Next year, the spotlight will be shining brighter than ever on chief marketing officers and how they allocate their budgets. In August of this year, surveyed CMOs said that their marketing spending had increased by more than 5% in the previous 12 months. And when budgeting for 2022, spending is predicted to skyrocket by more than 13%. So the pressure is on, and room for error is shrinking. Here I will cover three major thoughts to consider while you decide which areas of strategy deserve the most dollars.
Invest in your digital customer experience. You won’t regret it.
It’s no secret that the customer experience your brand offers matters. And this is increasingly true in today’s experience-focused economy. Beginning in 2020, many brands had to shift their focus from the physical or retail experience they provided to primarily digital. This involved creating a consistent and seamless experience across all platforms.
Now, and in 2022, brands and advertisers need to take this mindset even further. This will require prioritizing the following:
• Finding out what differentiates your brand across the digital ecosystem.
• Leaning into that differentiation while activating on new and innovative platforms.
• Dedicating specific resources, like customer experience and user experience teams, to your digital experience to ensure success.
• Testing new features and tools like chatbots and augmented reality to enhance the digital shopping experience.
• Investing in both conversion and retention strategies.
This will look different for most brands but is equally crucial for all. Customer acquisition is becoming more complicated and expensive. So uncovering what will help you acquire more customers efficiently and increase the lifetime value of your customers will pay off in spades.
Next, investing in technology will help your brand take its overall strategy up a notch faster — especially as it applies to enhancing your customer experience, engagement, and personalization. Augmented reality and virtual reality can elevate your presence and help you expand into new markets. Additionally, artificial intelligence and data analytics platforms can help you cater to shopper preferences and improve your results.
There is an overwhelming number of options available to consider. I recommend proceeding with caution and being rigorous when considering which tech is worth your spending. Tech is undeniably expensive and can quickly account for the bulk of your budget. This is an opportunity to make sure whatever tech you invest in moves you closer to your business objectives.
Finally, as we head into 2022, remember that the savviest brands are making a stronger shift from traditional marketing channels to more modern mediums. This year, some of the most popular and successful mediums have been TikTok, Snapchat AR, and over-the-top advertising. And television, radio, and out-of-home advertising are rapidly shifting toward an accessible future — meaning advertisers can revisit these channels that were once more difficult to purchase and secure.
With this in mind, it’s crucial to focus less on channel-first budgeting for 2022 and bring your attention back to key business objectives as I mentioned above. Doing so will create an environment where budgets are fluid and can flow from channel to channel as needed. In today’s landscape, it’s crucial to budget in such a way that allows your teams to evaluate performance and pivot rather than locking them into certain channels. This is especially important amid the growth and introduction of new platforms.
This approach will also allow your team to test and learn more freely. When budget isn’t designated toward specific tactics, marketers can test and determine which platforms are crucial to business and which are simply nice to have. I recommend leaning into programmatic buying to streamline your media buying process and allow for true flexibility. This will shift you from a guaranteed budget and provide more leverage on the buy-side.
As we begin the year, it’s imperative to remain focused and forward-thinking. Avoid getting wrapped up in the chaos of the end of the year, and solidify a marketing budget that’s guaranteed to succeed. Keeping the above in mind will help you get there. Remember, your brand’s digital experience, tech, and media mix are the key players you can’t ignore. Reach out to Code3 for support.
This post was originally published via Forbes Agency Council.