Many trends that have already emerged in 2020 and 2021 are likely to become stronger or more permanent in 2022. The importance of a reasonable and well thought-out management of personal data to serve the customer experience, hybrid marketing, the rise of artificial intelligence, the rise of conversational agents, the diversification of content and marketing platforms, here are the digital marketing trends we invite you to discover in this article.
Combining data privacy and marketing effectiveness: the key to success in 2022
Better control of data and targeted, personalized communications
While personalized and well-targeted marketing communications are particularly appreciated by consumers, it is clear that the protection of privacy and data confidentiality (personal information, purchasing behavior, browsing history) are also important to them. It is therefore not surprising that regulations in this area have become stricter over the last few years.
“Focus on the customer and the rest will follow”
This sentence represents Google’s philosophy and should serve as an inspiration to any company in 2022. By observing the evolution of consumer needs, some companies, like Google, have understood the importance of meeting this growing need for privacy, transparency and free consent to improve the user experience.
As examples, we can mention the progressive disappearance of third-party cookies (making it particularly difficult to track Internet users) or the version of Apple Mail, iOS15, released at the end of 2021 and advocating data protection (and challenging therefore marketing strategies based on user behavioral analysis, especially on the opening rate).
Change collection and analysis methods
To face this trend and to get around the resulting problems of targeting and measuring statistics, many companies are turning to collecting their own data on the one hand and measuring other key performance indicators on the other hand.
When it comes to data used for marketing and/or commercial purposes, it can be difficult to find the right balance between what will be perceived as goodwill in order to provide an optimized and personalized experience and what will be perceived as misuse of the data collected.
The big challenge is the same everywhere. As marketers and communicators, we have access to countless amounts of customer data. Very often in companies, this abundance of data creates a paradox. On the one hand, we have the marketing department trying to maximize the use of this data in order to offer a human and individualized experience to customers and prospects and thus generate more revenue, and on the other hand, we have the legal departments and the data protection officers (DPO) who are trying to make sure that privacy and data protection regulations are understood and respected.
Key points to remember for 2022
The most important thing is probably to make good resolutions now and work hand in hand with your DPO and/or your legal department to :
- Anticipate future data protection and privacy issues by relying on the data you collect by yourself and on new performance indicators
- Improve your customers’ trust by implementing better privacy practices, thus offering them real transparency and better control over their data
- Respect the requirements related to the established processing (and referenced in the compliance file), for which the targeted persons have been informed in advance and have given their consent (if the legal basis is considered). As a reminder, any use that is not compatible with the purposes (aims and objectives) is considered as a misuse of the purpose, which is prohibited unless the individuals are informed beforehand of the implementation, and if the legal basis is consent, then this consent must be collected)
Digital, physical or phygital? Go for hybrid marketing
It’s no secret that the pandemic has changed many of our personal and professional habits. Companies have had to rethink their way of thinking and communicating. Looking ahead to 2022, just like the event industry, which offers a variety of formats between physical and digital to participate in its events (online, onsite, replay, etc.), it seems that the winning marketing strategy will be a hybrid approach, between traditional and digital marketing.
The objective here is to offer users a seamless, omnichannel experience, as fluid and personalized as possible, on both the physical and digital levels. If the pandemic has imposed a massive digitalization of services and activities, the next challenge for companies will undoubtedly be to offer a continuous user journey that takes into account both physical and digital dimensions at the same time.
Here are some tips for a successful hybrid marketing strategy in 2022:
- Ensure that your image is consistent across all media and channels used by your target audience
- Make sure the customer experience is seamless across all channels. For example, if a customer benefits from an advantage if he buys in store, he must also benefit from it on your digital channels, and vice versa.
- Each communication channel is different and has its own codes. You need to make sure you adapt your content to each platform used. You don’t communicate on Instagram or in a newsletter like you do on LinkedIn or in a video on Youtube.
- By diversifying the communication channels, you also diversify the contact points. Make sure you centralize all the data collected on your prospects and customers in a single tool so you can benefit from this valuable information on all your channels while respecting your obligations in terms of personal data protection imposed by the GDPR :
- Information regarding data collection
- Processing referencing
- Collection of consent if necessary
- Data life cycle…
- Your legal department and / or your DPO can assist you in this implementation
The rise of Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence will really take off in 2022 in many areas: machine learning, predictive marketing, cybersecurity, automation, conversational marketing, big data analysis, segmentation, etc. In general, AI is expected to take automation in all industries to a new level.
Here again, data use must be supervised (prior information of targeted people, referencing, data life cycle…)
Companies will have to invest the time and resources (human and technological) necessary to develop a relevant, sustainable and transparent AI. The ethical use of AI while respecting privacy will be at the heart of all these kind of projects.
The rise of chatbots
The pandemic of the last two years has confirmed and reinforced the rise of e-commerce and more broadly of digitalization.
Being able to buy or access information online is no longer a luxury, it is a real need. But once visitors are on your website, you still have to give them what they are looking for quickly to not lose them. This is exactly where the chatbot comes into play!
