The Insights Blog

Forrester’s 2022 Predictions: Key takeaways for CMOs and agency leaders

Forrester’s 2022 Predictions: Key takeaways for CMOs and agency leaders

predictions 2022

The team at Forrester recently released their annual “predictions” report covering 2022. And they followed up their report with a helpful webinar. This is an important report with a number of observations that are worth considering.

The key overview is spot on: “In 2022, the new normal will be more new than it will be normal”.

This is a fine report and perfect for time strapped executives: the team at Forrester present their key predictions in easy-to-read quick blurbs. You can read their 12 predictions in under ten minutes! And the Forrester site has plenty of additional free material even for non-subscribers. The 12 predictions are:

  1. Consumers see the world as all digital
  2. Tech execs leap from digital to human-centric technology transformations
  3. Brands dance and spar with marketplaces
  4. Third-party risks escalate as just-in-case supply chains gain ground
  5. Creative AI becomes a focus for innovators
  6. B2B marketers accelerate technology investments, with uneven results
  7. Brands take bold actions to advance ESG goals
  8. Accessibility becomes a major business priority
  9. Companies fail at anywhere work, and it isn’t the virus’s fault
  10. Cloud-native takes center stage in enterprise cloud
  11. Bias bounties become bountiful
  12. Smart infrastructure growth accelerates

The team at Mercer Island Group dove into their twelve predictions (you can get the free report from Forrester at the link later in this article) and have focused on a handful that we believe are super relevant to most marketers and agency executives.

Their first major theme is that we have not only passed the digital tipping point, we have reached a new digital normal in consumer expectations:

Consumers see the world as all digital.

Source: Forrester Predictions 2022

Gone are the days of “digital this” and “traditional that”. If you aren’t integrated and are not thinking digital first, you are a dinosaur waiting for the comet.

If you are a marketer, it is late to start planning how you will address breaking down your organization’s traditional and digital silos. You need a sledgehammer. The integration work needs to start today if it is not already well underway.

If you are an agency executive, you need to demand integrated briefs and your internal agency briefs need to be written from a digital first perspective.

Brands dance and spar with marketplaces.

In the US, 57% of B2C sales are flowing through marketplaces. And there is great energy on the brand side to fight back and take back sales, relationships and margin with their own direct commerce initiatives. The opinion at Mercer Island Group is to: beware, be careful and be clever. Consumers don’t want to make an extra stop online anymore than they want to go to another physical store. Everyone is tight on time and convenience will remain critical.

Source: Forrester Predictions 2022

If you are a marketer, we suggest that you build your direct commerce efforts around the consumer’s natural flight path – interrupt them along their journey and be where they need you to be when they need you. Don’t run away from the marketplaces; rather, be clever about how your products show up naturally in the digital experiences that your target audience is already engaging with.

If you are an agency executive, you need to continue to refine your ability to help marketers understand their audiences’ customer journeys and get even better at activating solutions that leverage that understanding.

B2B marketers accelerate technology investments, with uneven results.

At Mercer Island Group, we enthusiastically agree – AND we think the same theme will continue to hold true for B2C marketers.

Source: Forrester Predictions 2022

The Forrester folks believe that many B2B marketing investments will fail due to uneven or poor customer insights. In our experience this is a global marketing problem that cuts across B2B, B2C, brands, agencies and companies of all sizes and shapes.

We commonly see a failure by marketers to understand what an insight is. An insight isn’t a data point. It’s not analysis or evaluation. At Mercer Island Group we believe insights are profound human truths about people, categories, products, businesses, and brands. Insights are the core fuel of great strategy and great tactics.

If you are a marketer or agency executive, make sure your marketers know what an insight is and how to do the hard work to uncover, develop and apply insights. Train them to uncover insights and your return will be extraordinary.

The Forrester 2022 Predictions report is a fine resource that every marketing and agency leader should read. You can access it for free from the Forrester team here.

And – if you have questions about any of this – we’d be happy to speak with you. We have helped numerous marketers and agencies transform their capabilities including strategy and insight training, integrating marketing workflows and helping marketers find the right partner agencies that “get it”.

Steve Boehler, founder, and partner at Mercer Island Group has led consulting teams on behalf of clients as diverse as Zillow Group, Microsoft, UScellular, Nintendo, Ulta Beauty, Stop & Shop, Qualcomm, Brooks Running, and numerous others. He founded MIG after serving as a division president in a Fortune 100 when he was only 32. Earlier in his career, Steve Boehler cut his teeth with a decade in Brand Management at Procter & Gamble, leading brands like Tide, Pringles, and Jif.