Post-corona: Rewriting the Marketing Playbook for 2022

The COVID-19 era forced brands to rip up their marketing playbooks and accelerate the move towards digitalisation and transformation. As consumers became less predictable and more demanding, marketers had to pivot away from campaign centricity and have instead become more data- and outcome-driven. Few, if any, brands would continue to doubt the wisdom of investing in marketing data and technology. 

But even as the world transitions towards endemicity, the new normal isn’t what it seems. This article explores the three key areas that should be top of mind for marketers in 2022, and delves into what brands can do to bulk up their marketing toolkit for a post-COVID world.

CMO Building Blocks

In adjusting to these new realities, CMOs need to gain mastery over four new digital marketing transformation competencies in 2022:

Bottom-of-the-funnel focus. If 2021 was all about spending for top-of-the-funnel growth, then 2022 is when marketers should start optimising for conversion. Pressure is increasing on marketers to show how their efforts directly translate to business outcomes.

Activation of first-party data. Amid rising privacy concerns and regulatory requirements, marketers have to double down on leveraging first-party data, which can boost their return on marketing investment if aided by a modern MarTech stack and tools such as customer data platforms.

Platform-centric implementation. The fast emergence of walled gardens like TikTok, Facebook, and Google means that brands need to spend time developing internal capabilities, as well as experimenting and learning about the marketing potential – but also pitfalls – for each platform.

Next-generation messaging. Marrying conversational artificial intelligence with over-the-top (OTT) messaging platforms such as WhatsApp is a powerful approach, not only for customer service, but also generating additional sales via up-selling and cross-selling.

The CMO blueprint gives a comprehensive picture of the priorities a senior marketer should embrace in 2022, including:

  • Media distribution: Enhancing attribution measurement and bid optimisation with a focus on 1:1 personalised communication.
  • Enterprise analytics: Drawing deeper insights from data to build effective customer intent and interest models.
  • Creative automation: Creating personalised content, especially videos, at scale and at cost parity with still images.
  • Customer experience: Combining data and content to make each touch point relevant throughout the customer lifecycle.
  • Digital commerce: Improving digital store operations and eCommerce intelligence to augment revenue growth.
  • Customer engagement: Moving from email marketing and mobile push notifications towards SMS solutions and especially OTT messaging.

AI & MarTech Investment

As the MarTech landscape bursts with innovation, there’s never been a better time for brands to invest in a fit-for-purpose technology stack. The adoption of artificial intelligence and machine learning tools will be foundational to gaining a competitive edge in 2022. And as omnichannel customer touch points are set to grow exponentially, marketers will need an integrated set of tools to help them maintain a single source of truth, optimise the customer experience, and increase customer lifetime value.

A New Metaverse 

Web3, NFTs, and the metaverse all became mainstream in 2021, and their presence will only grow in 2022. A few global brands such as Nike have dared to be first movers in this space, paving the way for a new kind of marketing and brand-building in the virtual world. Widespread consumer adoption of the metaverse will probably arrive in Southeast Asia within the next two to three years, so it makes sense to follow in Nike’s sneakered footsteps and start experimenting as soon as possible.

Learn more about how marketers can rewrite their playbook for 2022 by watching the full video from our Re.Con on-demand webinar.


Planning for 2022 & Beyond

Adopting a growth mindset should be how businesses move forward from a COVID-tinged 2021. Find out what it takes to turn 2022 into a strategic opportunity for marketers.


Srinivas Gattamneni