We’re stronger and tougher after the trials and tribulations of 2021. Here’s how we’re going to make a success of 2022, no matter what the obstacles are.
All bets are off for 2022. No one, not even the self-proclaimed armchair experts on social media, can foretell exactly what’s going to happen. All you can do: embrace flexibility, take some vital lessons from the last two years, and then set yourself up with a team that can help you creatively conquer all obstacles. Here are eight vital lessons from our innovative, culture-driven leaders.
1. Teams need to become fluid, globally-minded, and connected.
Sharon Richey, Global MD
Phrase for 2022: Fluidity, flexibility and freedom.
Evolving is key. To do this, you need a flexible mindset and a culture that seeks change – which in turn requires skilled leadership and stamina. At Because, we’ll be developing our leadership skills so our team is able to be flexible and innovative, and can inspire and motivate their team members. Our leaders will also be talking about self-love and the need to prioritise one’s own well-being to stay mentally fit (because change is not for the faint-hearted).
There has been a seismic change in working behaviours and attitudes (which I love). My team know I work hard and I’m very committed to Because, but I have other demands on my time too, so at times I work odd hours to get the job done. Naturally I’m not alone here, there are others at Because just like me too, so we’ve agreed on a couple of boundaries. Our daily team huddle at 9am is mandatory, and then we’ve created a culture of freedom. Because true work-life balance is about being able to work hard and make time for other things: like having a side hustle that not only brings in a bit of extra income but also fosters an entrepreneurial spirit.
Diversity is not just about gender, ethnicity or colour. Our team is made up of nationalities from around the world, and this makes us culturally more interesting. Global brands need global partners, so being able to work across multiple markets and time zones simultaneously gives Because a competitive advantage. Clients also now get that the bigger, networked agencies are not necessarily better. Today’s business world needs agility and pace, factors you’re far more likely to get working with an independent, global agency.”
2. Use technology with creativity and purpose.
Joss Davidge, Global Innovation Director
Word for 2022: Metaverse.
“2021 was all about transitioning into a new way of working and living. The world will never go back to how it was. In 2022, it will all be about the Metaverse (we’ll be tired of that phrase by the end of the year). We will be creating future brand adventures in this new connected space, but without getting gimmicky. We get better ROI using our own kinds of creative technology in new, novel ways to connect people and to provide unique experiences.”
3. Put your health and the health of the planet first.
Meredith Cranmer, Co-founder and MD ANZ
Phrasefor2022: Embrace the unknown.
“My word to describe 2021: ‘samey’. My prediction for 2022: No one has a clue what’s going to happen in 2022, and that in order to succeed, we all need to be mentally strong, fit and well. The two growth industries that I’m betting on: I think that play will be increasingly important for adults, and those industries and brands that create experiences that intersect between learning and play will continue to thrive. It can be anything from roller-skating to ocean swimming or a hobby like arts and crafts. The second: climate change. It’s a personal hope of mine that we turn talk into action and that the people support businesses who don’t just greenwash (I’m looking at you, H&M), but those who genuinely make tangible steps to make the world a better place.”
4. Turn spectators into connected fans.
Gareth Brock, Managing Partner ANZ
Phrase for 2022: Hybrid engagement.
“In 2022, we’ll see a resurgence of sports fans attending games, but like everything else sports marketers will need to focus on hybrid engagement: the live, in-stadium experience and the at-home arena as fans transition in how they want to watch their favourite team. This will enable brands to stretch their dollar and create a truly connected fan experience with a massive reach. This is done by using the latest in creative technologies and a mobile-first mindset to engage at all touchpoints. This digital approach will enable sponsors to authentically connect and create a long-term 1-2-1 relationship with fans beyond the season, and use their data to personalise the engagement. We’re excited to see how the ownership of sports moments using NFT’s will further gamify fans’ passion for their team, and create both exclusivity and scarcity.”
5. Harness the evolving hybrid event.
Corinna Homer, Business Director NZ
Word for 2022: Transformative!
