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Much has changed in 2021, even when in many ways the world still stood. Consumers are increasingly viewing digital content and embracing smart devices in all aspects of life, for every online marketer. Growing concern about social issues and climate change has made Americans more likely to vote with their money.
As 2022 begins, marketers must understand these shifts and prepare to change strategies to address them. Four main areas to note include:
1. Be a Purpose Driven Brand
Companies are facing increasing pressure to expand their focus beyond profit to consider their general purpose. Whether it’s reassessing the environmental impact of their supply chains or promoting diversity and inclusion to mitigate the effects of the “Great Resignation,” the digital ecosystem will scale up to support purposeful efforts, says Libby Morgan, chief strategy officer at IAB.
Kevin Koering, who leads customer insights and growth strategy for Accenture’s North American strategy, notes that brand trust and reputation are becoming increasingly important. “The push toward goal was gaining momentum before COVID-19 reshaped consumer preferences and behaviors,” Quiring wrote in Accenture’s Business Functions blog. “The pandemic has simply made the need for purpose more pervasive — and more urgent.”
Brands must have a purpose beyond token initiatives in diversity or climate change, writes Katie Burkhart of Entrepreneur. Burkhart points out that a goal is like a lens that makes everything a company does with the lasting value it provides.
“The purpose of your business is the fundamental reason for your company’s existence,” Burkhart wrote. “It focuses on why your company exists, why you do what you do and why it matters what you do.”
2. Ensure that marketing is comprehensive
Many brands are still way behind the curve when it comes to reflecting the diversity of their customer base in their marketing. According to Deloitte Insights, young people in particular feel the sensitivity of representational advertising when they are considering a purchase. Her research found that minorities were particularly aware of whether a brand promotes diversity.
“Given the diverse consumer population—by race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or differences in ability, for example—it is essential for brands to authentically reflect a range of backgrounds and experiences within their messages if they expect to communicate effectively with customers in the future,” many noted. Staff members on the Deloitte Insights blog.
3. Reaching customers in a cookie-free world
It’s been years in the making, but browser cookies are finally being phased out, and 2022 is likely to be one of the last years that marketers can count on to elicit behavioral insights and drive personalization. Several alternatives are in the works. Next year will be a good time to test those alternatives and decide which are most effective. With people increasingly accessing content and shopping on a variety of devices and screens, it would be beneficial for any tracking alternative to provide a holistic understanding of consumers.
“Marketers, advertisers, and data engineers alike are actively looking for solutions to determine what happens next,” writes Pamela Bombe at HubSpot. “If your advertising strategies depend on third-party data, start thinking about alternatives now.”
4. Use data and technology to further personalize
Personalization has been important for as long as there has been digital marketing, but new technologies push the possibilities to new levels. For example, global snack brand Mondelez used artificial intelligence to craft a customized video ad campaign in India featuring Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan. By using technology to include the names of local retailers in advertising, the brand has been able to build the brand equity of the retailers while reaching customers in a unique way, according to Business Insider India.
As people have embraced technology and digital tools over the past two years, they have also increased their expectations about their online experiences, Sharyn Leaver, senior vice president of research at Forrester, wrote in the company blog, adding: “You should be ready to meet those expectations this year. and in the future “.
Leaver cautions that sound data-driven insights are key to success, noting that 75% of efforts by trade marketers “to create automated, personalized engagement will not achieve ROI goals due to insufficient buyer visibility.”
Marketers who consider these trends while crafting their overall strategies can start 2022 ready for whatever comes next in these unexpected times.