Marketers are no strangers to change. You’ve operated in a world where consumer preferences are always shifting, where technology is always evolving, and the market is always moving. This has been especially true in the past two years where so much of our realm has been disrupted.
But these changes are not slowing down. As we look forward, we foresee a few major trends that will be impacting marketers.
We sat down with Liferay’s VP of Marketing and former analyst at Forrester, Jonathan Tam for his insights on what digital transformation trends will be most critical for marketing success in 2022 and beyond.
Cutting Out the Noise
With over 46% of businesses worldwide increasing their digital maturity to continue to serve customers in the pandemic, it’s becoming more difficult to stand out amidst the competition.
“Since we all moved online, there's been more content, more ads, more webinars, just more noise. I think back to when email first went ‘mainstream’ in the early 2000s, but now we get hundreds of emails each day. Even if there’s a well-crafted email that makes it to my inbox, it’s like trying to search for a needle in a massive haystack, and I’m not willing to dig,” says Jon.
But being online doesn’t necessarily equate to strong digital capabilities, especially when everyone else is also trying to capture customers’ attention.
That’s why successful digital transformation is critical for marketers in 2022. It’s not enough to just be online, those online experiences must be superior.
Here are the 3 big digital transformation trends this B2B marketing executive believes will be most prominent in 2022:
Digital and In-Person, Not Either Or
“Even as the world opens up more, digital isn’t going away. If anything, it puts the stress on companies to deliver both excellent in-person AND digital experiences. It’s never going to be an either or situation anymore,” said Jon.
“Customers will be expecting virtual options even when things are safe to attend in-person. There will always be a population that will want virtual. Especially as companies evaluate hybrid work and more individuals want to continue to work remotely,” adds Jon.
Marketers must capitalize on this trend and must not only continue to enhance their digital offerings, but also weave it together with amazing in-person experiences.
But according to a survey conducted in 2020, only 9% of respondents have a seamless experience across all their offline and digital touchpoints.
In order to deliver a truly omnichannel experience, businesses will need to invest in integration, to unite different systems and applications on a single solution.
According to Scott Brinker’s Martech 5000, there are over 8,000 marketing technology solutions alone as of 2020. Consider how large this number becomes as you start including applications your support teams, IT department, sales representatives, and others across the company need to manage and maintain.
Better Data for Better Personalization
The most direct way to cut through the haystack and ensure customers can find your message is through personalization. But that’s also the hard part, especially given how many other businesses are vying for the customer’s attention.
Personalization is by no means a new tactic; however, it’s one that many organizations still struggle to execute successfully. Either it’s not relevant enough or it’s too invasive.
According to a 2020 survey conducted by NTT, 86.5% of respondents have either no personalization or only partial personalization.
What are these companies missing? Advanced tools? Staff?
Jon believes the answer lies deeper, in the lack of relevant data. “A key element to personalization success is the ability to aggregate and collect data from different touchpoints and channels. Otherwise you don’t have a complete picture of the buyer. A lot of tech stacks are still being built in silos, with individual departments and teams using their own technologies and applications. These don’t always work together, leading to disparate data that’s locked away and unable to be used to better understand the customer,” says Jon.
So, if marketers want to enhance their digital experiences, they will need to invest in integration technologies that will help eliminate silos and bring data into a single location to build a complete picture of the customer.
Increase Digital Agility
It’s no longer enough to be digital. This past year proved that businesses must be able to go to market faster.
While we don’t foresee another global-scale crisis happening soon, companies can prepare now to make sure that their businesses are equipped to shift and change according to customer needs.
But to do so will require investment in digital capabilities that will accelerate time-to-market. These include:
- Equipping non-technical and technical users with low-code and no-code capabilities.
- Leveraging cloud to ensure business continuity and scalability, instead of having IT teams maintain and update on-premise infrastructure.
- Improving internal operations by implementing self-service for employee
Digital Transformation for 2022 and Beyond
While adapting to change is an integral element of a marketer’s day-to-day tasks, the core of what marketers do still remains the same: bringing value to the customer.
“Digital transformation is not just a platform or a technology, it’s an integrative strategy that has the buyer at the center. So no matter what tactics or applications you leverage, the focus must still be on the customer,” says Jon.
Jonathan Tam leads Liferay’s marketing team and is responsible for streamlining Liferay’s marketing strategy and communicating the business value of Liferay Digital Experience Platform and the solutions made possible by Liferay’s product portfolio. He joined the Liferay team in August 2019 after previous roles as an industry and marketing analyst at Forrester Research/SiriusDecisions.