets to a Killer Product Launch
- Building Momentum for a New Product Launch
- Product Launch:When Should You Start Talking About a New Product
- Don't Let Your B2B Product Launch Crash and Burn
- 10 Tips for Launching Disruptive Technology
- Download out our free ebook - 65 Steps to a Successful Product Launch. It provides 8 interdisciplinary checklists to ensure it goes smoothly.