2021 has come to an end – and 2022 has officially arrived. A brand new year inspires many of us to take on new, exciting challenges. Maybe we want to finally tackle perfecting sourdough bread. Or perhaps we hope to jot down our dreams for 30 minutes every morning.
Aside from fun, necessary hobbies, a new year also represents an opportunity for marketers to expand their knowledge and skills. With the rise of buzzwords including the metaverse, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and more, marketers have a plethora of exciting areas to explore in the new year.
Take a look through the following new year’s resolutions for marketers to tackle in 2022.
1. Try understanding the metaverse
Marketers tend to get caught up in trends – some of which last for a laughably short amount of time (e.g., Clubhouse). But the metaverse, unlike other fads, is clearly here for the long term.
Major corporations including Meta – formerly Facebook Corporation – and Disney have quickly made creating metaverses an integral part of their brand strategies. An old video of Walmart’s vision of the metaverse from 2017 even went viral recently because of the metaverse’s growth in popularity.
But, seriously – what in the world is the metaverse? How does it impact marketers at all?
At its core, the metaverse includes virtual & augmented realities, but it also contains parts accessible through game consoles, PCs, and other devices. Think of the metaverse as an umbrella term for different ways we engage with technology and build relationships virtually.
This year, make it a goal to understand the different parts of the metaverse. Stay up-to-date on emerging trends because this space changes frequently. Better yet, develop a game plan on how your personal brand can fit into the metaverse.
2. Learn more about non-fungible tokens (NFTs)
Much like the metaverse, NFTs have similarly taken the marketing world by storm. And while the metaverse seems like a complicated beast, NFTs truly require some technical knowledge to understand them.
Non-fungible basically means unique or original. In particular, NFTs are connected to cryptocurrency and can typically be purchased as digital art. For example, the original artist of Nyan Cat – one of the first mainstream memes on the internet – reanimated the drawing in 2021 and auctioned it off as an NFT.
The purchaser of this NFT, therefore, legally has ownership over Nyan Cat. The purchaser can either simply keep it as a piece of digital art or hope Nyan Cat raises in value so they can make a profit.
As you can see, understanding NFTs takes a lot of research. But with major brands including Marvel and the NFL selling them, marketers should at least make it a 2022 resolution to better understand them. Moreover, try to understand how NFTs negatively impact the environment – and what this space’s exponential growth means for the climate.
And if you can explain NFTs to your grandparents, you can solidly say you achieved one of your new year’s resolutions.
3. Start building your personal brand
Putting yourself out into the world can be scary. After all, making your professional experience so publicly known could invite criticism. But the benefits of building a personal brand outweigh any potential cons.
For example, having a strong personal brand online can help you land jobs. According to Entrepreneur, 9 in 10 executive recruiters check a candidates’ online presence. Moreover, 95% of recruiters believe the job market will only get increasingly more competitive. By having a solid personal brand, you can stand out among others vying for the same job.
Additionally, a solid personal brand can also help increase your company’s sales and marketing efforts. Professional influencers often see higher rates of ROI and engagement than their more inactive counterparts.
How can you achieve this in 2022? Try taking baby steps before diving fully into your personal brand. Consider publishing LinkedIn blog posts on an area you work in. As a marketer, maybe you have some unique insights you want to share on emerging trends. If you end up learning more about the metaverse this year, consider publishing your thoughts on how it relates to your industry.
Whichever approach you take, personal branding enables you to increase your job prospects while establishing yourself as an expert in your field.
4. Commit to working less
In marketing, it often seems like you need to work all the time to achieve anything meaningful. If you notice someone tweeting negatively about your brand at 10 pm, it can be hard to resist the temptation to address it. In the United States, full-time employment is usually 40 hours per week – but salaried workers often rack up 50, 60-hour workweeks.
Intuitively, working more seems to imply an increase in productivity. But working more than 40 hours per week actually has a negative impact on your overall productivity and efficiency. So, in the end, you have less free time and produce increasingly sloppy work. Some studies even suggest working less than 40 hours only has a small decrease in productivity while making employees much happier and healthier.
In 2022, consider making a genuine work-life balance a goal of yours. Spend more time with family & friends, learn new skills, and try living life to the fullest. For now, that late-night tweet can wait.
5. Chat with a new professional every so often
Once you graduate from college and work full-time, it can seem tempting to drop networking altogether. After all, marketers typically end up networking with a lot of colleagues at their new job without even trying. But this would inadvertently close a lot of doors and minimize your career opportunities.
Even as a full-time professional, you can still meet new people from outside your current organization. Maybe you want to learn how marketers do their job at a competing company. Perhaps you are curious how marketers work in an entirely different industry. You might just want to network for the sake of changing careers altogether.
Regardless of who you reach out to, making consistent networking a 2022 goal will enable you to grow as both a person and a professional. Consider meeting with someone once a week, every two weeks, once a month – whatever works best with your schedule.
If you need to brush up on networking skills, we prepared an extensive step-by-step guide to help you get started.
6. Use more of your company benefits
Whenever we get a job, we often find ourselves excited about our overall offer. Aside from a great salary, tons of companies also offer free educational resources, mental health help, workout equipment, gym memberships, and much more. But life gets busy and we often forget to take advantage of these resources.
This year, make it a goal to fully understand the benefits your company offers. Then, figure out how you can make use of them. Some companies offer thousands of dollars you can use to take graduate-level college courses. Others offer free memberships, books, video streaming services, and more. Your benefits could even help you complete other new year’s resolutions.
If you have no clue where to begin, look through company documents or even old emails you received when you first started. Consider contacting human resources if you want an up-to-date list of your company’s benefits.