“We’ve had a year of events, clients and brands sticking their toe into the water of hybrid delivery. And, depending on budgets and objectives, these have ranged widely:
- A quick, slick video broadcast that audiences could tune into from the comfort of their own home with a bottle of wine sent a few days before;
- A traditionally live half marathon fundraising event going fully virtual, with all participants completing the walk in their own neighbourhoods via Strava, and creating a pop-up radio station to link everyone together and create a community, despite being apart;
- A fully immersive live event in a Covid-safe venue with virtual audiences beaming in. In this case, the in-person guests could ‘buy’ goodies and catering via virtual atoms onsite at the event, and the virtual audiences could do the same online.
These hybrid events will continue to evolve as we continue to understand what works and what doesn’t – and how to get the balance just right and not overcomplicate it. It’s the difference between someone passively watching a broadcast versus being involved, immersed and creatively engaged. The exciting part: it’s not technology for technology’s sake; it’s about using tech to its full advantage to craft human connections despite the current times.”
6. Plan digital + live omnichannel strategies for a greater reach.
Gwyn Humphreys, Business Director SG
Word for 2022: Hope.
“So much of our lives has changed so quickly due to Covid, but with the world starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, what does this mean for marketing strategies?
Digital-first will remain the default way we engage and interact, and so it’s essential that marketing strategies lead with this. We’ll see greater use of innovative technologies, such as Virtual Atoms, that allow brands to engage with their audience wherever they may be, and in a contactless way. We’ve already seen a handful of brands doing this:
like our work with Benefit, Jaffa Cakes and CUB.
People are desperate for live interactions, so I see a big return for experiential brand experiences. Yes, there will be different safety routines and regulations, but that will become the norm and won’t stop people from wanting to engage face-to-face. People will be willing to pay for truly great experiences, and it’s up to brands to think about what their consumers value, what’s authentic for the brand to deliver, and ensure that it aligns with their overall messaging. Smart brands will look to combine their live experience and their digital via an omnichannel experience to expand their reach. It will allow them to engage those at home who can’t make it to the live experience as well as those that can. Brands will make their experiences global as people from all around the world can join.”
7. To unlock agency success, you need to get your ingredient mix right.
Katie Penfold, Managing Director UK
Phrase for 2022: People + culture + clients = amazing work.
“Like any good cocktail, it shouldn’t have too many ingredients but require a significant amount of skill to make. It’s all about people and clients, really, but each requires three key factors to shine. To find out what those are, you’ll need to read this.
It’s all about The Work, The Work, The Work – As one of our Global Because Awards is named. The right people, right culture, and right clients mean amazing work.”
8. Find the fun and you’ll be lavished with brand love.
Kate, Brand Director
Phrase for 2022: Find the fun.
“The world hung its hopes on 2021 being a fresh start. It wasn’t. In fact, in many ways for brands, agencies and consumers alike, it surpassed 2020 earning itself the unenviable title of being ‘one of the suckiest years yet’. Needless to say, global anxiety has been at an all-time high, but that’s all about to change.
People are tired of feeling sorry for themselves. They’re tired of being stressed, depressed, scared, confined, bored, deprived… What they want is a release. Some excitement. Something that lifts them out of the funk, and allows them to have a bit of (safe) fun.
There’s a yearning for optimism and a desperation for experiences that bring and spread joy and create real connections between people, and it’s the brands and agencies that assume the responsibility to deliver them that will ultimately win.
So, create happiness, help adults find their inner child and let children be children. Wrap serious messages in a layer of frivolity. Help the world build back better. Help it find the fun and you’ll be rewarded with long-lasting brand love.”
WRAPPING THINGS UP…
We’re not saying 2022 is going to be easy: there will inevitably be a few unseen hurdles. But, we’re ready thanks to the lessons we’ve learned and the talented people on our team. We’re here if you need a partner to help you conquer 2022. Here’s to making it our best one yet!