2022 is fast approaching, and as 2020/21 have proved, there’s no way we can really tell what’s going to happen, in or out of the marketing world. However, we can make a few predictions based on Gen Z trends, ideas and values. YMS21 LDN saw James Kirkham of Defected Records, Miles Lowry of F1 and Malachy O’Keeffe of Pho restaurants come together on our panel ‘What’s Next – Should Marketing in 2022 Go Back to Normal’?, where they discussed lessons learnt from the pandemic, the ‘new normal’ and what they think Gen Z will want in 2022.
Check out our highlights from the session below 👀:
🔥 The fast-paced, reactive nature of pandemic marketing will continue. Pre-pandemic, you may have been inclined to spend hours perfecting and finalising content and ideas before hitting ‘Go’, but the pandemic has taught us that that doesn’t always need to be the case. James discussed Defected Records’ process for launching virtual events during the pandemic, admitting that the idea started in a Whatsapp chat on a Sunday night and had been launched by the following Friday. It wasn’t a long and arduous process that the teams spent months over, but it was creative, fast and hugely successful. To quote James: “Creativity comes from adversity”
🤗 Brands will continue to be transparent with their consumers. Hundreds of businesses across the world raised money to support the vulnerable and key worker charities during the pandemic, and many were also more open and honest with their consumers. UK-based Vietnamese chain, Pho, was no exception; their Marketing Manager, Malachy, discussed how they approached the pandemic as a chance to redirect their communications and took an open and honest approach with their customers by admitting when and how they were struggling. The result? Respect and brand loyalty.
👀 Guess what, Gen Z still wants personality. The basics of Gen Z marketing aren’t changing any time soon – they want brands to have a personality, and they want a two-way conversation. On this topic, Miles explained that focusing on personalities in sport is key, suggesting people want to know about the backgrounds of those that star in brand campaigns
❤️ The demand from Gen Z for engagement and allyship isn’t going anywhere. Gen Z cares more than any generation before them, and there’s no doubt that they’ll continue to favour companies that share their beliefs and values. They’re a generation that is willing and ready to call out performative activism, and want companies that have the evidence and longevity to back up what they’re saying.
👍 Seize the day and act on those plans. Remember those plans that you made pre-pandemic and put on pause, or found an excuse to put them to one side? Miles suggested that now’s the time to act on those foundations, put those plans into action, and treat this new marketing space as an opportunity. The top line message? Don’t go back to normal, go back better.
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