Tips & Guides — 06 Jun 2022
Global marketing trends for 2022
2021 was a year characterized by pandemic and recovery. It was a year for coming to terms with the changes the world saw in 2020, for accepting and adapting to the changes that have proven to be permanent, and for learning from those that we now know were only temporary.
In marketing, as elsewhere, looking into 2022 requires a balanced consideration of the year that has just passed.
When thinking about marketing trends, we can observe multiple rhythms playing out concurrently. For example, the general movement in the field has been towards ever greater digitalization, a pattern that has been obvious for the best part of two decades now.
But besides the overarching trajectory towards a greater emphasis on digital marketing versus non-digital media, thinking of trends in terms of months and years is more useful for generating actionable insight.
To help you shape your digital marketing strategy, we’ve combined the insights of some of the world’s leading researchers and marketing experts with our own findings, learned from delivering powerful marketing software solutions for clients across a number of industries.
What follows are the global marketing trends to keep up with as 2022 wears on:
As any digital marketer knows, video now forms an integral part of a typical business’s content strategy.
Associated with the rise of TikTok and Instagram Reels, short videos of 60 seconds or less can be used to introduce people to new products, raise awareness for events and campaigns, and inform your customers about brand developments without bombarding them with too much information.
In a fragmented social media landscape, incorporating content syndication into your marketing strategy can broaden the reach of your videos and make sure that the right people are able to watch them on a platform of their choice.
When creating video content, think about how you can get the most mileage out of it by posting it on multiple channels. For example, a TikTok video can easily be repurposed as an Instagram Reel, while content hosted on YouTube is also suitable for a Facebook page or can be shared on LinkedIn.
Influencer marketing involves enlisting influencers to endorse your products to their followers.
Influencers typically sit within a specific niche and are often respected by their audience for both their knowledge of, and constant engagement with, that niche. Influencer marketing consists of seeking out the influencers who are active within a field relative to your brand and partnering with them for promotion.
Affise Reach is a performance marketing platform that can help you match with the influencers most suited to your business. It is made up of two core components:
In 2022, micro-influencers are replacing celebrities as the advocates of choice for many brands.
For starters, less well-known influencers tend to have more direct conversations with their following, making them ideally placed to discuss your product directly with potential customers. Secondly, compared to global celebrities, people are more likely to trust the advice and recommendations of someone they feel they have a personal relationship with
One recent consumer survey found that influencers with a smaller following outperformed more well-known ones across Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok.
A good way to tap into the potential of micro-influencers for marketing is to implement a referral marketing scheme.
With Affise, getting started with referral marketing couldn’t be easier.
The Affise Referral Marketing Platform provides a simple solution to the challenge of managing and tracking the performance of referral initiatives. The service makes it easy to launch a referral program, give out rewards, and analyze which tactics are actually generating high-quality leads.
With this information available, referral optimization is simply a matter of assessing which messaging and rewards systems work best with specific member groups. For this, there are a number of referral tracking tools available to help you track, manage, and reward members of your referral program.
Social media advertising has been a key element of most digital marketing strategies for some time now, and while paid ads can still offer a worthwhile return on investment, in 2022 the emphasis is increasingly shifting to organic community engagement.
Digital communities have never been more vibrant. One recent survey found that in 11 out of 15 countries studied, the largest proportion of respondents reported the most important group to which they belong is primarily an online one. Now more than ever it pays to reach out to the online communities that matter to your business.
The landscape of social media marketing is changing to reflect the growth of new platforms and changing patterns of use. But instead of simply jumping on whichever social media bandwagon everyone is talking about, it pays to do the research and find out which platform your target audience is active on.
Looking to engage with gamers? Try streaming on Twitch. Need to promote your new book? Head over to Goodreads. It’s time to get creative with your social media marketing if you want to foster genuine engagement and cultivate brand loyalty.
Flywheel marketing is an approach to marketing that seeks to displace linear models which view customers only as the output of a conversion funnel. Flywheel-type models place customers at the center of efforts to grow your business.
By focusing first and foremost on creating an enjoyable customer experience, flywheel marketing encourages customer loyalty and brand advocacy. Instead of marketers relying on traditional advertising models to generate leads, flywheel methodologies aim to build momentum from each additional customer gained.
Customer retention, increased lifetime value, and brand ambassadorship are the pillars of flywheel marketing. It helps you build trust by demonstrating to your customers that you value their business, encouraging long-lasting relationships rather than one-time purchases.
For example, Hubspot employs a three-phase cycle in its marketing strategy, which it calls Attract>Engage>Delight. Appcues on the other hand argues for a four-part marketing flywheel consisting of Activate>Adopt>Adore>Advocate stages.
