Since we're at the beginning of a new year, it's appropriate to take a look at what kinds of trends will become prevalent during the coming 12 months. A number of marketing experts have been polled, and the consensus opinion of their predictions are included in the descriptions below. Using these predictions of coming trends, you should be able to align your marketing strategy with anticipated industry directions, so as to stay abreast of coming developments. There are likely to be some trends that pop up during the year that add additional twists to the picture, but for the time being, these are the trends industry analysts are predicting for the coming year.
Marketing will become significantly more difficult
There's no question marketing will become more difficult in 2022, with no end in sight to the increasing difficulty. There have already been a number of disruptive changes that dramatically altered the landscape in the past few months. Most marketers have been impacted in a major way by one or more of these changes: Facebook's privacy changes, Google's algorithm changes on SEO rankings, Instagram's shift toward emphasizing video, and Apple's iOS updates that impact email marketing.
All of this indicates that marketing in 2022 will become a great deal more difficult, due to the technology and platform changes, and because of the ongoing development of consumer behaviour and consumer culture. This will cause the sensitivity of marketing to reach heights never before achieved, with most campaigns focusing on diversity and inclusion. The legitimacy of digital advertising will be crucial in order to avoid any kind of fallout or cancel culture. A great many brands will invest tremendous resources experimenting with new technologies such as virtual reality.
There will be no ideal measurement methodology
Amid the media frenzy over marketing trends, there have been a number of claims about specific attribution methodologies being dead, and about others being the perfect methodology. Most industry experts expect both these claims to be proven false, with the truth being somewhat different. Whenever people are trying to measure marketing success, there are a number of flaws inherently built into the procedure, so it becomes necessary to take the results with a grain of salt.
Most mature companies recognize the importance of a strong base that includes first-party data and uses several different types of measurement methods. By using a combination of measurement approaches, e.g. attribution, surveys, and media mix modelling, marketers can have a great deal more confidence in the effectiveness of their efforts, and the results obtained.
The frenzy over the banning of cookies will subside
The frenzy over the banning of cookies will quickly subside in the coming year, as marketing agencies realize it isn't the end of the world. Some sources have even announced that the death of cookies is one of the most over-hyped trends this year. Google has delayed its phase-out of third party cookies until 2023, and that should provide a long period of withdrawal to soften the blow for most companies.
The announcement about cookies being banned will force many businesses to re-evaluate how they use data and to also consider their marketing strategies across all sectors. Most people consider it to be a win-win situation, because businesses will be forced to acknowledge privacy, and it should have the effect of raising the bar on what the really great brands can achieve in the way of marketing.
The importance of identity resolution will increase
Each year, consumers use a number of devices that will become central to their daily routines. Most people have within the confines of their own homes tablets, laptops, smartphones, televisions, smartwatches, and home and car automation. The list of devices is already extensive, and it seemingly grows with every passing year.
This being the case, marketers have to be able to identify users accurately, so that a cohesive user experience is possible across all these devices. There is a danger of relying on in-platform data because it creates a tunnel-vision view and does not integrate cross-device behaviour. Marketers have to develop a source of identity resolution that will help them to execute multi-device performance and then measure the results of it.
Other platforms will fill in Facebook gaps
There's no question that Facebook has had a wild rollercoaster of a year, and advertising performance on the platform has significantly decreased as a result. With Facebook on the decline, a number of brands will be diverting their marketing spend to other proven platforms. This will benefit such platforms as Snap, Pinterest, and Tik-Tok, all of which hope to capitalize on their popularity with Generation Z.
Since it is expected that a great many individuals will continue working from home in the coming year, there should also be a major rise in advertising by direct mail. That would be an advancement in offline marketing measurement, which will make it a lot easier for brands to launch new channels and conduct effective testing to measure success.
There will be a definite winner in the buy versus build debate
One of the more subtle impacts that the global pandemic has had, has been on company bandwidth. That means when the time comes for making technology decisions, companies will be limited by internal resources and simply won't have the luxury of constructing homegrown systems of their own. For instance, commerce businesses will be focusing tremendously on delivering exceptional products and services rather than on solving problems that are not central to their objectives.
More brands will leverage technology providers for the opportunity of sharing knowledge from hundreds of other businesses in the hope of achieving better outcomes and solutions. If you have the money to buy the technology you need, then you don't really have any kind of problem. However, many companies will lack the funds to simply purchase and install needed technology. Building that kind of technology in-house may also be problematic for the same reason, i.e. the lack of internal resources.
One way or another, the issue will come to a head this year and will be decided in favour of one or the other. Stay tuned to find out which side becomes the clear winner.