Marketing trends come and go, constantly evolving as brands strive to better leverage the latest technologies and respond to shifts in the marketplace. It’s not just about making a splash or creating attention-grabbing content anymore. After making target audiences aware of their existence, businesses must then connect with prospective customers in meaningful ways, build a reputation as a trusted source of information, and nurture those relationships.
That’s a lot to accomplish when so many consumers are preoccupied with managing the effects of the global pandemic on their lives. To reach people in this climate, brands would be wise to leverage emerging marketing trends that promise to give them an edge over the competition. Here, 15 members of Forbes Agency Council each share one top trend they anticipate in their industry this year and predict how it will impact the market in 2022.
1. More Long-Term Influencer-Brand Relationships
We’re likely to see an increase in long-term influencer-brand relationships, with creators taking on a variety of brand ambassador roles and an overall shift toward always-on programming, as opposed to one-time deals. Brands will have the opportunity to build more authentic connections with their audiences through longer-running programs that leverage influencer expertise and credibility over time. – Danielle Wiley, Sway Group
2. ‘Conversational Commerce’
Entrenched in projects and working with clients across the retail supply chain, I’m inspired by “conversational commerce.” First coined by Uber’s Chris Messina in 2015, it refers to “the intersection of messaging apps and shopping.” This is a new frontier in retail. – Dave Wendland, Hamacher Resource Group
3. Experiential E-Commerce
Experiential e-commerce will be essential to all companies that are selling online. From retailers and subscription sites to software as a service platforms, the implementation of interactive, experiential and highly tailored pathways will be a necessity to accommodate user expectations. Brands are competing for their user base, and experiential e-commerce will be winning the answer this time around. – Goran Paun, ArtVersion
4. ‘Doing Digital Right’
Communications agencies will shift from a transactional approach and take on a more advisory role as they look at long-term partnerships with brands. While the communications industry has made digital-first a priority these last few years, 2022 will primarily be about “doing digital right”—leveraging digital tools to supplement integrated communications initiatives when and where it makes sense. – Lars Voedisch, PRecious Communications
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5. The Rise Of Interactive Content
Buyers are becoming more and more independent in their journey. So, as marketers, we need to take this into consideration and make things easier for the users. Businesses might have to put more time and effort into keeping the prospect engaged and helping them find what they are looking for, so one trend that might manifest itself in 2022 is the rise of interactive content. – Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS
6. Intent Monitoring
It’s time marketers focus on their biggest business goal: finding buyers who are ready to buy. To that end, it’s helpful to know who’s searching for your solution—and who is potentially in-market. Intent monitoring is the answer, and it’s a top trend that we anticipate will grow in 2022. When combined with actionable insights, it offers a powerful way to impact business growth. – Paula Chiocchi, Outward Media, Inc.
7. The Continued Rise Of Influencer Marketing
There is a lot of distrust among the public when it comes to who they are getting their information from. Influencers have built trust with their audience over a long period of time. Therefore, their audience knows that when their favorite influencer backs a service or product, it’s legit. Companies need to take bigger advantage of this moving forward. – Jason Hall, FiveChannels Marketing
8. A Resumption Of Business Travel And In-Person Meetings
Our clients and their customer advisory board members universally express a desire to “get back on the road” and meet with their peers face-to-face as they normally would, putting the pandemic behind them once and for all. – Eyal Danon, Ignite Advisory Group
9. New VR-Based Software Tools And Apps
With the latest announcements from Facebook (now Meta) regarding the metaverse, people can begin to expect new software tools and apps to be introduced in the virtual reality world. I would anticipate seeing more hybrid and mixed reality experiences in 2022. – Jordan Edelson, Appetizer Mobile LLC
10. New Methods Of Teamwork And Collaboration
The workplace is not a location; it’s a mindset. Driven by the impact of Covid, the work environment will continue to be redefined. The impact on the market is huge. Employers need to be creative in blending productivity and employee needs; those who will thrive will seek new ways of accomplishing “work” and different methods of teamwork and collaboration. – Leeza Hoyt, The Hoyt Organization, Inc.
11. Alternative Targeting Solutions
With the deprecation of third-party cookies set for 2023, marketers will be testing alternative targeting solutions, such as people-based targeting, throughout 2022. Companies that can leverage and expand on your first-party data will need to be vetted before cookies are gone entirely. – Donna Robinson, Collective Measures
12. A Massive Shift In Who Conducts Research
In the insights industry, we expect to see a massive shift in who is conducting research activities. Accelerated by both the Covid-19 pandemic and increasingly user-friendly technology, the barriers to market research have been drastically lowered. That means marketers, product designers, user experience specialists and others will no longer simply be users of data—they will have an active role in generating it too. – Chris Martin, FlexMR
13. A Renewed Emphasis On Reputation
We have seen the increased fragility of brands in the country over the last 18 months, as well as their balancing act of trying to resonate within a polarizing marketplace. How does a brand attract and gain advocates without alienating a market segment? It’s an unprecedented scenario for brands to navigate. – Dean Trevelino, Trevelino/Keller
14. Long-Form ‘Guide’ Pages
The best content is going to win out. However, everyone is writing long-form “guide” pages. So putting them in the best format and making them readable and shareable will be key. Those who can make their pages interesting will win and have a more successful Web presence. – Peter Boyd, PaperStreet Web Design
15. Bigger Business Pivots To Online/Digital
In 2022, I believe there is going to be a need to concentrate on and adapt to cryptocurrencies and nonfungible tokens and move businesses to the online marketplace. We already saw the pivot that had to happen during the pandemic to online/digital, and that trend is only going to get bigger. Companies should start integrating these things into their strategy as they look ahead so they don’t fall behind. – Zack Teperman, ZTPR