Scott McCorkell is the CEO and Owner of McCorkell & Associates, the first integrated B2B marketing agency in the Asia-Pacific region that delivers end-to-end fully integrated services in Creative, Marketing Technology, Events, Contact Centre, Content, AdTech, MarTech, Account Strategy and CRM/Data/ABM.
Dynamic Business asked Scott for his marketing predictions for 2022.
Looking ahead to 2022, my analysis is that businesses and brands are now competing for the time of the same digital audience. Within an ever-changing marketing industry, SMEs need to continually adapt if they want to capture the attention of that finite digital audience.
SMEs often don’t have the budget to compete or scale to enterprise-level marketing through Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) & Search Engine Marketing (SEM), which is friendly to brands that heavily invest in content, digital and social experiences.
But, they can now rely on self-service tech platforms to reach a wider audience. With platforms like Salesforce Essentials, Shopify, and Wix becoming increasingly available, SMEs can solve their business platform problems, without competing with large enterprise-level SEO and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) software.
Deloitte reports that SMEs have successfully used self-service platforms to thrive off accessible feedback sections from both customers and small businesses employees. The platforms also enrich the customer experience with self-manageable on-the-go capabilities, including mobile app integration and programmable chatbots, making it easier to find answers and receive help wherever you are.
However, this growing trend of embracing self-service tech platforms produces inevitable challenges. SMEs have little control over audience engagement or experience due to the platforms’ template orientated style. The platforms also encourage a premium payment to stay connected to utilise the data previously collected for you. SMEs need the skills to effectively manage the platform, whether that means hiring the highly demanded freelance specialist or full-time equivalent (FTE) staff. This puts pressure on the bottom line due to the ever-increasing cost of things like AdWords etc.
Keeping it real
In a post-COVID-19 environment, small businesses need real-world marketing plans that move them closer to their strategic objectives. Therefore, I believe that in 2022, companies will embrace the notion of everything old becoming new again.
I predict there will be a resurgence in direct mail, with the tangible touch of products again creating connection. Sure, artificial intelligence and programming are advancing rapidly, but the truth is that personalisation remains key.
SMEs that deliver quality messages and real experiences will get the best results. Evidence suggests 63 per cent of consumers are dissatisfied with generic advertising blasts and automated Electronic Direct Mail (eDMs), so SMEs relying on these will struggle to create genuine connections. Only the other day, I had a large plumbing company tell me that one of their AdWords was now $250 to click on, and they usually found it took four of these, so it costs $1,000 to gain a real opportunity. Expensive for an SME, hey!
SME’s can stand out by personalising their marketing. This can be through embracing direct mail pieces that individualise responses, personalised content, products, and even by developing one-on-one relationships in communications when undergoing the retention process.
Scott’s tips for success in 2022
I believe that one way for SMEs to succeed in 2022 is to adopt old fashioned Direct Marketing methods & tactics (think direct mail pieces that individualise responses, personalised content, products, SMS, MSG, DM and impact mail). It’s about building and creating a point of difference.
Ultimately, success will be achieved by getting personal: building buyer communities, encouraging referrals and generating word-of-mouth (WOM). And social nurturing will increase exposure and build buyer loyalty. Although this takes time, it is ultimately more authentic and organic, generating long-term profitability and controlling the end-to-end marketing function.
Read more: Is it time to go direct-to-consumer?
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