Marketing Trends for 2022

March 31, 2022

We don’t need to tell you that marketing is constantly evolving. Dare we utter the “P word” that’s been coming out of all our mouths nonstop since March 2020. However, the pandemic has had some lasting impacts on the way we live, and therefore consume. Some lockdown practices, such as working from home and binging streaming services, have manifested into new iterations, looking like they’re here to stay for the near future, whereas others were a fleeting novelty (black tie dress ups to take the bins out, anyone?). Here’s what industry leaders have predicted is on the radar for marketing trends in 2022.

Ethics (and Cynics)

Sustainability will continue through to marketing and media, as the role of brands moves from responding to customers,to educating them. Consumers want more transparency from brands, and are becoming increasingly skeptical of brands’ sustainability claims.  A survey by Havas Group found that 75% of brands are not adding value to consumers’ lives. It’s time for brands to step up, focus on ethics, powering human relationships and community, rewarding consumers, and being honest about their practices. Despite the ubiquity of misinformation on the internet, we are living in the age of the most informed consumers ever, who can see straight through greenwashing. Apps such as Good On You rate and compare a brand’s practices to their claims about their efforts. Brands are scored out of 5 according to their commitment to the planet, people, and animals. Marketers can also expect to see increasing demand for diversity of age, ethnicity, gender identity, sexuality, size and ability status, particularly from younger audiences who value social equity. Deloitte found that  57% of consumers are more loyal to brands that actually commit to representing a wider audience.

Big, Bold Disruptions

In line with consumers demanding commitments to ethics from brands, they also want to see it carried out in a way that cuts through the noise. Self-care giant Lush put their money where their mouth is by deactivating their social media accounts globally in 2021, encouraging their online followers to “be somewhere else” to pay attention to their wellbeing.

Last year, a disgraced Facebook rebranded as Meta following a saga of privacy concerns and accusations of unethical business practice. Meta is now the parent company who owns Facebook as a subsidiary, along with Instagram and Whatsapp. The decision to name the brand “Meta” symbolised Zuckerberg’s assertiveness that his brand will lead the entire metaverse industry. Expect to see more brands diving head-first into the metaverse, though perhaps at the disdain of consumers who want to enjoy a safe space without marketers. Brands must earn their right to play in such a rapidly changing space, by offering something unique and straightforward in its intentions. Luxury fashion brands such as Balenciaga, who collaborated with Fortnite to create luxury character skins, and Bulgari, who launched an app to virtually display an exhibition to users around the world, gave their audiences something to talk about, and demonstrated their ability to adapt to the times.

Loyalty, loyalty, loyalty

The global advertising market will see a 9.1% growth In 2022 (Zenith 2021), digital ad spend accounting for 61.5% of it. The social media ad market will be worth $177 billion globally, set to overtake TV. In 2021, we saw TikTok surge in popularity, with their revenue jumping from $1.9 billion in 2020, to $4.6 billion in 2021, its popularity expected to continue to grow. Tiktok’s image was transformed from an app for preteens to dance with their friends into a fully-fledged marketing powerhouse.

Successful marketers on TikTok made content, not ads. For brands, working with creators generates higher brand recognition, ad recall and longer view rates. For brands on TikTok,  integrating their content organically into trends, and finding their niche was key. Rewarding fans for their time, money, and attention, and gamifying the way feedback was obtained proved successful. Considering Gen Z spends less time engaging with content, but is more likely to remember it, it’s important to remember that just because you can join TikTok, it doesn’t mean you should – or if you are, make it memorable, not profitable. Crocs, with their 459.8k following, have nailed the ethos of the app: fun, casual, relevant and humble  –  not a “silence, brand” in sight. In contrast, Fila USA, with their 11.3k followers, aren’t pushing the boundaries or offering their audience much. Their eleven TikTok videos (all from January 2021) all feature various influencers dancing in their Filas to the same song. Their bio, “Iconic Everywhere” seems to aggravate the notion of taking and not giving to their audience.

Considering implementing these trends into your digital marketing strategy? Tapping new markets is no easy feat, but having a digital advertising agency in Melbourne to show you the ropes can bridge that gap between where you are and where you want to be.

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