Welcome to 2022!
As you start 2022, slowly take a deep breath and let it out slowly.
Then breathe again since this year, at least short-term, isn’t going to be the year we hoped for.
Across the US, we face higher rates of COVID than we have to-date. Most of it is the highly contagious Omicron variant so that even people who are vaccinated and boosted are getting sick.
Based on experience in South Africa and the UK, Omicron won’t last as long as other variants. But we don’t know what other variations may appear next.
Unfortunately in the US, basic health protocols such as vaccines, boosters and masking in public have become partisan and politicized.
This breaks my heart since people are getting sick and dying needlessly. Even worse, COVID hospitalizations reduce the health system’s ability to treat other serious medical issues.
At a minimum, many of us feel the burden of almost 2 years of living with this contagious disease and its continuing effects, both physical and psychological.
So be nice to yourself, your family, friends and others. Make the effort to reach out to say “hi” to those you don’t see regularly.
As I noted last week:
- Focus on the health and safety of your customers, employees and community to guide your decisions and actions. Based on recent activity, have plans for lower than average employment due to illness, extreme weather and low paying jobs.
- Have flexible business and marketing plans. Where possible, plan backup options ready to implement.
Actionable Marketing Predictions For 2022
As we slowly return to work and our regular routines, think about these 2022 forecasts since they will have a big impact on your marketing.
► New challenges From Increased Information and Media Amounts, Sources and Velocity of Transmission.
As a result, there is and will continue to be:
- Eroded trustworthiness and increased partisanship due to the lack of quality neutral information.
- Expanded concerns about data security and privacy.
- Broader AI-powered delivery of information based on tracking including increased visibility of minority views and non-representative training samples.
► Supply Chain Lumpiness Will Continue.
This will be amplified by extreme weather, the on-going impact of COVID, and labor inequalities especially with low-level work. Currently this is most visible in the transportation, delivery services and hospitality and food sectors.
This will cause price inequalities and fears about inflation. Since people act on their concerns, this will increase inflation and related interest rate increases. Assume these factors will effect your pricing and profitability.
► Use of Non-Government Backed or Regulated Financial Instruments and Technologies Will Increase
Beyond Bitcoin and NFTs, new financial instruments and technologies will continue to proliferate. Many services provide wider audiences with more financial options but often lacking security or training.
Further, retail is experiencing a Back-to-the-Future moment with Buy Now Pay Later plans or BNPL. This old-fashioned short-term financing allows customers to purchase products and services and to pay for them later, often at no fee. While sellers lock in buyers, it may reduce profitability when they don’t charge interest.
► Global Warming Reaches Consumer Consciousness With Extreme Weather Issues
Extreme weather such as fires, droughts, hurricanes and tornadoes continue to increase in number, breath and duration. Beyond loss of life and destruction of property, it puts stress on local and federal resources.
Expect increases in insurance premiums. Further, the changing climate has other effects on your product offering including increased energy and environmental costs.
On the consumer level, the problems associated with the growth of last mile distribution services become apparent. While I’m a fan of online purchasing, living in New York City I see first hand the negative impact. Discarded cartons huddle collapsed in trash areas; delivery trucks parked with their engines running for hours at a time foul the air.
► Geopolitical Issues Remain Center Stage.
Geopolitical issues matter to your business since we live in a global world. Further, they can have influence on your supply chain as well as local and global economics.
The most notable issues are:
- Democracy at risk in the US.
- Russia’s increased military moves against Ukraine.
- Iran’s nuclear strength combined with other military readiness.
- China’s expanded Reach.
► Amazon’s Alexa Loses Customer Luster
Before you put all of your voice marketing effort into Alexa check out what internal documents say about how consumers feel about the devices.
According to Bloomberg, Amazon employs 10,000 people to work on Alexa and its fixed costs were also projected to be $4.2 billion in 2021.
But internal documents reveal that, despite increased investment in new features, usage didn’t improve. YIKES!
Actionable Voice Marketing Tip:
- Diversify the voice operating systems that play your audio content.
Get the inside scoop on Audio Content for 2022.
Includes analysis and charts to help you expand your voice marketing offering.
Reassess your 2022 calendar NOW!
Start by assessing what worked best in 2021 and what needs updating and/or other content formats with determining your key promotions.
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Please stay healthy and safe.
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