Tackling the Changing Marketing Landscape: 4 Tips for 2022

  • Categories:

    Marketing Insights, Brand Strategy

  • Date:

    February 8, 2022

Tackling the Changing Marketing Landscape: 4 Tips for 2022

Marketing Insights Brand Strategy

Welcome to year three of the pandemic. If you’re responsible for marketing planning for your business, the following tips should help you tackle a vastly changed landscape.

But first, let’s take a quick look back at what brought us here.

  • 2020: Widespread stay-at-home orders spark nesting behaviors. Remodels and redesigns, new home offices and new sanctuary spaces drive home improvement activity. Homeowners, who are spending more time at home than ever, focus largely on comfort, productivity and safety. Meanwhile, brands pull back their marketing spend as they wrestle with unknowns. Cue the effects: Internet traffic spikes, media costs drop and e-commerce supply chains suffer. In the end, it’s a strange year that nevertheless delivers positive results for brands that stay in the game.

  • 2021: More brands bring back their media spend, and audiences reenter the outside world. Media costs increase, while engagement rates return closer to historic norms. In the home improvement industry, contractor and worker shortages, coupled with product availability challenges, curtail some of consumers’ earlier enthusiasm for home renovations. Many states slowly return to the office and the classroom.

As for now? 2022 still features pent-up demand, largely driven by ongoing supply chain challenges including lumber shortages and shipping delays. And, while meeting consumer expectations on the service side should be a critical goal for most businesses this year, the following four strategies can help your brand build mindshare and market share.

1. Build digital trust with quality content.

    Every company is trying to build direct relationships with customers during a time in which in-person events and experiences remain difficult to plan and activate. This, in turn, has made quality content more critical than ever.

    In the age of Instagram Reels and three-minute TikToks, readable content still has a seat at the table. In fact, long-form “guide” content that offers readers useful, in-depth information in an easy-to-consume format will continue to bolster your brand’s position as a trusted thought leader. Furthermore, high-value content can increase personalization, bolster the customer experience and help you attract more organic search traffic — all while supporting conversions for each stage of the sales funnel.

    Building digital trust applies to not only the content you create, but also how, where, when and to whom you deliver said content. For example, consider email marketing. Implementing sound strategies in this space — say, creating a sunset policy to protect your sender score and improve results — can help you boost trust by not just what you communicate but how.

    2. Stick with influencer marketing.

    Influencer marketing continues to have huge upsides, becoming a $13.8 billion industry in 2021 (Statista). Wray Ward’s clients have built successful influencer campaigns in the builder and designer markets by tapping into the pros most trusted by other pros.

    This will likely persist, especially as brands move away from one-off campaigns toward longer-term partnerships with trusted influencers. Consider, too, that nearly 50% of people are spending more time on social media than they did before the pandemic (and, while they’re at it, turning to influencers such as custom builder Matt Risinger and designer Emily Henderson for tips and tricks). Social mainstays such as Instagram are still going strong, but rising stars are also moving the needle: Consider that in 2020, TikTok home renovation content grew by 156%.

    We presented on influencer marketing for home improvement brands at the 2021 Home Improvement Research Institute Summit. Download our presentation for more on influencers and social media trends.

    3. Remain prepared for the unknowns of in-person events.

    Every company is trying to build relationships with customers during a time in which in-person events and experiences remain challenging to plan and activate. Some brand experiences and events are coming back as small, more intimate affairs. Many people are ready to get out there but maybe not quite ready for crowds. Like everything else the past two years, there is a lot of planning, waiting and seeing, replanning, and then making the best decision possible.

    In early 2022, Wray Ward got a firsthand look, joining our clients participating in the AHR Expo and International Builders’ Show. Stay tuned for real-time updates and post-show insights.

    4. Remember the fundamentals.

    During the last two years, we’ve seen a big push down the funnel toward measurable, engagement-focused media tactics and sales or lead-building campaigns. With in-market shopper demand sky-high, this seems to make logical sense.

    However, the fundamentals are still your best strategy for long-term growth. Resist the urge to chase every new, shiny object at the expense of effective and proven strategies and activations. Marketers who stay the course, driving awareness for their company and products and ensuring those products are easily found for purchase while capturing in-market customers with a well-defined digital sales or lead funnel, will ultimately see the best results.

    Need help navigating the vacillating world of marketing planning? Email me.

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