It’s safe to say that the post-pandemic era will bring some changes to the way companies do business, and the marketing industry is no exception.
Whether it’s formulating a new approach or adopting new technologies, marketers should be aware of the implications of the pandemic.
The pandemic has challenged today’s marketers to become more innovative, reach new customer segments, and do away with the traditional marketing strategies that were once successful.
There are new customer expectations to meet, more competition, and less room for failure. Internet marketers, business leaders, and PR professionals across industries can prepare for these changes by first identifying trends in today’s digital landscape.
Below are six examples of current trends that will transform the marketing industry, for better or for worse.
1. AI adoption Will Drive Business Growth
Anyone adept in the digital marketing world knows that AI is the technology of the future. Various industries have already adopted AI to improve operational efficiency, achieve higher productivity levels, and streamline existing business practices.
Marketers already leverage customer data to target different segments, reach broader audiences, and make business decisions that impact their overall marketing strategies. Many companies have also implemented AI-based chatbots into their marketing efforts to provide customers with 24/7 humanlike interactions.
While not every company can use this breakthrough technology, it’s critical for any business to acknowledge the pros and cons of using AI. AI can truly transform a business from the top down, and as 2022 approaches, it’ll be necessary to implement AI to remain competitive in a saturated market.
2. E-commerce Is Here to Stay
As a result of the pandemic, more people were forced to quarantine in their homes. People spent time working from home as offices closed and businesses had to shut their doors — and some had to do so permanently.
For businesses that were able to reopen in a post-pandemic workplace, adapting to change became necessary. Many companies decided to take the time to evaluate whether their business could maintain a successful e-commerce platform.
With more people shopping online, it’s no wonder e-commerce has grown in popularity. Statista estimates that e-commerce will grow to 5.4 trillion by 2022, which is quickly approaching.
Marketers across industries should recognize this trend and keep in mind that more people shopping online means the number of channels to reach customers will also increase.
3. Sustainability Should Be a Top Priority
There’s no denying that more companies are adopting a mission of sustainability. Whether it’s locally sourcing products or reducing plastic consumption, today’s consumers are keen on being environmentally conscious.
Marketers must keep this top of mind when formulating marketing strategies or providing content to potential clients. The role of the marketer is always evolving, and adopting a sustainable marketing approach will prove beneficial.
Many consumers are backing sustainability efforts, and some have decided only to shop sustainably, whether it’s purchasing clothes or cleaning products. Marketers should adjust to this ongoing trend to stay ahead of their competitors.
4. Influencer Marketing Will Be More Prevalent in the Industry
With the growing popularity of TikTok, among other social media platforms, it’s no surprise that influencer marketing will continue to grow and impact consumers of all ages.
Take Shaquille O’Neal, for example. He’s been showing up in multiple brand commercials, such as The General Insurance company, Subway, Icy Hot, and more. Using a celebrity or online influencer to promote various products or services is at the heart of influencer marketing.
Influencers have the power to impact consumer buying behavior and purchasing decisions, which is something every marketer is trying to tap into. Marketers should consider using influencers in their marketing plans and leverage their influence to push customers through the sales funnel.
5. Hybrid Events Will Become Commonplace
As the pandemic forced companies in the events industry to hold off on live events, such as concerts or conferences, it’s natural to think that live events will come back post-pandemic. While this holds true, it’s likely that hybrid events will never fully vanish.
Virtual events became a mainstay for consumers, and marketers had to learn new ways to engage them online. Rather than attend an in-person event or conference, many companies began offering online tickets and chose to host the event using video conferencing tech.
The goal of a hybrid event is to grab the audience’s attention and hold onto it for the duration of the event. That presents some challenges for marketers to address. Finding innovative ways to reach a live audience will be something to look out for in the future.
6. Marketers Will Need to Create Unique, Personalized Customer Experiences
Every digital marketing professional knows how vital a role personalization plays in their marketing efforts. Customers demand a top-tier, personalized experience on the journey from start to finish.
It’s common to see personalized ads across the internet when simply browsing, and that’s likely a trend to continue. And the statistics prove that personalization is a trend worth staying ahead of — it may be surprising to learn that personalized content can facilitate repeat purchases from almost 44% of consumers.
Every marketing strategy aims to bring customers back for more and foster a loyal customer base. By introducing personalized marketing efforts to potential customers, it’s more likely that they’ll become repeat customers. All marketers should consider personalizing their marketing into their strategies.
7. Third-Party Cookies Will Be Phased Out
Google made a recent announcement that it would postpone the removal of third-party cookies. While marketers will have some time to find alternatives to these helpful tools, they’ll also need to adjust their marketing strategies to adapt to changing customer privacy demands.
Customers want more control of their data and greater privacy protections. Therefore, marketers will need to rely on first-party data or other tools — like Google’s Privacy Sandbox or Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) — to personalize marketing efforts and target the right customers.
While third-party cookies are still around, markets will have to adjust which tools they use to gain valuable insights on their customers.
This list is only a few examples of the digital marketing trends that will transform the industry. It’s key to understand the impact these trends have on current and future marketing plans. Keep in mind that the digital marketing landscape is ever-changing, and new trends will continue to emerge.
Adjusting Efforts to Adapt to These Marketing Trends
Internet marketing is an unquestionably challenging industry to work in, primarily because of its volatile nature. The COVID-19 pandemic has uprooted daily life and forced companies to change internal processes to meet consumer expectations.
The future looks bright for digital marketing as more buying behavior moves online. However, it’s important to keep these trends in mind as 2022 approaches.