As I look out of my window this morning, we have snow! I love the snow and it always causes great excitement in our house. As we start to slow down in preparation for the festive season, it is a good time to reflect on the year just past before turning our attention to the new year ahead. This process helps us to prepare for January and to start the new year off with renewed energy and focus.
This year has been a good one, at a local level, it has been so positive to see so many small businesses start to thrive and grow post the recent difficult years of COVID. Whilst there has been a lot that has happened, there have been some significant events which have influenced business and how we work.
The Ukraine war, which started with Russia’s invasion on 24 February, has impacted many. The impact has been felt, not just from an emotional perspective but also financially. The cost of this war has expedited our economy to a recession, causing a rise in the cost of living and soaring energy bills. For businesses with physical premises in whatever sector, this has meant huge increases in prices.
England’s Women’s football team WIN the UEFA European Cup, on 31 July the Lionesses beat Germany 2-1 in the final. This was a great game to watch. Not particularly a football fan, it was so good to see the team achieve this, catapulting not just women’s football but women’s sport into the limelight.
Queen Elizabeth II passed away on 8 September, whether you are in favour of the monarchy or not, it rocked the foundations of British society. How our society evolves forward and updates itself to reflect the new times will remain to be seen.
Politically, it has been a turbulent year, with two Prime Ministers in the autumn, in very quick succession. Liz Truss made the history books by being in power for just 50 days, the shortest-serving prime minister in British history.
FIFA World Cup, an interesting conclusion to the year. The games have been controversial in many ways, over the host nation’s human rights record, some very unexpected results and a first for being hosted in the Middle East.
As we turn our attention to some of the changes in the marketing sector over 2022 a lot has happened. I wanted to just focus on five things which really stood out:
1. Community and Charity
With so many significant world events taking place, there has been an overwhelming sense of community. I have observed many small businesses donating to charity, volunteering their time or fundraising much-needed monies. Some great local charities to me are Thames Hospice, Alexander Devine, NRAS, The Baby Bank and Battersea Dogs Home. It has been interested to see that even global brands are following this idea. A great example of this is the 2022 John Lewis Christmas ad; instead of focusing on their product sales, they share their ethos of supporting children in foster care.
2. The Environment
Post the COP summit in Glasgow last year, the focus on the environment has certainly come to the fore. Whilst it is disappointing to see that not all politicians agree with this focus, at a local level, small business owners are doing what they can to work in a more sustainable way, supporting environmental projects or creating more environmentally friendly packaging. Ecologi has certainly been a fantastic example of this.
3. Marketing Personalisation
During our 2023 planning sessions with our clients, there has been a real focus on personalisation and customer retention as a growth strategy for next year. It is cited to be at least five times more economical to retain existing customers rather than acquire new ones. Rewarding your customers for their loyalty seems to be really obvious to me; unfortunately, not all businesses and sectors seem to agree. It is interesting that all banks are removing branches from the high street and encouraging their clients to compete on price, offering incentives to shift from one supplier to another.
4. Social Media
Social media companies have featured quite heavily in the news this year. With huge changes just announced on LinkedIn over the last few weeks, Elon Musk buying Twitter in October for a record $44bn; Facebook making huge redundancies (13% of its staff); Snap Chat also making huge redundancies (20% of its staff) and interestingly the engagement with TikTok continuing to rise. Whichever way we look at it, the social media industry will be a very interesting one to watch in 2023.
5. Video Marketing
Over the last few years, video marketing has continued to grow in usage, engagement and importance to marketers. With 86% of all businesses now using video as part of their marketing mix, this trend is definitely set to continue into 2023.
We have also continued to see trends such as a rise in sharing of content, a focus on the importance of understanding your data, more virtual events and influencer marketing.
As a final summary of 2022 – A marketing year in review, it was interesting to see what people have been searching for this year. As you may expect the Ukraine war, Liz Truss and the Queen feature quite prominently.
I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous new year. Enjoy the downtime, and of course, if I can help you to kick-start your marketing in January, please get in touch to arrange a discovery call.