Storyboard18 - 2022 - Definitely, maybe: From the intense fight for customer wallet share to full-funnel marketing for FMCG

Predictions are a risky business. But we're bravely venturing again to list the many ways things will change in the future. In these articles, we have industry leaders and experts trying to future-gaze and capture the transformative and disruptive ideas and trends that will 'change everything as we know it' (or not). In 2022, definitely, maybe

Published: Dec 30, 2021 03:42:34 PM IST
Updated: Dec 30, 2021 03:52:33 PM IST

A shift in consumer touchpoints during the past couple of years due to the pandemic will attract mainstream full-funnel marketing investments that will be sector agnostic; Image: Shutterstock

Heraclitus popularly said, “The only constant in life is change.” On some level, many of us have always subscribed to this viewpoint, but the past year or two made this amply evident. As a people, we embraced change like never before, whether we liked it or not. Our ways of living, working, eating, shopping, and socialising turned on their heads. I don’t think it will be off the mark to say that these behavioural changes are here to stay.

With that said and a new year being upon us, now is the perfect time to take a few moments and crystal gaze into what 2022 might look like in light of this. Here are my thoughts on the five trends likely to rise in the coming year.

Fight for a share of the consumer’s wallet
The ebbs and flows of the pandemic bumped up inflation levels, but incomes did not increase in the same vein. While a significant chunk of the out-of-home consumption market shifted to in-home last year, based on which the packaged foods industry gained, the tailwinds picked up from this will also slowly taper off as everything opens up. This means consumers will be cautious about the brands they choose to interact with and spend on. Automatically this puts the industry into a position of vying for the consumer’s limited spending intent. Brands that go beyond addressing a need gap by way of adding value to the consumer’s life are the ones that will win upfront.

The increased importance of holistic well-being
The initial part of the coming year is likely to mirror the corresponding half of 2021. The current cyclical nature of the pandemic will influence how organisations and people navigate it, possibly in a hybrid or work-from-home setup once again. No generation has been sensitised to the importance of mental and physical well-being as much as the current lot considering these realities. Naturally, the emphasis on holistic wellness will be more now than ever before. In addition to addressing physical and mental needs, employers must take cognizance of emotional, social, and financial well-being through various efforts.

Dialling up the convenience factor
The importance of convenience in the consumer’s life, granted the new ways of living, cannot be stated enough. It is an area to specifically focus on if a brand can share the load of the family’s lifestyle requirements by fulfilling empty gaps or easing the burden on the time-pressed homemaker. Consumers will undoubtedly seek more convenience, and brands that can bet big on serving this need will emerge clear winners.

OTT will become the new cinema
The significance of television as a marketer’s tool will not diminish, but urban India will pivot in a big way towards OTT platforms for their primary entertainment needs. Marketers will follow suit to stay relevant in their communication channels and formats amongst consumers.

Full funnel marketing and analytics will be all-pervasive
The FMCG sector has been the last bastion of full-funnel marketing and analytics in many ways, given its dominant brick-and-mortar model of business. Attempts to prod the consumer from awareness to conversion stage via performance marketing and analytics began making inroads into the sector a while ago. However, a shift in consumer touchpoints during the past couple of years due to the pandemic will attract mainstream full-funnel marketing investments that will be sector agnostic.

In a nutshell, we are all set for a year that will explode in terms of marketing tactics, consumer buying behaviours, employee management, and brand strategies—and it promises to be an exciting time for businesses and consumers alike. It’s time to wake up and have some nourishing breakfast.

Sumit Mathur is Director Marketing, Kellogg South Asia. Views expressed are personal.

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