12 experts predict the game-changing digital marketing trends for 2022 & beyond
What are the digital marketing trends for 2022 and beyond that you need to know about? After another tumultuous year for digital marketing, brands and agencies alike are asking what it will take to win in 2022.
This year, we’ve watched as corporate brands take to TikTok to meet extraordinary levels of consumer demand. The rise of live shopping beyond Asia is taking hold and looks set to continue and there’s a doubling down on data insights as marketers work through a quagmire of data to identify what it means and where the biggest opportunities lie.
Jump to each expert opinion on upcoming digital marketing trends in 2022 and beyond below:
Predictions menu: Digital Marketing Trends 2022 and beyond
The Community Based Marketing Expert
The concept of community in B2B is gaining interest because businesses are finding it harder to connect with their prospects and clients, customer acquisition costs are going up and many are seeing diminishing returns from their content marketing and Account Based Marketing (ABM).
Community Based Marketing (CBM) can’t just come out of a box and isn’t simply a tactic. True community and creating value takes time. Community won’t ever be ‘owned’ and the value for businesses and organisations comes from the members, their connections and discussions.
I believe in 2022, more B2B organisations will succeed at community, but only if they attempt to build community with the right intentions and seek a true value exchange.
Begin with the questions:
- ‘what is really in it for members of this community?’
- ’what can community actually do for them?’
- ’How can we find a harmonious balance between ESG, community, commercial performance and return on investment (and how will we measure that?)’
Get it right, treat community as a long-term investment – like brand building – commit the time and proper resource and the benefits will be huge.
The Brand and Marketing Expert
Cost hikes make attribution and media mix modelling more important.
Working in marketing and especially digital has never been more challenging and unknown. With the ongoing pandemic and changes to more flexible working as a marketer, you have to move with the changing landscape.
We are seeing marketing costs increase as everyone fights for the share of a decreasing wallet. Therefore attribution and media mix modelling is going to become even more important as you look where you can spend your marketing budget efficiently while hitting business targets.
Video and the rise of content marketing.
The changes to privacy is also an impact so now I envisage brands will have to be much more creative in order to deliver targeted messages to the right people at the right time.
TV is moving more and more on demand and digital platforms which can bring greater targeting but often you struggle to get the reach.
Therefore digital will continue to go from strength to strength with video content being used much more as a way to educate, engage and offer informative content.
Content as a whole will be prioritised as Google looks to rank businesses higher that have engaging on site content. And this could start to see the optimisation of websites for voice search.
So in summary, the digital rise will continue at pace but much more focus on the video elements of content.
Find Andrew on Linked In here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewthomo/
The Experiential Strategist
Content is a no-brainer as the marketer’s weapon of choice for 2022 and beyond.
As the world of consumers continues to expand and contract with each new variant of coronavirus, location remains uncertain, but with cookies crumbling, reaching people with something engaging becomes even more essential.
Content offers an engagement opportunity that users can take with them in their pocket – whether they are commuting or walking the dog.
But content where? And delivering what? As in many other digital developments we can look to China for an answer – live shopping and social media content.
Livestream shopping and shoppable video commerce will become a $300bn industry in China by 2022.
The market in the US is expected to double by 2022. And 70 % of European customers said they are interested in any form of a live shopping experience (Mintel 2021).
Social commerce reaches people where they are and delivers something of value beyond the timely, useful information of an ad. 2022 is a great year to start testing models, watching how brands in other markets are doing it and working out your unique take.
Will you engage viewers in your product through influencer partnerships or through your own content channels? Where will you be distributing?
What will you be saying and doing that will bring not just your product but the value of your product to life? And how will your existing marketing strategy incorporate this new opportunity? This is the year to find out.
Find Katie on Linked In here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/katiestreten/
The Digital and eCommerce Expert
Is your digital marketing connected to your wider business strategy?
Depending on the tactics you choose through digital to drive business performance, it’s essential the role of the tactic is connected to the wider business strategy otherwise it will be forever monitored and measured in a silo with little organisation buy-in.
Don’t make assumptions.