Whichever framework you opt for, make 2022 the year of the flywheel by reorganizing your business processes around customer experience and reaping the rewards of a customer-first marketing plan.
There are several different marketing strategies that fall under the umbrella of partner marketing. Co-marketing, influencer marketing, and affiliate marketing are all different approaches that businesses apply in order to grow their brand and reach new audiences.
What all of these approaches have in common is that they can benefit from a data-driven approach and an effective analytics program.
Of course, most business leaders these days recognize that decisions should be based on data rather than instinct. And allowing data to inform the decision-making process is no doubt being added to trends-to-watch articles just like this one across the landscape of business strategy blogging.
But what exactly does a data-driven approach to partner marketing look like?
Brands that want to apply a data-based approach to partner marketing will first need to ensure they have an efficient data pipeline set up that captures the right information about their existing and potential customers.
This means using the best software available to ensure your data pipeline is optimized for partner marketing. Affise BI is a suite of tools designed to help you manage unstructured data from various marketing channels effortlessly. Applying the Affise Business Intelligence platform to your partner programs helps you to make evidence-based decisions about your partner marketing schemes.
An executive survey taken at the Gartner Marketing Symposium 2021 found that 95% of CMOs believe brands should take the lead in finding solutions to major societal and cultural issues.
In 2022, people expect the brands they purchase from to reflect their values. More than just avoiding negative PR, people want companies to prove that they take their social responsibilities seriously in all aspects of their business practices.
In the world of marketing, that means being discerning with which other brands you work with, and ensuring all business practices align with the values of your organization.
In 2022, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) remains an integral component of any digital marketing strategy. But the field of SEO is evolving to reflect the changing nature of contemporary web searching, as well as the tools available to marketers.
Machine learning (ML) is one technology that is having a profound impact on the work of SEO practitioners.
ML describes a subfield of artificial intelligence that has CMOs and other C-suite global executives scrambling to join a number of high-growth brands that are employing ML techniques across their business processes. It has the potential to massively increase the scope of your data collection efforts by opening up whole new fields from which to gather information.
For example, advances in the burgeoning discipline of speech analytics are enabling organizations such as call centers to leverage their voice data, a previously untapped source of consumer insights that can be applied to marketing efforts.
What’s more, speech analytics play an important role in more everyday technologies, such as in voice-activated digital assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, where the technology is shaping the nature of contemporary search data.
With the rising popularity of voice-activated assistants, both on mobile devices and in the form of smart devices, marketers are increasingly recognizing the importance of voice search in SEO efforts.
An approach to marketing that considers customer interaction from a holistic perspective, is known as omnichannel marketing.
Omnichannel marketing recognizes that the modern customer journey typically involves multiple channels of engagement and consumers expect to be able to seamlessly switch their mode of interaction.
If businesses want to keep customers engaged, they must ensure continuous branding at all touchpoints, and to avoid mixed messaging and repetition, regardless of which route the customer takes. By pulling together your customer interaction streams using Affise’s omnichannel analytics platform, you can track the customer journey across all brand touchpoints.
When it comes to web design, tracking your visitors means capturing browser data that gives you key insights into the behavioral patterns of your traffic.
For now, first- and third-party cookies still play a central role in any efforts to collect behavioral data from web browsers. But with Google announcing that it intends to phase out third-party cookies in the coming years, digital marketers need to start preparing for the cookieless future.
Preparing for a world without third-party cookies requires having a first-party data strategy in place that lets you gather your own customer data at every interaction. It also pays to make use of innovative technologies to optimize your data pipeline for tracking and analysis.
Aligning the data pipelines of marketing partners means coordinating your data-gathering efforts on multiple fronts. Thankfully, this process is easy with CPAPI.
CPAPI helps you to automatically synchronize your offers and adverts across partner programs by collecting data from all your different partners into a single system.
One of the major advantages of coordinating your data pipeline using CPAPI is that it can help you to apply artificial intelligence (AI) to marketing processes, a technique known as marketing automation.
By automating routine marketing tasks using tools such as email automation software, robotic process automation (RPA), and intelligent chatbots, marketers are able to boost their productivity and free up time to focus on conceiving and implementing effective campaigns.
There was a time when deploying an AI-powered marketing automation strategy was the preserve of large enterprises with significant budgets, like Amazon and Ebay. But in the last year, the proliferation of more affordable, more accessible software tools has driven a boom in marketing automation.
In online advertising and partner marketing, AI is helping to create more personalized experiences for customers and affiliates.
In the world of user experience design, AI-powered personalization engines enable targeted content to be tailored to individual users. Leading personalization software products for web designers include Adobe Target and Experience Manager.
In the past few years, there has also been a trend for smaller software developers developing more niche AI solutions such as those built specifically with ecommerce retailers in mind. By introducing a focus on continuous improvement, SDLC QA, and other modern processes, developers can make more and more bespoke solutions.
