Mumbai: With the rising internet and smartphone penetration and social media usage, especially in tier-II and tier-III cities, the way brands engage with their clients has irrevocably changed. Digital adoption has been the primary focus for marketers in 2021, with a myriad of trends appearing in the marketing industry, including growing online shopping, technology-integrated operations, and so on. With this backdrop in mind, here are some of the most essential marketing trends to watch in 2022.
Once known as an additional leg to a brand campaign to gain social media visibility, influencers have expanded their audiences and now are driving the communication strategy for many brands. Millennials and Gen Z customers religiously follow influencers on social media, considering them to be highly relatable in terms of content they share. Various brands are already banking on this trend, collaborating with influencers to promote their products and services. The coming months will see more marketers and advertisers follow suit increase brand exposure and garner fans from the influencer’s audience. In fact, several businesses are developing technologies that will enable influencers to create their D2C brands, resulting in creating a micro-entrepreneur ecosystem.
First-party data will become relevant
Until recently, most marketing platforms have relied on third-party cookies to collect consumer data. These insights help them understand the evolving shopping patterns of customers and accordingly modify their ongoing marketing activities. However, with rising privacy concerns, the new legislation has initiated restricting the use of third-party consumer data sources. Given this, first-party data will become more relevant than ever. As a result, organisations should enhance their existing data practices and partner with platforms that have extensive first-party data. Doing so will not only give them access to quantitative insights but also help them craft innovative marketing campaigns that are tailored to the intent of consumers.
AI-powered conversational marketing
As technological advancements continue to evolve, consumer behavior, interests, and expectations will keep changing at an accelerated pace. Today’s consumers aren’t satisfied with simply appealing websites or products. They are always looking for something new, desiring more personalised, engaging, and immersive shopping experiences. Brands must therefore modify their customer interaction strategies to generate interest, engage buyers, and convert demand to flow in sync with the new customer journey.
Many brands are implementing conversational AI technologies such as chatbots and voice assistants that can understand and speak vernacular to provide an enhanced experience and strengthen brand-customer relationships.
Long-form videos make consumers reluctant to watch and consume content about the brand and its products, pushing them away rather than attracting and retaining them. But fitting well with the fast-paced attention spans of Millennials and Gen Z consumers across several demographics, short videos have gained substantial traction, contributing to an overall increase in e-commerce. As a result, major e-commerce platforms are shifting their focus to short-form content to create more engaging purchasing experiences.
Mobile-friendly digital experiences
With over 600 million internet users in India, it’s no wonder that people are spending more time on their smartphones and tablets. And, as millennials and Gen Z audiences, who like to explore and buy across a range of devices, increase their purchasing power, the problem of providing a & seamless experience across all devices — particularly on mobile — will get more complicated. So, it is pivotal for marketers to recognize that mobile-friendly digital experiences are more important to consider, and accordingly create meaningful user experiences to drive brand awareness.
The Covid-induced quarantine and consequent isolation have redefined the consumer expectations and how they interact with brands. Improving customer satisfaction is the most accessible approach to distinguish yourself from the increasing e-commerce crowd. And catalysed by the pandemic, the aforementioned trends will continue to thrive in 2022, which is why you should start experimenting with different advertising strategies to keep customers happy and delighted at every point possible.
(Vijay Kumar Mikkilineni is TCL India marketing head. The views expressed in the column are personal, and Indiantelevision.com may not subscribe to them.)