It’s important to be clear on the role of the tactics deployed by your business. Don’t assume what’s printed in journals should be relevant to your business. Diagnose what works and it’s role – this should give you the compass as to know what to invest in and driver performance.
Speak to your audience.
We’re data obsessed but the best insights you’ll get is to step away from your desk and go and speak/call your customers to understand why they chose you business/service in the first place (or why they decided to leave you?).
Find Simon on Linked In here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/simonjsw/
The Retail Marketing Expert
How can brands give back through learning?
Throughout this pandemic, many, myself included, have and continue to reflect on what’s important to them, whilst also paying more attention to life’s simple pleasures.
Campaigns like #LearnOnTikTok is one of many ways the social networks are adjusting to this trend of consumers rediscovering old interests or learning new – and with great success!
It raises the question, what can your brand give back, and how can you surface the expertise from within to do so with both authority and authenticity to succeed.
Facial recognition technology
With the growth of facial recognition technology built into more and more devices, like the new Echo Show 15, l’m sure it won’t be long before devices likes these become aware of intension and give us proactive content to answer questions and thoughts without any kind of wake words.
Find Darren on Linked In here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/darrenianjones/
The Digital Marketing Expert – Agency
Progressive web apps. No one can deny that the last few years have been a golden era for mobile apps. Downloads continue to grow globally year on year, but that growth is now leveling off.
The app category is dominated by messaging and social, and I don’t see significant changes there. But beyond social, things are changing.
With advances in web tech, is there really a need for mobile apps? Over the next few years, I predict that native mobile apps will begin to decline in popularity alongside a renewed focus on webtech and web apps.
Progressive Web Apps in particular have been around for a few years, but major players like Microsoft, HP and Zoom are seeing the benefits of faster development, better user experience and as a result, better engagement metrics.
The pandemic has obviously been hugely disruptive in every area of life, but for online learning platforms, it has been a grade A success.
The e-learning market was worth $160b in 2018 and is predicted to be double that by 2025. It’s not just the digital classroom that is driving this trend, with companies leveraging the convenience and cost benefits, including half of Fortune 500 companies.
We are seeing increased demand for micro-learning among our client base too, and due to a move away from intensive learning courses towards bite-sized modules, micro-learning may be the most interesting sub-category of e-learning in 2022.
Find Andy on Linked In here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andybrennan/
The Digital Marketing Expert – Sustainability
Michelle Carvill, Digital Expert, Author ‘Sustainable Marketing – How to Drive Profits with Purpose’, co-founder, Can Marketing Save the Planet Podcast
Driving human connection.
During the pandemic connecting digitally became firmly embedded for more people than ever before. For brands and organisations there was a messaging shift when it came to digital, moving away from being transactional – towards creating human connection, a sense of purpose, shared value and community.
For 2022 and beyond, I hope to see digital continuing to play a positive role in driving human connection – however, through a far more responsible lens.
We’re seeing brands, such as LUSH, removing themselves from platforms over concerns about social media and mental health, refusing to participate on platforms that drive behaviour that doesn’t align with their values.
I predict that whilst the majority of brands and organisations will remain on social media and digital channels – there will be more demand and expectation from consumers, who are growing ever more concerned about the continuing climate crisis and what ‘good business’ truly looks like, for more meaningful content and engagement.
Communicating purpose authentically.
The response from brands and organisations can’t simply be to jump on the ‘purpose’ bandwagon without any strategic fit.
To truly preserve brand reputation and engender trust, this will mean more transparent and authentic communications and potentially reengineering current business processes, suppliers and even modes of operation.
It’s not just consumer and employee appetite driving a more authentic and purpose led approach, in January 2022, The Green Claims Code comes into enforcement, calling for organisations to get their story straight and substantiate any green or sustainable claims – and so brands and organisations will need to be more mindful that what they say is indeed what they do!
Find Michelle on Linked In here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michellecarvill/
The Social Listening and Consumer Intelligence Expert
The two impact areas for digital marketers in the coming years revolve around data and content creators.
The definition of data is changing.
