If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that disruption is inevitable. From the metaverse to TikTok, disruptive trends will undoubtedly be everywhere in 2022. What lessons can we take with us to help us shape our marketing strategies for the year ahead?
Here are a few significant marketing disruptors to expect in 2022, and some advice on the best ways to lean into them.
There’s no denying that consumers want their data back. As privacy made headlines, lawmakers enacted policies for better transparency across advertising, prompting marketers everywhere to adapt. In preparation for Google’s discontinuation of third-party cookies, brands shifted focus to first-party data strategies in 2020 and 2021. But even that fell short of true privacy for some.
Third-party is shared or purchased from sites that cryptically track and capture user data. In contrast, first-party data encompasses user interactions with the brand, ranging from buying behavior and transactions to site scroll-time and other brand-specific activity. Zero-party data (coined by Forrester back in 2018) takes it even further: This is data voluntarily supplied by the user and creates an engaging environment with users who actively want to share information with your brand. Despite the initial panic, marketers learned that this new era of data acquisition affords improved engagement and access to user interests. This, in turn, allows brands to build personalized experiences at scale — improving engagement, reputation, and revenue in one fell swoop.
With this access comes a high level of responsibility. Users who willingly share data with brands expect it to be safeguarded from unscrupulous actors — making data management and security a standout priority for 2022.
Native creative and influencers are the tickets to the top. TikTok’s rise as a primary digital platform renewed the sentiment most of us have known all along: Content is still king. Platforms such as TikTok require a high volume and variety of content (50-500 videos per month) which can be a challenge for brands to produce efficiently.
Tapping trends within TikTok and other social media platforms can help you apply your brand’s message to a new audience, sometimes marketing different value propositions to appeal to a new set of interests. Not only that, the messenger can make all the difference. Popular internet celebrities of sorts curate tailored audiences, sometimes for years, creating aesthetically pleasing, highly specific content. This dynamic helps them easily peddle influence to their audience, thanks largely to a relationship based on trust and mutual interest. Today’s marketers can tap entirely new segments of users by investing in campaigns with relevant influencers.
From marketing to data analytics to content production and eCommerce management, there is no shortage of specialists needed to navigate today’s increasingly complex marketplace. Unfortunately, the pandemic, inflation and other economic factors have sparked the so-called “Great Resignation,” wherein mid-level, and even senior employees, leave the workplace en masse.
As the labor pool shrinks, businesses should shift focus to HR strategies and retention objectives to keep top talent in 2022 while simultaneously leveraging agency services for on-demand expertise, when needed.
Like it or not, the metaverse is upon us. Virtual goods, cryptocurrency and artificial intelligence will converge in the metaverse, creating a new dominant marketing channel.
Nike, Fortnite, Louis Vuitton, Balenciaga, and others have already invested in metaverse campaigns in 2021, signaling that we are officially in the throes of a new era.
In 2022, brands (and agencies) need to carve out their own space within the metaverse, connecting brand promises and products to virtual goods and value. The possibilities are endless, from virtual sneakers to NFTs to concerts and in-game stores with purchasable virtual goods. The metaverse is the next frontier, and 2022 will be the first pilgrimage into what’s next. You don’t need to devote your entire budget to the metaverse, but do what makes sense for your company.
Of course, reality will always include a healthy dose of things we don’t yet know. Most of us will need to try new marketing strategies, adjust goals for a new normal, and remain open to new ideas in the new year. If your brand needs help planning through 2022, get in touch.
Featured image by XR Expo on Unsplash.