The last few years have each been uniquely transformative for the advertising industry. Many agencies might be hoping for a slightly stabler 2022 – so while individuals are making commitments for the year ahead, what should the industry commit to?
Are there technologies, beliefs or ways of working we should be giving up? Difficult changes we need to make in service of long-term good health? Or any other bitter pills to swallow? The Drum Network caught up with some of its members to find out what they’re planning to prioritize in 2022.
George Ioannou, managing partner, Foolproof
The consumption of digital media and experiences is set to remain high in 2022. In light of this, we need to start thinking differently about immediacy. While immediacy is useful, faster may not always equal better. Some big moments that happen online require careful consideration. Of course, unnecessary clicks and friction should be looked at, but what about the necessary ones? Those that help pace information, promote understanding and give customers time to think and reflect, whether that’s someone using buy-now-pay-later or ordering their third package for delivery this week.
We’re focusing on helping people make more informed decisions that aren’t solely motivated by our business objectives. Immediacy is only one of many metrics for businesses looking to deliver the best all-round brand experience and, for some, the dash for instant gratification may ultimately prove counterproductive. One way to think about it is in terms of customer lifetime value as opposed to just the next order – although this might also mean rethinking what ‘value’ represents to customers.
Matt Read, head of digital and training, Space & Time
Would any prediction list be complete without mentioning voice search? It feels like the industry has been saying this now for a few years and it’s still not come to fruition.
I don’t necessarily think 2022 is the year voice becomes the go-to for businesses, but we can’t ignore that, according to Google, 55% of teens and over 40% of adults use voice search at least twice a day. It’s not time to completely focus on voice but it is time to start preparing some content for it, with more question-and-answer based content, local SEO strategies and structured data.
Lee Wilson, head of services, Vertical Leap
The past couple of years have enabled business to take a step back and a mental leap forward when it comes to people. Within the marketing industry we are better placed than almost any other sector to put people at the forefront of everything we do – from the people we employ, empower, nurture and trust with autonomy, to the customers we support, grow and evolve our services with.
Then there are the people we reach through our marketing messaging. Traditionally, marketing is steered by many metrics that can dehumanize what we are trying to achieve through the data. Data is key, but how we work to understand it and apply it can be so much more impactful. And we’re aiming to keep the human experience of users in mind.
The more marketing companies can commit to enabling the person at the end of the metric, the greater the impact, value and worthiness of the interaction becomes. This leads to improved results, repeat engagement and longer-term success. We know that the marketing industry can become more human and empathetic if it returns to putting people first.
James Addlestone, chief strategy officer, Journey Further
Businesses are becoming increasingly short-sighted, as a result of the pandemic, driven by a survival mindset where short-term targets trump a balanced outlook. Two years is a long time, and we never arrived at the new normal we anticipated. Truthfully, it never existed. But the pace of change has increased, and with it a perceived necessity to be more reactive.
I believe this is the year we fight back against the reactive. How do we fight back? By rethinking teaming.
As we rethink how we physically connect in the workplace, with less desk space and fewer office days, the pace at which we organize ourselves into leaner, agile, cross-functional teams will by necessity increase. This is an opportunity to reset how we imagine our organization structures, and to create new, agile teams that can be spared short-term distractions and build against a vision.
Sean Cotton, chief executive officer, Coegi
Many are dreading the loss of third-party cookies and the convenient tracking they have provided us for years. But I think it will have a very strong positive side effect – marketers will be forced to look deeper at what truly effective measurement entails.
There’s so much pressure today to get directly to the ROI. Last-touch attribution provides a clean number, but we know that it is often misleading and doesn’t paint the full picture. It takes greater rigor and analysis to see how different digital and traditional marketing tactics working together impacted business results. With less algorithmic data available in the cookieless future, we can’t trust one metric alone to inform future media spend or define success.
In 2022, digital marketers must continue to use data and machine learning, but apply them to a new signal rather than last click or last view. Instead, turn to media mix to show holistic results and consider advanced measurement data, such as brand lift or sales lift to track incremental growth compared to a baseline. It’s time for digital marketers to step up to the challenge of rethinking measurement and moving away from the ‘easy’ button.
Kineta Kelsall, senior director, training (social media), Jellyfish
TikTok usage exploded during the pandemic, but brands have been slow to adopt and incorporate the platform into their digital strategy, mainly because of misconceptions around the age of users. However, TikTok has recently surpassed Google as the most popular website, so marketers would be foolish to not consider the platform. TikTok is still hugely popular with gen Z, but there has also been a significant increase in audiences categorized as millenials or beyond spending time on the platform.
The average engagement per post is 8% (compared to 0.09% on Facebook and 1.6% on Instagram Stories), with the opportunity to go viral with zero paid media budget. Success can be achieved organically, irrespective of the size of your business. TikTok algorithms favor value exchange, not follower count.
TikTok is known to sell out products in an instant. Popular trends such as #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt are an example of how brands can leverage the platform to drive consideration and conversion. TikTok users start trends organically, sometimes without brands even knowing they are involved, such as the trend of TikTokers mounting £8 Dunelm mirrors in their homes, despite the brand not partaking.
Brands don‘t need to be down with the kids to get cut through on TikTok; they should treat it like any other platform. This year, we‘re working on pushing clients toward using TikTok by identifying their audience wants/needs and the strategic role the platform will play.