In the last year alone, email marketing budgets have increased by 16% and paid search budgets have increased by 30%.
It’s apparent that online marketing is becoming a necessity, not a luxury.
The good news is that even with the increased focus on ROI and productivity, marketing managers can still expect to spend less money on fewer tactics with brand awareness as the key marketing initiative.
To better understand the evolving digital marketing landscape and how to approach digital marketing planning, we’ll examine the results of a recent survey from Blue Book Research on this topic.
Marketing to Consumers: Trends and Predictions for 2022
The results of our research provide a bird’s eye view into the top marketing trends, the capabilities of digital marketers, and how organizations can use eCommerce marketing to its advantage.
Based on the analysis of this research, we can make several key predictions for 2022.
1. Content will be king.
In the next few years, content is going to take precedence over technology in terms of how consumers interact with brands.
To build a solid foundation for this content-driven engagement, organizations can leverage on-site marketing such as SEO, SEM, and content marketing to attract, engage, and convert consumers into paying customers.
2. Consumers will learn to expect more from businesses.
In the coming months and years, consumers will increasingly rely on online reviews to guide their decision-making process, especially when researching brands or products that they’re unfamiliar with.
As a result, digital marketers must ensure that their websites or online stores are optimized for searchability so that they can attract and retain customers through visible search results.
To best serve their customers, businesses can integrate customer feedback into their content workflow by incorporating customer reviews into product descriptions and marketing material such as advertising.
3. Direct marketing will remain popular.
Although consumers are moving to an omnichannel approach to their marketing, digital marketers must still focus on driving sales through direct mail.
In 2022, marketers plan to spend a whopping 49% of their time managing direct mail campaigns, according to HubSpot. And what’s more, marketing executives tell us that email marketing is even more effective when combined with other methods, such as social media and display advertising.
Based on this, it’s evident that marketers see direct mail as a necessary evil that they need to resort to in order to achieve brand awareness and generate leads.
4. Search will continue to thrive.
Even though consumers are learning to expect more from businesses, marketing executives tell us that they still look to online search to provide them with quick answers to their questions.
According to HubSpot surveys, 79% of consumers have used online search to find basic information about a brand or product, while 66% have used search to find more specific information.
As a result, SEO and PPC (pay per click) remain critical elements of a strategic marketing plan.
5. Video content will grow.
In 2022, marketers will increasingly use video content to attract, engage, and convince consumers to purchase their products or services.
According to HubSpot surveys, 65% of consumers have watched an explainer video to better understand or learn about a product or service, while 50% have used video content to entertain or engage themselves while researching products or services.
The popularity of video content in 2022 will be driven by several factors, including its ability to engage users through multiple senses (i.e., audio-visual content) and its interactive nature, which makes it a suitable alternative to traditional marketing material (i.e., pure video content with calls-to-action).
6. Brand awareness will be paramount.
In 2022, digital marketers will continue to prioritize brand awareness over marketing to consumers, as 41% of marketing executives tell us that they expect brand recall to be the key to business success. Furthermore, marketers believe that 22% brand recall is achievable, while 18% says it’s not achievable and 41% aren’t sure.
Marketing to consumers and establishing a brand recall simply means getting the right message into the right audience’s minds. In order to achieve brand recall, marketers must first develop a unique message that can be delivered consistently across different platforms and channels. Developing a unique voice and brand identity is also critical.
7. Personalization will be essential.
In 2022, using personalized marketing will be essential for attracting and retaining consumers, as 70% of marketing executives say that they expect companies to implement personalization strategies in their marketing efforts.
According to the same HubSpot research, 73% of consumers say that they have a more positive perception of companies that personalized their marketing material, while 52% say they have a more negative perception of brands that don’t use personalization techniques. Additionally, marketers can use personalization to target consumers based on their interests, previous purchases, and interactions with other brands.
For instance, if a consumer has viewed a company’s health & wellness video content but is now interested in purchasing gym equipment, the company can send them targeted coupons for their local gym or wellness center. Or, if a consumer has purchased a vacuum cleaner from a specific brand but has also viewed a general marketing video for that company, they may be offered discounts or freebies for that brand’s products.
8. Mobile marketing will continue to grow.
In 2022, digital marketers will continue to prioritize mobile marketing as 47% of executives say that they will increase their mobile marketing budgets, while 22% will decrease their spend and 35% aren’t sure. And, in 2022, consumers primarily use their smartphones to access the internet, as the Pew Research Center reports that 89% of American adults use smartphones.
To take advantage of the growing dependence on mobile devices, marketing managers can integrate mobile marketing into their digital marketing strategy by creating apps, web sites, and emails designed to perform specifically on mobile devices. When used effectively, mobile marketing can increase engagement, drive revenue, and improve conversion.
9. Affiliate marketing will grow.
In the next few years, affiliate marketing will become even more popular, as 26% of marketers say that they will increase their affiliate marketing budgets, while 14% will decrease their spend and 60% aren’t sure. What’s more, affiliates tell us that they expect to spend more on digital marketing in 2022.
According to the Affiliate Marketing Schemes Survey from Blue Book Research, 66% of affiliates plan to spend more on digital marketing, while 26% plan to spend less. However, even those participants who intend to spend less say that they will only reduce their budgets for online media and online marketing (i.e., digital marketing).
As a result of the above, we can predict that in 2022, digital marketers will continue to focus on email marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns.
10. Email marketing will remain important.
In 2022, email marketing will continue to be an essential tool in a digital marketer’s toolkit, as 24% of business owners tell us that they will increase their email marketing budgets, while 8% will decrease their budgets and 68% aren’t sure. This is mainly because consumers still prefer to receive marketing material via email (Avengers, Open Rates)
To determine the effectiveness of email marketing, marketers can use email metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates.