We don’t have a Magic 8 Ball, but we do pay attention. To help determine where the trajectory is heading in 2022, our team has huddled and identified several digital trends we think have the greatest potential to drive performance in the year ahead. Give a read and let us know what you think!
Personalization in Digital Marketing Becomes Increasingly Important
The majority of consumers, 72%, cites Single Grain, act on marketing messages when tailored to their interests.Third-party data/cookies will take a backseatin favor of zero- and first-party data-based content and digital strategies.
Come 2022, brands will have to rely on zero-party data to enable meaningful personalization. This data will underpin all content and digital strategies that drive each customer’s unique experience.
What is Zero-Party Data?
According to Forrester Research, zero-party is data that a customer intentionally and proactively shares with a brand, which can include preference center data, purchase intentions, personal context, and how the individual wants the brand to recognize them.
With increasing focus on privacy, brands will need to zero in on their own data—zero-party and first-party data.
Brands that link their first-party data sources can generate 1.5X the incremental revenue from a single ad placement, communication, or outreach.
They’ve also doubled the improvement in cost efficiency over businesses with limited data integration. Source: Think with Google, September 2021
Data Visualization: Seeing is Believing
Data is the new crude oil, and visualizationis processing this valuable data into consumable pieces that inform business decisions and guide consumers towards making the best purchase choices. In 2022, data will be increasingly visualized through interactive graphics or 3D models.
Data-driven infographics and stories, like those used by Spotify Wrapped, will continue to generate viral content, as the pandemic has pushed data literacy and data visualization to the global mainstream. Data-driven presentations and data-proofed facts build trust among customers, and brands can leverage this to gain a competitive advantage.
Some ways to do this include—
Adding stats to brand websites
Adding gamification to apps to deepen user loyalty
Including interactive visuals to content pieces to make them sticky, and even viral.
UX and SEO
Take it from Google. The UX is everything. As search algorithms become smarter, content must be even more precise and impactful. Compound this with the reality that the lion’s share of traffic comes from mobile these days, and you can see why it’s more important than ever to optimize mobile sites in 2022—if you haven’t already to enhance the quality of UX your site is providing.
Consumer Privacy, Please
Consumers are taking more steps than before to protect their privacy online, with 73% saying they use online services which promise high data protection, such as encrypted emails and privacy-protecting search engines. Source: Think with Google, December 2021
96% of U.S. users have opted out of app tracking on iOS 14.5. Source: Conversity, 2021
Reliance on third-party data and cookies to drive personalization for the consumer is passé, as this data either won’t exist or won’t be as reliable. Brands and marketers need to focus onbuilding a data protection strategythat is customer-first, such that people feel in control and able to manage the data they share.
Zero- and first-party data are crucial in 2022, as they empower brands to replace all the impersonal data that they have historically relied upon, with data that a consumer willingly provides. Such data will enable brands to personalize and cater to each consumer while building the brand trust and loyalty, turning veteran methods into new marketing trends.
The artificial intelligence industry is expecting an annual compound growth rate exceeding 33% (SG Analytics, 2021) through 2028, and the value is only expected to increase thanks to the massive adoption rate by large scale companies.
The next shift in Influencer Marketingwill be the widespread adoption of artificial intelligence. Brands can leverage the technology for everything from influencer identification to performance influencer marketing, and only pay for the conversions and sales thus produced.
QR Code Marketing Reach and Influence Are on the Rise
The power of the distinctive black-and-white squares that became commonplace in the pandemic will continue to surge in reach and influence in 2022. Nearly half of all U.S. shoppers have used them at least once in the last three months. Existing users seem to be happy to scan more—75% of respondents would be willing to use more QR codes in the future. For brands, this is another avenue to collect first-party data. Source: eMarketer, December 2021
QR codes offer a great customer experience because they let users go to a website to get additional information, download an app, log into a loyalty program, buy something or make payments. They also provide brands the ability to collect information about consumers, such as what they’re browsing or ordering. With first-party data increasingly important for understanding customers, this additional perk is a central feature that helps brands tailor their communication to their specific audiences, while also attributing ads.
Finally, I offer all of this with the acknowledgement that things change, but with confidence that these basic trends will continue to grow in vitality in 2022. Leverage these tactics with quality content and you’ll be in an excellent place to start the New Year.
About the Author
Niviya Vas works with MNI Targeted Media on all things research and marketing. When she’s not scouring for data-driven insights across categories and media platforms, she’s making travel mood-boards, pinning home-décor Pins, and watching Pitch Perfect on repeat (1, not 2).