7. Consider changing careers
The days of working at one place for the rest of your professional career have ended. Younger generations have ushered in a new status quo where professionals often switch careers every two to three years. Marketers especially have great room to grow by looking for new opportunities.
Why look into switching careers this year? You could find a role that pays higher, enables you to work from home, offers greater benefits, and more. Data even shows switching careers offers greater wage growth than staying at the same company. If you just recently started in a new role, this might not make the most sense for you – but knowing you have options down the line helps you visualize a career path.
Even if you feel comfortable at your current company, at least look into alternative positions in 2022. You might end up finding a role that better suits your interests and long-term goals.
8. Look into getting your Master of Business Administration (MBA)
In marketing, a lot of professionals can work their entire lives even without an undergraduate degree. But if you hope to reach an executive-level role at a company, getting your MBA will greatly increase your chances of reaching that goal.
Rather than going to school and paying out of pocket, start looking into whether your company will help pay for your education. Firms that invest in their employees might even pay for the entirety of your degree. You can also look into scholarships specifically for marketers pursuing an MBA.
Even if you have no interest in getting an MBA, consider taking a graduate-level course this year to get your feet wet. You might end up really enjoying it – and you’ll learn a useful skill along the way.
9. Start a blog
As marketers, we know content is truly king. And this matters even for you as a single professional. Earlier, we discussed how building a personal brand can help your career growth in the long run. A blog represents a great starting point to achieve that goal.
Consider Techie ToFu – the blog you’re reading now. I started writing articles centered on marketing and education as I felt passionate and knowledgeable enough about the topic. Despite infrequent posting, my blog has seen more than 165 unique visitors since its inception from all over the world.
In other words, nearly 200 people have engaged in my writing and recognize my content as relevant to their lives. You can do the same thing with really any relevant topic.
Are you passionate about data visualization? Start a blog and focus on that topic. Interested in hearing from leading marketers in your industry? Interview them and turn it into a recurring series of posts. Regardless of what you do, starting a blog is an easy and achievable goal for you to pursue in 2022.
10. Plan a vacation
A new year typically brings a new set of paid time off – and if you ended up only using some of it from 2021, make it a goal to use all of it this year. After all, you accepted an offer that includes paid time to relax and destress, so why not use all of it?
Planning a vacation in advance offers multiple benefits. First, you know exactly when you plan on calling off. You can schedule your work around a set of days and notify colleagues of your absence early. Second, the earlier you plan your vacation, the generally more affordable it will be.
If you worry about disappointing your manager or coworkers, remember taking time for yourself will ultimately make you a better worker in the long run. You could even remind your colleagues about their paid time off and make it a collaborative, fun project.
11. Learn how to code – for free
With the rise of digital marketing, understanding at least basic coding concepts has become essential. From basic scripting tools to data visualization, coding will really take your marketing skills to the next level. And many websites will teach you how to use any programming language for free.
If you ever wanted to work more closely with data, coding is the way to go. And there’s no better time than now to get started.
12. Commit to (finally) understanding SEO
At this point, search engine optimization (SEO) has been around for years. While some marketing roles largely ignore search engines, understanding what goes into it will benefit you. After all, marketing works to create content often optimized for search engines. As a blogger, creator, or researcher, you should consider how search engines will engage with and rank your content.
Thankfully, HubSpot – a leader in inbound marketing – offers a free course on SEO complete with an official certificate. Alternatively, you can also conduct research on your own to at least have a surface-level understanding of SEO. Even if you already know some bits and pieces of SEO, brush up on your knowledge as the field changes quickly.
13. See how Discord redefines community building
Before Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and other video chatting services immediately became pandemic staples, users often used Skype to video chat and build virtual communities. From gaming to sharing recipes, Skype truly revolutionized the ways we communicated with one another.
Today, that title now belongs to Discord, which describes itself as “the easiest way to talk over voice, video, and text”. Discord users create servers dedicated to specific topics. For example, several colleges have created servers where students and alumni can communicate with each other.
For marketers looking to build up their own set of brand-loyal consumers, this really changes the game. Now, brands themselves can create dedicated Discord servers for their most loyal cohort of customers.
As an individual, you can even create a server for marketers within your area or industry.
In 2021, we saw a noticeable shift towards building and fostering community – and Discord is a critical way to better understand this space. Consider learning more about the platform or even creating a server for your own purposes.
14. Make bold SMART goals with your marketing team
While many focus on individual goals for the new year, marketing really centers on collaboration. This year, get together with your broader marketing team and start defining some SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely) goals.
Should everyone strive to use up all of their paid time off this year? Will the team aim to go above and beyond 2021’s key performance indicators? By communicating more closely with your team, you can all come together and support one another in your collaborative resolutions.
15. Be comfortable with missing goals and resolutions
Professionals find themselves in a constant loop of wanting to achieve and accomplish more than they did yesterday. But this creates an unnerving sense of disappointment because we simply cannot outdo ourselves every day. After all, according to a survey of over 800 million activities, most give up on their new year’s resolutions by January 19th.
But that’s totally okay – and you should strive to get comfortable with not achieving everything this year. Aim to achieve resolutions because you enjoy the process, not because you only want the result. For example, create a blog and focus on the process of learning how to write and grow a community. You never want to focus too heavily on the end result because you take away the joy of challenging yourself.
Now that you have a solid list of where to get started, go back through and start jotting down what you hope to achieve this year. And remember to slow down, relax, and enjoy the beginning of the new year. After all, if you survived 2021, you will surely do fine in 2022.
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