For example, machine learning algorithms have been packaged into Shopify and WordPress plugins, making it easier than ever for online sellers to provide their website and app visitors with intelligent product recommendations, personalized offers, and popups.
Looking to the future, the range of personalization software available is likely to expand to meet even more unique requirements and cover more specialist cases.
Email personalization has also seen significant growth in recent years with Mailchimp, MailerLite, and HubSpot all improving upon their personalization offerings.
Finally, when it comes to marketing partnerships such as cross-brand promotions for ecommerce, AI-informed customer segmentation and prescriptive analytics can be used to target different customer groups with advertisements for different partnerships.
In turn, your partners can use the same approach to only direct the right customers to your campaign. The right customers of course being the ones who are statistically most likely to convert.
Augmented reality (AR) is one of the cornerstones of the hybrid customer experience (CX), an approach to CX that aims to seamlessly integrate the online and offline experiences of a brand.
AR uses technologies such as smartphone apps that utilize 3D mapping to superimpose graphics over a real-time video feed. It can be used to turn everyday experiences into marketing opportunities.
AR will be increasingly tapped into by marketers as a way to enhance the customer experience and synthesize digital and real-world marketing channels
In the face of a growing preference for online shopping, the success of hybrid models suggest that brick-and-mortar stores and in-person experiences still play an important role in the customer journey for many people.
Rather than upholding an either/or approach to digital and traditional marketing, AR allows you to combine the appeal of real-world experiences with the benefits of digital models.
Having already gone from strength to strength, in 2022 AR and the hybrid approach to CX is set to grow in prevalence across multiple industries. In fact, when Deloitte surveyed over 1,000 global executives, 75% said they will invest more in delivering hybrid experiences over the next 12 months.
Creating a seamless hybrid CX means that more than ever, marketing teams will have to collaborate closely with customer support, web design, and product development departments.
There is no reason marketers shouldn’t be getting involved with all aspects of the brand experience. This way they can make sure marketing goals are articulated across projects—from early production tests to after-sales user support.
In 2022, marketers need to be aware of changing search and payment habits if they want to optimize their efforts for the evolving landscape of commerce.
When it comes to the way people search the internet, it pays to know the search patterns of your target audience as well as the general trajectory of web-search behaviors.
Consider voice search, for example. A 2021 survey by the Manifest found that 63% of over-55s questioned had never used voice search, while 27% of 35—54-year-olds use it more than once a week.
The research suggests that while the overall popularity of voice search has declined since 2018, it is more popular among younger consumers than older generations.
In line with sales and development teams, marketing departments also need to keep pace with changes to the way people process payments.
While only an afterthought for many marketers, payment is a crucial part of the customer experience. Buyers want a seamless transaction across channels and providing one can increase retention and customer satisfaction.
To deliver a superior customer experience, companies need to embrace innovative payment solutions and invest in upgrading their FinTech infrastructure to meet the demands of the modern consumer. This includes things like QR payments, payment links, and digital wallet capabilities that make it quicker and easier for buyers to pay.
No longer a minor part of digital marketing, mobile marketing is now a recognized discipline in its own right. Marketers increasingly recognize mobile marketing as essential for driving growth, both in mobile and traditional ecommerce.
Throughout 2021, the engagement gap between mobile-native platforms Instagram and TikTok compared to older, more PC-oriented ones like Facebook and Twitter continued to grow. As such, it should come as no surprise that social commerce and social media marketing are increasingly mobile-focused.
As well as higher engagement rates for both organic and paid content, Instagram and TikTok have also outperformed Facebook and Twitter when it comes to growth, both in terms of overall users and average daily usage.
Of course, that’s not to say that maintaining a company Facebook page isn’t still important. For companies with an older customer base especially, Facebook continues to be an important marketing channel. But pretty much all social platforms have a mobile app that you should be taking into account.
Besides changing platform usage, rising trends in mobile marketing and M-commerce include the growth of hyperlocal targeting and an emphasis on ecosystem integration. If you have an app, make sure it integrates with the popular social media platforms and ensure that your mobile commerce channels, whether web- or native app-based, are optimized for one-click purchases.
Another key mobile marketing trend to keep abreast of in 2022 is the importance of mobile privacy and the expectation that brands will prioritize securing personal information and protecting customers from fraud.
That is to say, anti-fraud measures are not just important for preventing ad fraud, but also need to be implemented in all processes that involve customers’ personal data.
Now is the perfect time to reevaluate your marketing plan. Ask yourself whether your current model is delivering the results you want and whether the techniques and technologies you’re applying are up to date.
With a better understanding of the latest trends, make 2022 the year you step up your marketing game and find out what a new approach can do for your business’ growth!
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