Marketing is a dynamic industry, constantly changing to keep up with the demands of consumers and the everchanging business landscape. The last two years have seen some dramatic changes to all areas of business across multiple industries, and marketing techniques have adapted more rapidly than usual.
If you are a marketing professional, or are interested in a career in marketing, it is important to stay up-to-date with the latest marketing trends as we move forward into a post-pandemic world.
The changing landscape of the marketing profession
After the rapid shift to focusing almost entirely on online marketing and virtual engagement, it is expected that, as more consumers venture back into the real world, marketing techniques will need to change again to encompass the renewal of face-to-face contact with customers and clients. Despite this, digital marketing is expected to remain in the forefront.
As businesses see the need to innovate how they reach potential customers, their marketing function continues to evolve, creating more opportunities for Marketers. In our review of 2021, we found that there had been an increased demand for Marketing professionals, with hiring increasing by 86% for Marketing Executives and 66% for Marketing Managers when compared with 2020. The profession has also seen an increase in flexible work patterns, with hybrid and remote work opportunities becoming commonplace.
10 key trends affecting marketing
- Influencer marketing
A particularly popular marketing tactic on social media platforms, this marketing concept focuses on using key people with a large audience in a specific sector, to drive the message of your brand to a wider market. These don’t have to be big public figures to be effective, micro-influencers are particularly good for smaller businesses and niche industries. A HubSpot Blog survey of more than 1000 global marketing professionals found that 34% put influencer marketing at the top of their list of trends to invest in.
- Video creation
The use of video continues to grow as a popular and powerful digital marketing media. The visual impact, particularly in short form video, provides brands with a means to promote goods and services by encouraging engagement in ways that reading words alone cannot. This is why platforms such as TikTok are likely to see a big increase as a marketing platform to reach new audiences.
- Mobile optimisation
More than half of online traffic comes from mobile phones and tablets as the majority of the younger generations tend to use mobile as their digital device of choice. It is therefore vital that all digital marketing is optimised for mobile use to ensure it reaches its intended audience.
Giving priority to personalising the customer experience can be facilitated using artificial intelligence (AI) and sophisticated Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools. Through these, data about the habits of customers and potential customers can be collected and used to offer relevant products and services to individuals across multiple touchpoints, increasing engagement opportunities and adding value to both businesses and customers.
People are becoming more aware of issues around sustainability and ethics in business. As a result, more marketing campaigns will highlight the products and causes supported by the company, with the aim of increasing their profile as a socially responsible brand that will appeal to many modern consumers. However, when using this approach, care must be taken not to mislead consumers with any ‘green claims’.
- Experiential marketing
While virtual online events and being able to connect with a global audience will remain an important part of marketing, it is likely that many businesses will return to in-person events. Being able to discover a product or service through participation or hands-on experience is an extremely powerful marketing tool. However, it is expected that we may see hybrid events, which include a variety of components offering options to attend in-person or virtually.
- Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR)
VR and AR are used to help customers visualise and experience products in a lifelike online scenario. They can therefore be used as an online tool, and at marketing events. As the required equipment becomes more accessible, we will see more businesses adding VR and AR to their marketing strategies.
- Audio content
Audio has become an effective means for reaching wider audiences. Whether through the increased use of podcasts or through chatrooms such as Clubhouse and Twitter spaces, audio content is being used more to increase engagement and brand awareness.
- Content marketing
Despite all these new marketing trends, content marketing has not gone away. Original content written for a target audience and optimised using SEO techniques, remains a priority in an effective marketing strategy.
- User generated content
Positive feedback from happy customers is a way to get the attention of a new audience. Reviews and other user generated content are powerful tools to attract potential new customers and will be increasingly used as a marketing method.
How you can prepare for new marketing trends
In an ever-changing industry, it is important that as a marketing professional you are aware of new and changing trends and take advantage of opportunities to upskill. Below are some of the ways you can keep ahead of the game.
- Subscribe to marketing websites for the latest news and trends. E.g. HubSpot, and LinkedIn.
- Join a professional organisation for access to Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and further qualifications. E.g. The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) or The Institute of Data & Marketing (IDM).
- Find online courses, some of which are free, to learn new marketing skills. E.g. Google Digital Garage, Coursera and Alison.
- Listen to relevant TED talks.
Visit our Marketing Jobs page to keep a lookout for new opportunities.