We are seeing massive tech companies, led by Apple, take a renewed interest in privacy and protecting their consumers’ data. These new privacy initiatives fly in the face of many traditional online ad metrics, as well as making it harder to serve targeted online ads.
The motivations and strategies behind the privacy movement are varied, but this actually makes publicly available social data more important.
Consumers are sharing their expectations online everyday in social media posts and reviews. The problem is, while many brands are sophisticated in making these mentions and data work for them, many more brands need to pivot to analyzing and taking meaningful action based on this social data.
Content creators are getting more powerful.
Content rules, but it’s not all equal. Authentic content from independent content creators can incite genuine thoughts, feelings and action.
Brands are hoping to tap into this connection, but their very involvement can cause a stale reaction. With that being said, brands should still seek influential content creators, but brands need to be prepared to work with creators who are in a position of strength.
This could mean meeting these creators on a more level playing field. Brands won’t have the amount of creative control they’re used to, because these content creators are looking to protect their personal images above partnering with brands.
This is why performing proper due diligence before engaging with creators is so crucial. More than follower counts and engagement metrics, does this creator embody your brand? That work needs to be completed before you even contact a creator.
Find Kellan on Linked In here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kellan-terry-8882b240/
The Travel and Ecommerce Expert
The subsequent lockdowns across almost all countries due to COVID-19 pandemic have deeply altered the everyday consumer behavior across the world.
Many people were forced to adopt digital channels as shops were closed and supermarkets had controlled & limited access while consumers had to stay home with restrictions on movement.
Many people who have discovered online channels & its convenience will continue to use it for their needs.
Here are some predictions on how digital marketing will evolve during the next two years:
Smart Customer Data Hub (infused with AI & ML)
Brands must invest in latest generation of “Customer Data Platform (CDP)” which are also known as Smart Customer Data Hub.
This will be at the core of their whole Digital Marketing strategy as it will allow them to know their customers better with the integration of Customer data across their organisation from various systems namely:
- CRM data to figure out preferences
- Transactions & payments data
- Social Media profile & activities
- Real time website browsing data to personalise content (with new generation of Content Management System) to bring contextually relevant content
The infusion of Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning in the CDP will allow brands to easily create segments & micro segments of their audience based on various criteria (demographics & psychographics) and reach customers anywhere at the right time and on their preferred channel (omnichannel) & device.
Furthermore, predictive scoring will allow the best timing for engagement (In App, SMS, Email) to ensure highest open rate & conversion.
The built in ‘Recommendation engine‘ will ensure a real one to one personalisation, further stimulating the ‘Next best action‘ by stimulating desired behaviour on website by bringing the right content for the user.
During 2022 & 2023, Digital Marketing will be driven more & more by brand being more Customer centric, leveraging on actionable Insights from Data Analytics with Data Visualisation getting them clear vision of the Performance of each campaign being orchestrated.
Continuous building of First party data will be key to be ready for post Cookies era. Brands need to closely interact and engage with all customers specially the new generation and provide them with alternative methods of payments which will be more localised and built around the mobile device.
Find Youvraj on Linked In here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/youvraj-seeam/
The Digital Innovation Expert
How DAOs could enhance future innovation of new products and services
Innovation of new business models, products, and services is key to driving new sources of value. And some democratisation of the innovation process, including crowd-sourcing and co-creation, has been applied by those developing new markets and products to fit, for some years.
A DAO or decentralised autonomous organisation is a blockchain-enabled community formed around an idea or a shared sense of purpose for the future.
A DAO is decentralised in that it runs on a blockchain and gives decision making power to stakeholders rather than board members, and ‘autonomous’ as it uses smart contracts – applications or programs that run on a public blockchain and trigger an action based on certain inputs, with no human intervention.
DAOs have the potential to reshape the way people work, allocate resources, distribute wealth, and solve big problems. And marketing is very much about solving customer problems.
As there isn’t a hierarchical structure, the innovation process within a DAO could be much more open and transparent. In a DAO, innovative ideas could be put forward by anyone – including customers – and assessed by the entire organisation.
