Has the removal of pandemic social restrictions this month led to the removal of your business budget restrictions?
No, we thought not.
Whether it’s covid, fuel costs, war in Ukraine or something else that’s putting pressure on your business, one thing is for sure – doing nothing isn’t the answer. So how do you decide how much to invest in your marketing with confidence?
Let’s start with the background data :
A. Marketing budgets as % of sales were down in 2021 vs 2020 :
Figure 1: Gartner CMO survey 2021
B. A rebound into Digital Marketing is expected for 2022 :
It’s not all doom and gloom for marketers – the latest CMI and Marketing professionals report says that 66% of marketing decision makers say their budgets are going back up for 2022. However, there are tough choices to be made, with the intention to invest in Digital Marketing much higher than in traditional marketing methods :
Figure 2: Marketing Charts by Kantar
C. Marketers are expected to be more efficient
The squeeze during the pandemic has made every department in every business reflect on it’s cost base, and take action to remove any “bloating” – marketing departments are no exception to this, particularly since a proportion of marketing spend is often considered to be discretionary.
“Whilst marketing budgets are lowering, expectations for marketing teams are rising. We are continuously relied on to fill the gaps as organisations recover from the pandemic, compete with emerging competitors and adjust for new consumer demands” Marc Paulenich, President of Hart
Demonstrating ROI will be a critical demand from marketing teams in 2022.
6 factors to consider when planning for 2022 :
1. Balance long term vs short term strategies
When times are tough, there is a tendency to focus on short term, easily measurable activity. However, if you don’t continue to curate and build your brand as part of your marketing strategy, your “street shout” will eventually wither and die. You only need to look at the failures on the High Street such as BHS, Wallis and Debenhams to know exactly what we mean.
Here is a great article by Peter Field on LinkedIn explaining this point in some detail.
2. Stay ahead of search and advertising trends
As our inboxes and social media feeds get busier and fuller, the more important creating an instant visual impression becomes. In fact, The Association of National Advertisers predict that display advertising will overtake text adverts by 2023.
The impact of social media advertising cannot be ignored either. eMarketer produced a forecast for LinkedIn advertising recently which indicates continued growth in this channel for B2B businesses.
Figure 3: eMarketer insider intelligence
Also, no-one wants to scroll through endless text when looking for the answer to a simple question. Optimise your content for snippet questions (People also ask) to get found quickly and easily when your potential customers type a question relevant to you in the search bar.
3. Content is King
There is no question that well written content is one of the top drivers for SEO, so it’s no surprise that marketers are planning to invest more of their spend in content marketing.
Figure 4 : Content Marketing Survey : Content Marketing Institute
The survey respondents cited the top content assets to be :
- Blogs (90%)
- Videos (66%)
- Virtual events / webinars / online courses (64%)
- Case studies (61%)
4. Marketing automation
There’s an old saying, that when you can’t work harder, you have to work smarter.
There are many options to choose from – email tools, report writers, posting schedulers etc.
To avoid “shiny toy syndrome” it’s important to evaluate each tool to see if it solves your efficiency problem, and whether it sits well with your existing tech stack. Most importantly, do both the business and the users see the benefits?
5. The great resignation
The pandemic has changed the way we work, probably forever.
Think carefully about the skills needed in an actual office, what can be run in house, but virtually, what could be covered part time and what is simply a distraction to your core offer … and outsource it.
The pandemic was cruel to all sorts of people, so consider taking on a bright spark of any age or background who can help your team to think positively and differently.
6. Stay agile
Expect the unexpected.
These days, we see that our clients tend to have a budget which is underpinned by “scenarios” which allow them to pivot quickly to respond to a changing economic landscape.
Track useful data that matters to you, and respond when it suggests that you should.
We are still in uncertain / unpredictable times, but changing nothing will simply make you fall behind your competition – fortune favours the brave!
If you’d like to chat about any of the topics covered in this blog, please contact us here at WSI Digital Advisors.