Copestone: Our team working for the future

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Copestone: Our team working for the future

Naomi
December 2021
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Predictions on the working environment in 2022.

After a busy 2021 at Copestone, our team has been relaxing and enjoying Christmas with friends and family. And with only a few days left of this year, we look forward to celebrating New Year’s Eve on Friday, before pulling up a variety of patterned sleeves and diving right into 2022.

With so many digital, cultural, and social changes over the last two years, the uncertainty of the working world and what may come over the next twelve months is still left hanging over all our heads. We are always looking to push and develop our team to turn change into opportunity. And at the same time, to bring awareness to those around us.

After some collaboration and engaging debate, we’ve assembled some predictions for 2022, so read on to discover this eclectic mix.

Millennial’s making the decisions

Our managing and creative director Mike may be in a world where Generation Z are about to take over the world, with many joining the work force. However, it’s the millennial that is currently in the driving seat, as ages between 25 to 40 are in a very powerful position as decision makers within the brands our clients are targeting.

Millennials have grown up constantly multi-tasking and have obtained advanced digital, technical and social skills – the younger end of the cohort comprise the world’s first digital natives. Millennials have shown us their passion to commit at work whilst they cultivate and grow skills to move up the career ladder. Passion is what motivates this strong group of individuals.

As a generation, the millennial look to work for brands that believe in the real value of understanding each other’s needs and building relationships. They may have a high buying power and frequency; however, distrust ads and show less confidence in brands that attempt to sell to them right off the bat. And, as digital natives, millennials are the first generation to both understand and be comfortable with the concept and benefits of accessing and not owning the products and solutions they use.

For the age bracket of this group, there is a good chance that the manager, CEO or business owner of a brand or business is a millennial. In fact, by 2025, 75% of the working world will be made up of millennials.

So, when you add the characteristics and qualities of a millennials – diverse, multi skilled, personable, communicative, and collaborative and adaptable, you are left with one highly advanced group of people. They represent a digitally savvy generation that is a force to be reckoned with, and they are the personas who brands need to understand to effectively influence and sell to.

Women moving on up

Eleanor, our Finance and HR Director, has a prediction that’s been a widespread topic over the last eighteen months: hybrid working will remain, and for good reason. With the everlasting debate whether remote and hybrid working has had a negative or positive effect on workers, women in particular have voiced that hybrid working has offered the opportunity to give a more flexible routine whilst juggling the complex schedule of home, family and work, and growing a successful career, without dropping the ball.

Female leaders are stepping up to support employee well-being, diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI) efforts, bringing awareness to all workers. With more women in stronger, senior positions, (and rightly so) women continue to face a struggle; for every 100 men promoted to manager, only 86 women are promoted.

A hybrid working model could contribute to positive changes by helping women navigate work - life challenges, enabling many to pursue the positions that they may not have been able to in the past. Even though men still outnumber women significantly at the manager level, this year has seen a significant rise of women in high powered positions across the UK. One company alone saw females in senior management roles rise to more than 35% this year.

So, as long as women are given the opportunity to have more flexibility whilst still being committed to their career choices, there is no reason why women can’t have the best of both worlds – family and career.

Saying yes to genuine authenticity

More and more businesses are aware just how important it is that they send the right message so they can align their own values with the consumers they are trying to target.

In this advanced world of digital marketing, you would think that business owners wouldn’t dare greenwash to their customers. But shockingly, in a report made this year, discovered that  42% of corporate businesses are still guilty of greenwashing. Claims made that have been exaggerated, false or deceptive and could potentially qualify as unfair commercial practices under EU rules of business owners who are still playing dirty.

But Martin, our strategy director, has noticed that consumers are now demanding more from the brands they choose to shop with, and predicts this will only continue to grow. 76% of consumers look for brands that align with their values and seek confirmation that these organisations are true to their word with the values they claim to have.

Not only do consumers purchase products that demonstrate their social or political beliefs, but a whopping two out of three people have boycotted a company they previously purchased from because of its stance on an issue. And it’s not just the marketing and advertising that comes under scrutiny, as more policies are playing a significant part in the reputation, brand perceptions and now, purchase decisions.