Additionally, as the concept and boundaries of the organisation are more fuzzy and fluid in a DAO than with a classic enterprise, customers and business partners could be included more broadly in the innovation process, offering enhanced opportunity for crow-sourcing and co-creation.
Find Jason on Linked In here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jasontill/
The Marketing and Business Consultant
Mike Berry, (Digital) Marketing Lecturer, Trainer, Consultant and Author, Mike Berry Associates and Hult International Business School
Speaking as a (marketing and business) consultant, my advice to my clients this year is about staying focused on the established marketing knowledge/ best practice (the old) while keeping a close eye and (in certain cases) allocating a test budget to emerging technologies (the new). A few specifics:
As always, Social Media is changing. Organic social is almost dead and it’s all about pay-to-play.
TikTok is hot right now and this looks set to continue. Snapchat is seemingly declining while Instagram is powering ahead.
Social platforms continue to offer new advertising formats and ever finer targeting to locate and reach their advertiser clients’ target audiences.
Facebook itself is still massive of course, but also ‘getting older’ as younger consumers migrate to Instagram. Meta (see below) probably doesn’t mind this, given its strong portfolio of platforms.
By the way, will 2022 be the year that Messenger and WhatsApp (at least) are formally merged?
Personal Data and Privacy
Meanwhile Privacy is an ongoing issue – web founder Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s new venture Inrupt has just (allegedly) raised c. $30million in Series A funding.
Inrupt aims to restructure the internet by giving users (more) control of their personal data. The new funding is, of course, an indication that investors think personal data sharing and privacy issues are going to remain important to consumers and businesses – ie. they will be ‘hot topics’ in 2022 and beyond!
Review the Gartner Technology Hype Cycle for 2020 and 2021. AI is now real. But AR/VR? perhaps not yet, but Meta (the holding company formerly known as Facebook) has started a lot of conversations recently.
So, will ‘Meta’ own the ‘Metaverse’? If the latter turns out to be nothing less than ‘Web 3.0’, it seems unreasonable that one company (even Facebook Group) could own it all.
So maybe their new name, Meta, is just about staking a claim? Oculus is now running offline (billboard) ads for Quest 2 around London which reminds us that Meta is owner/manufacturer of VR hardware which is getting increasingly wearable and powerful!
In this rapidly changing digital age, ‘the old stuff’ (marketing fundamentals), despite appearing rather ‘old school‘, is still important: so don’t forget the 4Ps:
It’s still all about identifying your target audience and offering them attractive products/ services that meet their wants and needs, using the most engaging/ persuasive creative messages via the optimum mix of media channels. This hasn’t changed.
Remember Digital Marketing is still …Marketing!
Marketers should certainly look to seize suitable bright, shiny, new opportunities but equally, always remember the fundamentals of marketing and of business…and I almost forgot to mention the continuing uncertainties around COVID which are impacting every organisation.
Hold tight for another challenging year!
Find Mike on Linked In here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mikeberrylinkedin/
The Employee Advocacy Expert
Mind the gap… that’s growing between you and your customers
As we enter 2022, are you preoccupied with technology, dashboards and the fear of being left behind?
Or is the increasing noise of automation creating a gap between you and your customers, drowning out real human connection.
How often do you talk to your customers? Actually talk to them, have a conversation, find out what they think, what they care about? Or do you rely on listening tools, automation, analytics, attribution?
The rise of automation and AI has led to something unexpected (or perhaps completely expected) – the appearance of human to human marketing.
As shopping has gone increasingly online and automation has increased to make things more efficient and faster, the amount of human contact has gone down even more.
Kalin Kassabov said in Forbes: ‘Automation has created a certain paradox. Customers are eager to embrace the latest devices and automation. At the same time, they crave human interaction and personalised service.’
Employee advocacy has taken off over the last few years as a way to be more human amongst all this technology and in 2022/3 it will become part of most brand’s marketing armoury.
Brands like John Lewis, Post Office and Superdrug have already decentralised part of their marketing to team members and local stores where they can connect directly with smaller, more trusted communities of customers on social media.
The need for human connection and employee advocacy is going to grow exponentially over the next few years.
Find Andrew on Linked In here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewseel/
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