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The health crisis has had an impact on companies, in all areas. Marketing strategies had to be adapted and many companies innovated by testing new things.
Trends are already emerging for 2022. This year will be marked by strong values of inclusion and diversity, but also by an ever-increasing use of data. The goal, in any case, is to offer customers and prospects the best possible experience.
1 - Build your strategy around a mission
A few years ago, making a profit and having a positive impact on your business were two often very distinct objectives. Today, corporate social responsibility is at the heart of the debates.
According to a study by Deloitte, 86% of the two main consumer purchasing criteria are quality and price for 61%. Two data understood by companies for a long time and which no longer allow to differentiate themselves in an ultra-competitive market. Those that integrate social and environmental concerns into their business activities will therefore have a real advantage in 2022.
Nowadays, having a value proposition is no longer enough. 63% of French consumers say they are more loyal to brands that fight against social inequalities and 41% of those under 25 consider sustainability as a priority purchasing criterion. To gain the trust of its customers, it is essential to place its mission at the center of its overall strategy, to carry out coherent actions and obtain results. In order to reach your target, it is important to defend a cause dear to your heart.
2 - Reducing inequalities and inclusion
Driven by social networks, the "Me Too" and "Black Lives Matter" movements, as well as the "woke" culture, have become fundamental struggles, especially for those under 30. This mindset aims to fight against inequalities and injustices while protecting minorities. These movements already existed for a few years (2017) are inexorably found in marketing that reflects the diversity of our society by talking to all consumers.
Regardless of appearance, ethnicity, or sexual orientation, campaigns are for everyone.
This idea of inclusion has often been seen in the fashion world, with for example shows and campaigns featuring plus-size models.
3 - Offer a personalized customer experience by making better use of data
In a world where digital channels are saturated with advertisements and emails, the strategy of a personalized customer relationship seems complex. Indeed, a real duality is found in customer feedback.
68% of them appreciate that a brand they have already made purchases from alerts them when a product is on sale. However, 53% of them feel attacked by an advertisement that pursues them on the networks. It is therefore essential to know how to properly manage the exploitation of data while offering a personalized and adapted customer experience.
4 - Focus on hybrid experiences
Today's technologies make it possible to best meet customers who want to enjoy the best of both worlds: digital and real.
The idea is that in the real world, customer is increasingly using digital to improve their experience. In-store, for example, with tools like augmented reality that allows a unique fitting experience. It could also be the use of connected labels that customers can directly scan to view an animation or get advice.
Thus, conversely, in the digital world where the relationship is increasingly managed by algorithms and machines, the customer is looking for a human relationship. Despite the fact that interactions with robots are highly appreciated by consumers (especially for after-sales service), they expect an interaction as close as possible to that of a human.
The search for hybrid experiences at the crossroads of the two worlds will be an integral part of brands' marketing strategies in 2022.
5 - Harnessing AI
With a view to optimizing the customer experience, artificial intelligence is a real asset on a daily basis. It allows companies to save their marketing teams time by relieving them of certain time-consuming tasks.
Thanks to AI, it is possible to quickly scan and analyze a lot of data, for multiple applications in the field of marketing. This improves decision-making and strategy development. For example, chatbots can provide direct help to customers and thus optimize the after-sales service. AI can also be used in marketing campaigns. In this case, the data allows for effective and precise targeting, in order to reach the right audience.
In the entire creative process, AI is also a godsend. It helps identify trends by deciphering consumer behaviors. In this way, it also anticipates their future needs. To create ever more impactful content, data is also very important. They give visibility on the topics that interest customers the most.
6 - Saying goodbye to cookies for better use of customer data
While data collection is essential to optimize the customer experience, it must remain an essential point of vigilance. Indeed, the protection of data recovered on the Net is one of the major concerns of consumers and many practices are considered abusive.
It is therefore essential to build trust by carefully choosing the data collected and by being as transparent as possible regarding the storage and use of the data. It is also important to explain that the information collected is intended to improve their own experience.
Already implemented by Apple on Safari in 2017 and then by Mozilla Firefox in 2019, today, Google announces to end cookie tracking in 2023. These cookies, in particular third-party cookies, have a primary role in targeted advertising. Initially, third-party cookies were intended to improve the user experience. Now, they remember the pages viewed, which then makes it possible to display targeted advertisements when you continue to browse other sites. Good news for the consumer, but not so good for companies around the world for whom cookies were an indispensable tool.
Fortunately, there are alternative solutions such as first-party data, which are already adopted by a majority of high-growth companies. Thanks to Google Analytics, they make it possible to group the data collected directly from its website during visits or purchases by Internet users.
7 - Focus on analytical skills
In the age of Big Data, the ever-increasing amount of data to be collected and exploited is completely transforming the marketing professions. In addition to the creative hat, it is now essential to know how to process and analyze information. Indeed, offering the products or services best suited to the needs of the consumer will be done through the processing and analysis of data.
Marketers will continue to deliver personalized content based on customer behaviors in 2022. The segment analysis will then target and identify prospects, who arrive through different channels, to optimize marketing campaigns. This explains why the "Data scientist" and "Data planner" profiles are increasingly popular within companies. They represent the jobs of tomorrow and confirm that in marketing, analytical skills have already taken precedence over creativity.
Already omnipresent in our daily lives, new technologies will logically take an increasingly important place in the construction of a marketing strategy.
Thanks to state-of-the-art tools, it will be necessary to succeed in creating real hybrid platforms between the real and virtual world, with a view to offering its customers a unique and personalized experience. It will also be necessary to analyze the data collected while restoring a relationship of trust through better use of it.
Like our constantly changing world, innovation and adaptation will be at the heart of marketing trends throughout 2022!