The customer service ally
On the customer service side, the chatbot allows to create a quick interaction and to answer the most frequent asked questions of the visitors and if necessary, to redirect them to a real person to solve the most complex problems.
The chatbot to collect data
From a marketing point of view, integrating a chat bubble on a website is also an efficient way to collect data about your customers and prospects. Thanks to the information retrieved via the chat – as long as the use of this data has been planned beforehand (declared treatment, etc.) – you can refine the visitor’s request and redirect him to the right person. You can also retrieve useful data for the segmentation of your prospects and customers which will allow you to send adapted and personalized communications via other channels, such as email marketing for example.
Conversational marketing to boost your sales
In addition to data collection, a chat bubble can also boost your sales activity. Indeed, the presence of a chatbot on a website has become more and more generalized over the last few years, in such a way that this tool is even expected by Internet users. It is becoming more and more frequent to see a chatbot offering even more than personalized virtual assistance and pushing for example promotions or special offers.
A way to interact without interrupting the navigation
A chat bubble has the advantage of not being intrusive since it does not hinder the navigation on the website, of optimizing your sales and marketing performance and of reinforcing the efficiency and reactivity of your customer service. This real virtual assistant allows you to interact with your site visitors and can, thanks to these smart workflows, imitate the interactions with real advisors.
Finding the right balance between chatbot and live chat
Nevertheless, bots are not enough on their own. To keep a human dimension in your interactions, your website visitors must be able to contact a “real” person at any moment of the conversation. The future of conversational marketing is therefore a chatbot boosted by automatic intelligent scenarios combined with a live chat allowing your teams to take control of the conversations.
Content is always king
Providing quality, relevant and personalized content has never been more important to stand out in the mass of available content and to offer your prospects and customers an added value to your products or services.
At first sight, we often think of producing editorial content (blog articles, landing pages, white papers, etc.), but today it is necessary to offer diversified content to attract new leads but also to guide your customers throughout their journey. Videos, podcasts, surveys, quizzes, blog posts, whatever the format, your content must stand out for its quality, relevance and originality.
Diversification of marketing platforms
Today, your customers and prospects are not only using one communication channel. They switch from one platform to another and dispatch their attention over several media. But each platform has its own codes and requires specific content and formats. Adapt your content to your communication channels by making sure you respect the communication codes of each one.
Create synergies between your communication channels
Regarding email marketing, we see for example many synergies growing between emailing tools and social networks. In addition to the features for sharing email campaigns on social networks available in solutions like Mailify, several social networks are starting to offer to create and publish newsletters via their platform. This is the case for example of LinkedIn or Twitter. However, these “newsletters” are not quite the same as those sent through a classic email marketing solution. But once again, both channels can be complementary if the content is properly adapted.
In order to have an effective and efficient content strategy, you need to make sure that your brand image and customer experience is consistent across all your communication channels.
The rise of voice search
Voice search represents at least 20% of all searches. This trend will continue to grow in 2022 and will play an essential role in terms of Search Engine Optimization. Therefore, it will be necessary to take into account natural language (or spoken language). For example, be sure to include the most frequently asked questions on search engines and answer them in your content. Think about meeting local referencing criteria by adding expressions such as “near me”.
Here are some tips to optimize your content for voice search:
- Write your content in a way that respects the codes of natural spoken language.
- Make sure you answer the most frequent questions of your target by stating the question and the answer and do not focus too much on keywords. You will be able to identify your target’s needs (what questions interest them?) by consulting their search intentions.
- Work on and enrich the semantic field around your issue.
- Contrary to videos which must be shorter and shorter to keep the attention of Internet users, for editorial content, favor long and structured text content.
It is highly likely that this voice trend will also influence the way we build and write our emails (classic outlook emails, newsletters or transactional emails) so that they can be read properly.
Most of your contacts use their mobile to buy online, to search for information or even to read their emails. That’s why it’s particularly important to adapt your content (websites, visuals for your social networks but also your email campaigns) to an optimal display whatever the reading support used (mobile, tablet, computer) and whatever the screen resolution used by your targets.
Here are some tips to optimize the content of your email campaigns for mobile devices:
- Use an email marketing solution that handles the responsive aspect of your emails and allows you to manage the display of content on mobile and desktop separately.
- Prefer short email subject lines of about 30 characters so that they are fully readable on a mobile device.
- Choose an adapted font size to facilitate reading on mobile (22 px for titles and 12 px for paragraphs);
- Make sure that your clickable spaces are large enough. Indeed, on mobile, your readers cannot click as precisely as on computer. Therefore, your CTAs must be easily clickable with a finger.
- Last tip: test the display on several devices before sending your email campaign.
More than ever, marketers will have to adapt their strategies to the new needs of consumers. Consumers are becoming more and more demanding on several aspects:
- Confidentiality and control of their personal data
- Relevance and personalization of content
- Fluid and optimized user experience on all platforms and communication media they use
Are you ready to meet the challenges that 2022 will bring?