Takeaways: Digital Marketing in 2022 – Industry Trends To Watch For

These trends were discussed as part of our December webinar, which you can watch on-demand here.

Every year, there are more and more developments in marketing and technology. Now more than ever, we are facing changes to our industry that are exciting at best, and harrowing at worst. As always, Brainlabs is here to help. We have identified and broken down a few trends that are coming on strong in the next year so you don’t have to.

Marketing AI Has Come of Age

For some time, AI has been deemed “the marketing of the future”. To some, this has become a buzzword for something that never materializes. However, 2022 seems to be the year when we will finally get to experience for ourselves what marketing AI can do for us. We can say this confidently because we are seeing evidence of it already. Right now, many AI functions are baked into the main marketing platforms we use. Especially notable are auction-time bidding functionalities, which take all of the additional signals of intent across known data, audience data, and data that businesses provide, and allow us to activate them at the individual level and at scale.

Recommendations for 2022

  • Feed the machine. Give these platforms the data that allows them to optimize their results.

  • Test Google’s Performance Max Campaign (or at least keep it on your radar!).

  • Evaluate these AI tools based on how they perform today, not on past results. Performance of automated solutions has improved greatly.

  • Keep an eye out for AI in Creative. Google is going interesting places with this.

Privacy Changes Will Push Companies to Add Value to Customers’ Lives

Although it seems that this topic has been hashed and re-hashed, its importance has not diminished, given that everyday we get closer to a world with less data available for companies to use. Businesses today face two major challenges. The first is educating their consumers about why companies are collecting their data, and what value it brings to share one’s data with the brand. The second is the result of the fact that the browser cookie was not built to be used as an advertising solution. Thus, it has been an imperfect solution, and we need to move away from it. To this end, we need to think about the value we are adding to consumers’ lives, and how we can show them this value in innovative ways. Think Spotify Wrapped and DuoLingo.

Recommendations for 2022

  • Think through creative ways of adding value to your customers’ lives and educate them on the benefits for them in sharing their data with you.

Brands Will Have to Continue on a Hybrid Model

We can’t ignore the fact that people are getting the opportunity to return to physical experiences. This will be a key component of 2022, although we will not necessarily be returning to old behaviors. What we will most likely end up with is a hybrid form of shopping. For example, a world where users go into the store to browse, but not to make the purchase, which they do online. Similarly, people are now used to features like curbside pickup. In short, companies are now expected to give customers the flexibility to shop however they prefer.

Recommendations for 2022

  • Take a hard look at your in-store workforce and ensure you are setting people up for success both in and out of the store to avoid your employees being overwhelmed and quitting on the spot.
  • Map your customer journeys to tailor to the different needs people may have. Think about how that journey may shift at different times during the year or during the week.

While we have covered three significant trends that are coming in 2022, we have yet to discuss two others: social commerce and the Metaverse. We could try to give you a quick overview of these trends, but frankly, there’s a lot of ground to cover. If you’d like to get the full run-through, you can access the recording of our webinar here. You won’t want to miss it!