So, as we enter an age of authenticity and transparency, brands need to get real if they want to continue to connect with their consumers. Brand authenticity may be a relatively new concept, but as we stop in 2022, this will have a positive impact on diminishing greenwashing for good.

Digital marketing demands

Digital platforms such as Tik Tok, Snapchat and Instagram have impacted both positively and negatively on younger demographics. Generation Z are totally on board with gaining skills and knowledge digitally.

After last year’s lockdown, digital marketing had no option but to dramatically increase. A study conducted in January 2021 found that over the medium term, digital marketing has grown by approximately 10% each year. However, because of the 2020 pandemic, digital marketing grew 18.7%. Our intern Eliza predicts this will only become more widespread, and impact on B2B marketing in particular.

And she may be right, as research from the Content Marketing Institute found that more than two thirds of marketers are looking to increase their content marketing budgets in 2022. This surge will drive change to B2B buyers and sellers as they will have to develop a new set of strategies, tactics and skills to finalise a purchase.

It will be interesting to see whether, by the end of 2022, some brands will be exclusively relying on digital marketing. Are the traditional methods going to fade?

Answering to AI

On a similar note, our copywriter Georgina has a prediction around Artificial Intelligence (AI). Like digital marketing, AI will become more prevalent and highly advanced, in the workplace and beyond. AI is used to describe machines and computers that mimic "cognitive" functions that humans associate with other human minds, such as learning and problem-solving. It is an area of computer science that attempts to understand the essence of intelligence and produce a new way of working.

AI is already improving digital marketing strategies and providing valuable consumer insights for brands. And as it has already made such a huge difference to how brands interact with consumers and how marketing strategies are managed, AI is maturing, with systems becoming more efficient at a much faster rate than ever before.

AI responds to and performs tasks based on the data that is being provided, just like humans do. Some AI activities are highly technical and specialised, such as robotics, speech recognition, image recognition, natural language processing, and problem-solving. In such a rapidly changing environment, it’s difficult to predict what the future holds, but there are certainly enough advances around us from how we interact with each other online, to how we have evolved in the way we use technology.

Reaching the right home office – workplace balance

Last but not least, it is the turn of this blog’s copywriter, Naomi. My prediction is focused on social interactions and productivity at work. I predict by the Summer of 2022, more businesses and organisations will encourage, or maybe even insist on, their teams’ return to the office. Collaboration, team building, client interaction and motivation are key to creating a successful working environment.

Since remote working was enforced last year, isolation, deterioration of mental and physical health from poor home working conditions has had a major impact on workers. One in four of people across Britain have had to work being propped up in bed or have been sat on the sofa all day, creating chronic back and neck pain.

Just as serious is the inability to separate home and work life. The home environment should be a place where people relax. However the boundaries have become very blurred. The office is inescapable, longer hours are worked, dining tables and kitchen worktops are now cluttered desks, and the line between business time and personal time has led to a disconnection with family.

As well as family disconnections, unsurprisingly, 67% of workers spent this year feeling a lack of connection with co-workers and have struggled to approach their manager about personal issues. Workers don’t feel comfortable confiding over Teams. All this increases anxiety and stress, impacting negatively on sleep.

If people remain at home, especially in roles where face-to-face interaction is needed and client building relationships are key, the breakdown in communication, collaboration and having a purpose to get up, go out and feel motivated will worsen. And, speaking from personal experience, who wants to keep relying on Teams, where frozen faces and meowing cats only frustrate us and waste valuable time?

So, with all that said, we leave a challenging, yet rewarding year, and feeling excited to what the next twelve months may bring. As we head into 2022, the team wish you a happy new year and look forward to working with you.

If you agree (or disagree) with any of our predictions and would like chat with the team at Copestone, or need help developing your marketing strategy, copy and campaign plans, contact us today.

We are always happy to meet face-to-face or virtually to discuss how we can support your growth

What can we do for you?

For a no obligation discussion about how we can help you meet your marketing and communication objectives call or email us.

+44 (0) 20 7100 4460 mail@copestone.uk.com

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