TechCrunch Experts returns with predictions for 2022, insights on product-led growth and strategies for early-stage startups that hope to expand internationally.

Jonathan Metrick, chief growth officer at Sagard & Portage Ventures, and Simon Lejeune, who leads user acquisition at Wealthsimple, shared three trends that they believe will shape marketing in 2022. With an eye on topics like privacy, growth hacking and influencer marketing, they wrote about the shifts they’re expecting in the upcoming year.

Kerry Cunningham, senior principal at 6sense, updated a model that he and his former colleagues named the “Intent Data Framework (IDF).” Last year, he revised it to include “Buyer Signals Framework (BSF),” but she has reworked it again to include product-led growth.

Marjorie Radlo-Zandi, a seasoned entrepreneur, board member, mentor and angel investor, shared strategies founders can use when expanding internationally. From researching your market to setting goals, she covers it all and provides several examples.

Software consulting

(TechCrunch) From Ph.D. to boutique software developer: An interview with Solwey’s Andrew Drach: Anna Heim interviewed Andrew Drach, a software development consultant who was widely recommended by respondents in a recent survey. Drach, who operates Solwey Consulting and Callentis Consulting Group with his wife Monika, spoke about how his academic background informs his work and why he preferred a boutique model when it comes servicing clients,

We both had strained experiences working with large agencies and staffing agencies and feeling abandoned or not important enough to have the full attention of the managers or project owners. Furthermore, we both had seen firsthand how terrifyingly crippling waterfall and broken agile could be for the progress of a project. So we set out to build Solwey and Callentis as small-by-design agencies. We directly engage with our clients, and Monika and I take personal responsibility for every single deliverable from our team.

If you’re still holiday shopping, browse “Gift Guide: The best business books for 2021 recommended by VCs” by Alex Wilhelm and Anna Heim. Alex and Anna dive into business books highly recommended by VCs, share what’s on their personal reading lists and offer other recommendations in a free edition of The Exchange. Their list includes titles such as “The Qualified Sales Leader: Proven Lessons from a Five-Time CRO,” by John McMahon and “Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup,” by John Carreyou. Their non-business book list can be found here, but you can find all of TechCrunch’s Gift Guides for 2021 here.

Back to Experts, we do have a recommendation that we wanted to include for the software consulting category this week.

Consultant: Design 1st
Recommended by: Allan Johnson, Zumio
Testimonial: “We chose them because we needed help with integration of hardware with software and physical design.”

Growth marketing

(TechCrunch+) Product-led growth and signal substitution syndrome: Bringing it all together: Touching on the importance of product-led growth, Cunningham says traditional means of determining potential buyer interest are notoriously unreliable. Instead of relying on one signal such as a verbal expression of intent, “the best way to use them is to throw them into the algorithmic blender with all the other signals that are available to identify patterns that can help prioritize sales efforts.”

(TechCrunch+) 4 key strategies for succeeding at international expansion: We’ll give you part of one key strategy that’s behind the paywall: “In order to achieve international growth, you need to plan based on ROI estimates,” Radlo-Zandi writes. “Narrow down the markets for the first phase of global growth by determining which is most viable and sizable for what you offer. Assess how easy or difficult it will be to enter a particular market, and whether its size justifies the effort it will take to establish a solid footprint.”

(TechCrunch+) 3 disruptive trends that will shape marketing in 2022: When making predictions for 2022, Metrick and Lejeune looked back at three trends that drove growth in 2021:

  • Less data, more privacy and the return of growth hacking.
  • TikTok, influencers and the dominance of native creative.
  • The Great Resignation and the Gettysburg for growth talent.

“This year has firmly illustrated that there will be no return to a predictable past,” they write. “2022 will reward marketers who look ahead with agility and are open to combining historical data with experimentation to chart a new path forward.”

Marketer: BrandPipers
Recommended by: Anonymous
Testimonial: “They helped us with establishing a very optimized website and to generate a good amount of traffic.”