The past few years have been a unique transformation in the advertising industry. Many agencies may be hoping for a slight stabilization in 2022 — so while individuals make commitments for the next year, what should the industry stick to?
Are there techniques, beliefs, or ways of working that we should let go of? Difficult changes we need to make to serve long-term good health? Or any other bitter pill to swallow? The Drum Network met with some of its members to find out what they plan to prioritize in 2022.
George Ioannou, Managing Partner, Foolproof
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 instant speed is beneficial, faster may not always be better. Some of the big moments that happen online require careful consideration. Of course, unnecessary clicks and friction should be considered, but what about necessary clicks and friction? Those that help speed information, enhance understanding and give customers time to think and think, whether it’s someone using Buy Now – Pay Later or ordering a third package for delivery this week.
We focus on helping people make informed decisions that are not driven solely by our business goals. Immediacy is just one of many metrics for companies looking to provide the best all-round brand experience, and for some, the rush for instant gratification can ultimately backfire. One way is to think about it in terms of lifetime value to the customer rather than just the next order – although this could also mean rethinking what “value” represents to customers.
Izzy Singleton, Head of Content, Space & Time
This year, we focus on five main areas:
1. Consumer demand for high quality and trustworthy content: Basic Google updates, page experience, and core web vitality, as well as anti-spam initiatives, continue to raise the bar for marketers who want their content to be discoverable in search. Google’s desire for expertise, credibility, and trustworthiness in searchable content will continue to influence the minds of content marketers throughout 2022.
2. Renewed Focus on Understanding Consumer Intent: Marketers and search engine optimization (SEO) professionals who remain too focused on keywords miss an opportunity to connect with their audience in meaningful ways. Understanding not just what people are looking for, but why they are looking for it, is essential in planning and crafting content that speaks directly to customers and meets their needs.
3. More Data-Driven Content Planning: Smart marketers are moving beyond using past performance insights as a roadmap for their content moving forward. Today, there are more touch points and interactions than content marketers can track and analyze on their own. We are adopting a more flexible content strategy for 2022; Instead, we prioritize the people, processes, and tools in place to analyze and act on data to inform our content over the course of the entire year.
4. Balancing the art and science of storytelling: Creativity and human communication have never been more important in content and search engine optimization. Seasoned content marketers learn to harness the data without giving up on the empathy that drives the best content home. The right tools help analyze the massive amounts of data generated by the myriad of touch points with consumers, but we’re also looking to have the right talent to craft stories around these ideas and move the audience into action.
5. Training: Every day is a school day, so the saying goes. Participate in training to either learn or hone our storytelling skills, get the tone of voice and personality for our clients right, write and create content that packs a punch and delivers results and analyze data to inform your ever-evolving strategy; This is where we want to focus our energy in 2022.
Lee Wilson, Head of Services, Vertical Leap
The past two years have enabled businesses to take a step back and mental leap forward when it comes to people. In the marketing industry, we are in a better position than almost any other sector to put people at the forefront of everything we do – from the people we hire, empower, nurture and trust independently, to the clients we support, grow and develop our services with.
Then there are the people we reach with our marketing messages. Traditionally, marketing is driven by many metrics that can abstract what we are trying to achieve with data. Data is fundamental, but how we work to understand and apply it can be even more impactful. We aim to take into account the human experience of users.
The more marketing firms can commit to empowering the person at the end of the scale, the greater the impact, value, and merit of the interaction. This leads to better results, repeat engagement, and long-term success. We know that the marketing industry can become more human and empathetic if it puts people back in the first place.
James Adelston, Chief Strategy Officer, Journey More
As a result of the pandemic, business has become increasingly short-sighted, driven by a survival mindset where short-term goals trump a balanced outlook. Two years is a long time, and we never got to the new normal we expected. Honestly, it never existed. But the pace of change has increased, and with it the perceived necessity has become more reactive.
I think this is the year we’re fighting backlash. How do we resist? By rethinking teamwork.
As we rethink how we actually communicate in the workplace, with less desk space and fewer desk days, the speed with which we organize ourselves into smaller, agile, cross-functional teams will necessarily increase. This is an opportunity to reset how we imagine our organization structures, and to create new agile teams that can avoid short-term and distraction-based vision.
Sean Cotton, CEO of Coegi
Many fear losing the third party cookies and the convenient tracking they have given us for years. But I think it would have a very strong positive side effect – marketers would have to look deeper into what truly effective measurement entails.
There is a lot of pressure today to get straight to your ROI. Final touch attribution provides a clean number, but we know it’s often misleading and doesn’t paint the full picture. It takes rigor and greater analysis to see how different digital and traditional marketing tactics working together have affected business outcomes. With less algorithm data available in the future without cookies, we can’t trust just one metric to report future media spending or determine success.
In 2022, digital marketers must continue to use data and machine learning, but apply it to a new signal rather than the last click or last view. Instead, go to the media mix to view comprehensive results and consider advanced measurement data, such as brand impact or sales improvement to track growth over baseline. It’s time for digital marketers to take on the challenge of rethinking scaling and moving away from the ‘easy’ button.
Kenita Kelsall, Senior Manager, Training (Social Media), Jellyfish
The use of TikTok has proliferated during the pandemic, but brands have been slow to adopt and integrate the platform into their digital strategy, mainly due to misconceptions about the age of users. However, TikTok recently overtook Google as the most popular site, so it would be foolish for marketers not to consider the platform. TikTok is still very popular with Generation Z, but there has also been a significant increase in audiences categorized as millennials or beyond spending time on the platform.
Average engagement per post is 8% (compared to 0.09% on Facebook and 1.6% on Instagram Stories), with a chance of going viral without a paid media budget. Success can be achieved organically, regardless of the size of your business. TikTok algorithms prefer to exchange value, not number of followers.
TikTok has been known to sell products in an instant. Trending trends like #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt are an example of how brands are leveraging the platform to drive thinking and conversion. TikTok users start trends naturally, sometimes without brands realizing they are involved, such as the trend of TikTokers installing £8 Dunelm mirrors in their homes, despite the brand not being involved.
Brands don’t need to get along with kids to beat TikTok; They should treat it like any other platform. This year, we are working to drive customers towards using TikTok by identifying the wants/needs of their audience and the strategic role the platform will play.