The relationship between marketers and their customers is entering a new era.
Pandemic-induced consumption behaviors are here to stay. Over the past year, most of us have been forced to adapt to change and uncertainty more than ever before. With many of our daily interactions exclusively digital, we should expect the gap between brands that meaningfully engage audiences online and those that don’t to grow significantly.
This will be a year where industry leaders must embrace change and invest in new solutions to stay ahead.
There are no shortcuts to marketing strategies that get results, but there are a few key areas of innovation you’ll want to keep an eye on to inform smart decision-making as we head into 2022.
Here are some of the exciting trends that will shape the world of marketing and advertising in the coming year:
Prioritizing brand appropriateness in a climate of misinformation
Researchers from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism have found that concerns about misinformation are on the rise, which is why it’s especially important to think about the context in which your customers interact with your brand campaigns.
For example, last year the Bureau of Investigative Journalism revealed that dozens of the world’s biggest brands were advertising on websites spreading misinformation about Covid-19 and therefore unwittingly supporting the proliferation of Covid-19. inaccurate claims about the pandemic and vaccines. It’s important for marketers to go the extra mile to know where their ads are seen by their audience.
For more on this, join our session at the Festival of Marketing, where I’ll meet with a panel of experts to discuss the impact of misinformation and the importance of on-brand partners to propel your campaigns.
Lead by example with values-based marketing
Last year, the public around the world eagerly awaited verdicts in the Derek Chauvin and Kyle Rittenhouse trials following a global wave of racial justice protests that began in 2020. As a result, many companies and brands have embarked on a journey to improve their practices and be part of the solution for a fairer and fairer society.
Likewise, as the mainstream call to fight to protect the planet took center stage with films like Don’t Look Up and Seaspiracy, consumers and businesses began looking for ways to reduce their ecological footprint.
Respecting social movements can be key to conveying an authentic brand message that connects with your audience’s value systems and beliefs. Consumers are looking for brands that truly align with their values and won’t be easily swayed by companies that only care about the issues that matter to them. That’s why marketers need to shine a light on the concrete steps their company is taking to tackle the world’s toughest problems.
As global warming continues, Asia-Pacific could lose $7.5 trillion in GDP by 2060. Learn more about what could mitigate this grim economic outcome in The Turning Point, a report by the Deloitte Economics Institute: https://t.co/dd4N9IdprN. Product for @Deloitte by Reuters Plus.
— Reuters Plus (@ReutersPlus) September 7, 2021
Deloitte is one of many companies taking a values-based approach to how they talk about their services. In 2021, Reuters Plus, Reuters’ brand marketing studio, helped him promote his detailed and thoughtful report on Asia-Pacific’s turn on climate action and the impact it can have on the future of the region, with notable success.
Hyper-personalized content that resonates
Broad campaign messages, even when delivered with the highest content production values, are no longer enough. We’re seeing a lot more attention being focused on very specific content that addresses the unique challenges each audience segment faces, with the brand in action solving them.
Take the example of a recent campaign by DBS Bank Singapore. DBS produced a television series that captured real-life scenarios where people found solutions to their unique problems with DBS. The series not only reinforced the human face of the company by highlighting true stories and the people of DBS, but also proved how well the company knows its customers and what they need.
Another way for marketers to personalize content to engage different audience segments is to create a unique visual identity that signals a sea change. This might seem like a bold move, especially for popular brands with large-scale exposure, but it can be a great way to communicate to your audience what’s new about you without having to embark on a whole new exercise in branding. rebranding. For example, illustrations can allow you to create a new look that works in harmony with your brand’s visual identity, but is perhaps better suited to get your campaign message across with more impact.
Switch to metaverse
When Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook’s parent company would be rebranded as Meta, he reignited the world’s interest in immersive experiences and the limitless nature of the metaverse. With the help of influencer marketing, for example Paris Hilton’s Virtual New Year’s Eve Party, these digital worlds are making their way into the mainstream.
This technology is still in its infancy, but it’s easy to see how the world of metaverse, NFTs, and cryptocurrencies will impact how marketers reach their audience.
Billboards in these virtual spaces could become as valuable as actual outdoor advertising, and brands can create and sell virtual items that can be worn by avatars in the metaverse. We’re already seeing brands like Gucci release digital-only sneakers that can be “worn” in augmented reality or on online gaming platforms like Roblox.
Higher expectations for experiential marketing
The world of event marketing has proven its ability to adapt when conferences and exhibitions have moved online due to the pandemic. While many of these events are reverting to in-person settings, the bar is now much higher when it comes to creating hybrid experiences that allow guests and audiences to engage in meaningful dialogue with speakers and sponsors of the event on a much larger scale.
Technology has a huge role to play in creating a diverse set of experiences at events. Event organizers prioritize features such as one-on-one networking opportunities, interactive discussions or polls, and innovative branding options to enhance the online event experience so that it fits in perfectly with the in-person elements of the event.
Already thinking about how these ideas could spearhead innovation in your marketing strategy? U.S. too. Contact our team at Reuters Marketing Solutions to elevate a brand message that’s aligned with the most trusted voice in news.
Buddhika Amis is Senior Director of Marketing at Reuters.