As we’re just out of the end of year holidays, I always think that this is a good time to reflect on the last year and to focus on the challenges and opportunities for the New Year.
We are still living in uncertain and volatile times, but there are some consumer trends emerging which we expect to evolve further in 2022. I was particularly inspired by Think Google’s recent report A year in search 2021, which talks about trends in search terms in the UK and how these terms reflect changes in consumer behaviour.
The key messages coming out (and some examples) are :
- Whilst we have loved meeting up with people in real life, virtual social experiences have not gone away and are now seen as just another option to connect with people.
- +70% increase in searches for phrases like “online games with friends”
- We embraced outdoor activities … walks, wild swimming, visits to the zoo, outdoor dining,
- +700% increase in searches for “outdoor seating restaurants”
but also felt some activities were worth braving the crowds for
- +40% increase in searches for “live music near me”
- We made lots of small (and some big) changes to better ourselves
- +35% increase in “camera for beginners”
- +40% increase in “best time to take vitamin X”
- Office workers wouldn’t let go of the flexibility that comes from being able to work from home and sought to make their homes better spaces to work from
- +30% increase in searches for “remote jobs”
- +375% increase in searches for “vines for bedroom” (yes, really!)
- 80% of people say that sustainability is more top of mind than before the pandemic
- +40% increases in searches for “electric car”
Google also talk about 5 marketing mega-trends, which businesses should not ignore :
- Diversity – “A single person sees almost 2 million ads per year. That means almost 2 million ways we, as the advertising industry, could be helping people see themselves positively and authentically reflected” Lorraine Twohill, CMO at Google
- Sustainability – Getting your sustainability strategy right has it’s benefits – not just for our people and our planet. In a recent study, 72% of consumers said a deciding factor as to whether they buy or not is whether a brand’s values reflect their own
- Privacy – With the approaching demise of the cookie (fortunately not the food one!), focus needs to be on harnessing the power of first party data. Focusing on consumer data knowingly and willingly shared increases the opportunity to create genuine and personalized interactions
- New Retail – We are seeing the growth of true customer centric retail, where innovations allow the offline and online shopping experiences to become blurred. As restrictions have eased, discovery and inspiration activities have remained firmly digital, with video the top new shop window.
- Automation – Customers are expecting an increasingly personalized experience online. Understanding and responding to the customer experience cross-channel for each of your customer segments is critical … and incredibly tough without some level of automation
So, which Digital Marketing tactics will blossom under these trends? WSI research highlights the following – always remembering that Content is King! :
- Short content video – we are seeing an appetite for bite-sized video content (under 1 minute long)
- Cause marketing – consumers want to know what you stand for, and that you deliver what you promise, and that you don’t “greenwash”
- The Metaverse is happening – gaming formats will go mainstream. We will be creating our avatars in our favourite virtual worlds, and will have opportunities to buy our avatars virtual clothing, accessories etc
- Experiential selling – allowing you to immerse yourself in the product, service or brand before you buy it. Think shoppable video, or even better, a virtual store – a great example is Tommy Hilfiger’s virtual Beachwear store
- Live social media content – Both existing and new social media channels are developing livestreaming offers and the usage is growing fast. Take a look at Clubroom, Twitter spaces or LinkedIn Live as examples.
As part of the world’s largest Digital Marketing network, we have access to some of the best brains internationally, who are developing these emerging technologies and services. Want to explore if any of these tactics are right for you? Contact us to arrange a no strings chat.