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2022 Marketing, Pandemic Style

Emerging marketing trends in events, social media, and relationship-building gain traction during the pandemic

Through 2020 and 2021, the pandemic accelerated marketing trends that were already emerging, such as increased reliance on technology for personal connection, an interest in brand values and authenticity, and paid social media advertising. Unfortunately, 2022 may not yet be the post-pandemic era, but companies can take full advantage of current trends that get results.

Hybrid events are here to stay.

Yes, we have all experienced Zoom fatigue at some time or another. Still, the benefits of exposing even small local events to nationwide and even global audiences have event organizers hesitant to return to the classic conference and trade show circuit. According to Inc. Magazine, the hybrid event is here to stay, and there are ways to make it a more immersive experience:

"Now consumers—and the marketers who pitch to them—face two warring impulses. The urge to gather again is strong, for sure. But having experienced the immediacy of live events from the comfort of their couches, many consumers are happy to keep things virtual. To cater to both audiences, you'll need to craft hybrid events. In-person events will have a strong digital component, and technologies like AR and VR can create an immersive experience for those who prefer not to venture out."

Relationships are everything.

This isn't just a hollow adage. According to a recent analysis of pandemic marketing trends published in the Harvard Business Review,

"Covid-19 has placed a new emphasis on relationships, particularly in B2B sales. Faced with a virtual sales environment, teams with existing relationships have maintained revenue momentum, capitalizing on the strength of their prior bonds. In contrast, prospecting for new customers has required an evolved set of skills focused on selling solutions, not products. Trust will be built by and rewarded to those that listen to customer needs and then craft solutions to meet those needs."

In industries like manufacturing, fashion, and printing, robust and proactive client relationships are the key to navigating continued logistics failures and supply chain bottlenecks due to higher shipping costs, rebounding consumer demand, and truck driver shortages, among other factors. When companies can anticipate their customers' needs because of close communication and familiarity, they can respond by staying ahead of potential problems. Ordering supplies and parts well ahead of deadlines, making smart swaps, and maintaining an agile workforce can solidify your business as a trusted partner who gets things done, despite challenges.

Social media's role expands.

Social media should be considered a 100% paid advertising channel now, and companies are well-advised to "leverage the superior targeting and conversion tracking it affords, to boost reach on appropriate campaigns," according to experts at CMS Wire. Paid social media can be used effectively to create an inexpensive A/B test platform. Analyze results of low-key tests before a big launch.

Marketing budgets should also include dollars for experimentation with different social media platforms—both new on the scene and new-to-you. Tik Tok, for example, might be the hottest and fastest-growing platform, but your company's audience might not yet connect with it. Invest time and money each year shopping around for new places to make connections and build relationships, always emphasizing what works the best for your market segment and not getting stuck on the shiny new place to be.

Is your business ready to win 2022? Bubble & Hatch stays a step ahead of marketing trends, so you don't have to. Our flexible approach allows you to tackle one project at a time or take a more comprehensive, program-focused style. Whatever you need, we can help.

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