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Over the past two years, the economic landscape has changed dramatically because of the Covid-19 pandemic. As the global economy is preparing for a — hopefully — post-pandemic future in 2022, businesses need to adapt to the changing landscape to survive and thrive.
Here are ten changes you need to prepare for now.
1. Purpose overrides product features
Companies no longer exist simply to make profits. Leading brands are competing and excelling because they have a clearly defined purpose. According to Deloitte’s 2022 Global Marketing Trends, having a purpose has changed from “aspiration to strategic priority.”
Brands growing at a rate of 10% or above are turning purpose into action in a more comprehensive manner than those growing at slower rates. Consider why you are doing what you are doing. For example, many startup founders have a big idea or a problem they set out to solve. This is your purpose.
Related: Brand Activism: Turning Your Purpose Into Action
2. Customer knowledge is redefined
The most successful brands understand that their customers are at the center of every decision they make.
To be able to reach customers efficiently and cost effectively, businesses need to understand their customer segments. Few companies have only one type of customer whom they can address in their marketing. Clarifying customer personas and dividing them into clear segments allows your business to target each segment specifically.
3. Increased customer expectations
Never before have customer expectations been this high: Consumers expect a seamless experience from your business as soon as they choose to connect with you.
Creating these experiences is only possible if you utilize the power of technology and data. Both will help you create a personalized and relevant customer experience when existing and prospective customers interact with you.
4. Marketing strategies turn into customer journeys
Businesses may still talk about marketing strategies, but they are really trying to understand customer journeys.
This holistic view of the business means taking into account all interactions customers have with you. From the first advert someone sees to searching for information on your website, making a purchase and navigating after-sales service — all are crucial parts of the customer journey.
Customers having a bad experience with one step in their customer journey are less likely to become repeat customers or recommend your business.
5. Marketing needs to be at the center of your growth strategy
The pandemic has elevated marketing from one of many cost centers of the organization to the heart of everything your company does. To secure the organization’s growth and prosperity, marketing needs to be firmly at the center of your growth strategy.
Over the past two years, most organizations integrated marketing at the senior leadership level. Forward-thinking businesses now have the opportunity to ensure marketing remains at the heart of the company to ensure its growth.
6. Digital transformation is everything
If your business has not yet started embracing digital technology, wait no longer. Utilizing technology allows you to understand the touchpoints of your customer journey better. It will also enable you to create truly personalized experiences for your customers.
Related: Digital Transformation Is Essential in the New Normal
Rather than removing the human element from your interaction with your customers, digital tools allow you to make interactions more personal. Depending on your product or service, you may even be able to deliver personalized products.
7. Social commerce is governing ecommerce
Social commerce is one of, if not the fastest-growing field of ecommerce. If your business relies on online sales, getting serious about the potential of social-media platforms needs to be at the top of your list for 2022.
While social commerce sales reached nearly $27 billion in 2020, they are projected to grow exponentially by 2025. By then, consumers will spend nearly $80 billion, which exceeds 5% of all U.S.-based retail ecommerce sales.
8. Multichannel service is key
How are your customers interacting with you? Perhaps you use chatbots, contact emails and a phone-based contact center.
Your customers expect the same high level of service from all those channels. All of them are equally important. Delivering a bad experience on the phone does not just reflect on your team answering calls. It will also impact the customer’s opinion of the entire organization.
Your organization will soon reap the benefit. According to Adobe’s Total Economic Impact study of the Adobe Experience Cloud, a multichannel strategy can deliver 10% annual growth, 10% increased average order value and a 25% increase in closed sales. No business can afford to miss out on that.
9. Mobility drives growth
More than 50% of internet traffic comes from mobile devices. This number continues to grow year after year while desktop use continues to decline.
As a customer-centric company, you need to focus on delivering a mobile experience that is at least as good as your desktop-based website. Simple navigation, clear site-search options and quick load times are key elements of successful mobile sites.
Related: How Mobile-Friendly Is Your Website?
10. B2B becomes B2C
B2B environments are not immune to those changes.
B2B buyers are now largely part of the digitally native, millennial generation. They no longer expect to do business at trade shows and through product trials. Instead, they are looking for their counterparts to implement digital solutions.
To adapt to this changing market, B2B companies need to focus on creating B2C-like experiences for their customers. When you are interacting with a B2B buyer, never forget that you are effectively interacting with another person rather than a faceless organization.
To grow in 2022, your organization must focus all of its efforts on building an enjoyable, customer-centric experience. This experience needs to be seamless across all touchpoints and marketing channels. It becomes even more powerful with a clearly defined purpose at its core.