Over the course of the pandemic, we’ve understandably seen marketers playing it safe and putting experimentation on the backburner. Now’s the time to start thinking outside of the box again. From looking into virtual reality spaces to investing in omnipresence, here’s where marketers should shift their brand-building energy in 2022.
1. Virtual reality
Last year, virtual reality spaces were all the buzz, with Facebook (or Meta) announcing the launch of the Metaverse in August. Since then, brands have been in a bit of a scramble trying to figure out what the technology means for their marketing campaigns and how they can best take advantage of it. In general, we can expect to see new software tools and app experiences taking place in virtual reality spaces, as well as branded events and spaces where communities and users can gather.
According to a study conducted by Singular, privacy is the most important topic for marketing heading into 2022 among CMOs and other leaders. Marketers will need to develop their first-party data, which will become essential for any sort of personalized marketing. But that raises an interesting problem — consumers are typically willing to hand over their information to specific brands for a more personalized experience, but they certainly don’t want it to be shared or leaked. In short, marketers will need to make consumers aware they’re respecting their privacy and taking its protection seriously.
3. Omnipresence and marketing fortresses
Omnipresence means being everywhere all the time, though only a few truly ubiquitous brands like Coca-Cola have achieved it. Our old idea of omnipresence might be difficult to achieve nowadays, though the rise of marketing fortresses could make marketers rethink this classic concept. So-called “marketing fortresses” are self-contained platforms, like Facebook or Instagram, that allow users to congregate, create opportunities to advertise to them, and then offer pathways for those users to make purchases. As more and more platforms like TikTok roll out marketplace features, marketers will need to pay more attention to this platform-centric ecosystem.
4. Influencer marketing continues its rise
Unsurprisingly, we’re likely to see influencer marketing continue to grow in 2022. As part of this general increase, we can expect to see other trends crop up, including a new emphasis on inclusivity in influencer marketing as brands seek to increase representation. Because influence marketing already focuses its energy on appealing to comparatively smaller subsets of the population, it’s a perfect fit when it comes to meeting calls for greater identity representation in all forms of media. We can also expect to see more influencer-brand relationships set up for the long term — think of influencers as the new brand ambassadors, rather than purveyors of one-off content.