Eduardo Sonoda was born and raised in East London and graduated from The University of East London and London Marketing Academy. Sonoda rose through the ranks of some of the U.K.’s most prestigious marketing organizations in just a few years. After six years in the sector, Sonoda chose to go out on his own, forming Eduardo Sonoda Advisory using his knowledge and customer-focused approach. Here, Sonoda shares some of the most disruptive marketing trends in the U.K. for 2022.
1. Revolutionary Changes in the Automotive Industry
The change to e-mobility and electrification is happening across the world, not just in the United Kingdom, says Sonoda. However, it will alter the way people in the U.K. live, travel, and spend, with far-reaching repercussions for the automobile, energy, insurance, banking, and technology industries. In that sense, it’s a major trend in the United Kingdom. Consumers are migrating away from automobile ownership and toward models such as car sharing, while rising sales of electric vehicles (EVs) and the development of charging networks are generating possibilities for manufacturers in post-sales customer support and e-commerce. In summary, a new mobility ecology is emerging, presenting an enormous opportunity for companies. “Every time we talk about a change of position or a new opportunity,” Guillaume Langle, Comdata’s global automotive and mobility practice leader, adds, “the customer support and technological knowledge have to be in place to support that.”
The diversity of languages spoken in London distinguishes it from other multilingual hub cities. In addition to the usual Western European languages, there are significant and steady communities of individuals who speak Nordic and Eastern European languages, Mandarin, Cantonese, Swahili, Arabic, and a variety of other languages, all of which are capable of operating across numerous channels. As a result, London (and certain other regions of the United Kingdom) is an excellent location for multilingual, trilingual, and multilingual multichannel marketing, which is changing the marketing landscape, says Sonoda.
3. Support For Entrepreneurs and Startups
Napoleon is said to have referred to Britain as a “country of shops,” but it is actually a nation of small enterprises. Small or medium enterprises (SMEs) make up 99.9% of the U.K.’s business population, and more than 1,000 new enterprises were founded every day before COVID-19. With up to a quarter of U.K. workers expected to resign in the next months as part of the so-called ‘Great Resignation,’ the startup rate might skyrocket following the epidemic. However, many observers believe that growing U.K. startups into midsize firms is challenging, and that entrepreneurs need broader access to common resources to scale. Comdata U.K. has launched a flexible Bureau solution for growing businesses in response to this market need. The common multilingual resource enables them to: outsource their customer support operation and improve customer experience, even when call volumes fluctuate.
4. Subscription Modeling
According to Royal Mail, about 30% of U.K. customers subscribe to at least one subscription service. Cocktails, cosmetic goods, meal packages, coffee, socks — you name it, and a subscription service will almost certainly exist, Sonoda explains. It wasn’t just a temporary fad, either: By 2025, subscription box sales are expected to reach £1.8 billion per year. The benefits of subscription box services for companies are obvious, including income continuity, new prospects for client retention, higher spending, and long-term value. However, there are also substantial hurdles, such as the possible expense of running these services, consumers’ need for higher customer experience (CX), and certain merchants’ high acquisition costs and turnover. As a result, businesses will increasingly seek assistance from reputable outsourcing partners with extensive expertise and flexible business models. In an ideal world, their skills would include everything from payment processing to physical fulfillment to comprehensive client lifecycle management.
5. Technological Slant
The technological trend isn’t unique to the U.K., but it’s still at the heart of everything that’s going on in customer experience there. Every brand wants to know how to successfully implement artificial intelligence, automation, machine learning, and data analytics into their business when they don’t have the skills in-house.
6. The United Kingdom in a Global Arena
The U.K. government loves to boast about global Britain, but some firms are concerned that a post-Brexit U.K. may become more closed off. Britain is as connected as ever, Sonoda says, and both domestic and foreign firms may make use of it at a low cost. Other characteristics — such as labor market flexibility, which enables quick growth; technological capabilities; and time zone — are also important, from a single account manager for both the U.K. and Turkey.
7. Changes in Customer Service
Despite the U.K.’s image as a historical and history-rich country, its commercial climate is dynamic. Every year, the Sunday Times Rich List names a new crop of online retail, computer gaming, and technology billionaires in the U.K., a country that is constantly innovating in fields ranging from fashion to banking. Furthermore, economists are continually discussing uncertainty and the necessity for flexibility. Brands need suppliers that can help them react quickly, manage expenses, and meet new customer expectations in an era of innovation and volatility. It’s happening across a variety of industries, including insurance, utilities, and e-commerce and retail. The migration to digital and multichannel is the most common illustration of how marketing trends are being disrupted in 2022, but there are other shifts as well. Customer management has always focused on outbound customer sales and inbound customer service. However, companies are rewriting the rule book, emphasizing the importance of outbound customer support. Disrupting the old approach has been demonstrated to simultaneously reduce manual incoming calls, lower customer service costs, boost self-service and self-care, and improve consumer spending and loyalty.
In the U.K., success has typically been assessed in terms of scale: number of agents, revenue. However, in 2022’s climate, companies must seek beyond that for brands that can innovate. Marketing success in the U.K. in 2022 and beyond will be defined by end-to-end creativity, innovation, digital and data skills, and scalability, Sonoda predicts.