Digital Marketing
7 min

5 Digital Marketing Trends to Keep Front of Mind in 2022, According to Top Leaders

Grayson Gilcrease Grayson Gilcrease Senior Content Writer

2021 was supposed to be our year to emerge from the pandemic cocoon as fabulous butterflies who are maybe not super socially adept anymore, but that turned out to be very different from the reality. But in the digital marketing world, many of our top predictions still came to pass.

That’s why we’ve put together five trends marketing leaders have identified as key to success in 2022 to make sure your planning, strategizing, budgeting, and, yes, even execution are on track to drive profitable growth.

Smart marketers will be able to capitalize on new opportunities and move quickly in this fast-changing world, so get the edge on your competition by unlocking wisdom from experts and leaders from:

  • Adweek
  • Avail
  • Coty
  • Google
  • International Education Corporation
  • Outlook Amusements
  • Peacock
  • Skyzone
  • The Trade Desk

So without further ado, let’s dive into these trends.

Consider the full customer journey: build a full-funnel marketing engine that is fueled by audience insights

“Consumers don’t experience marketing as upper, lower, direct response funnels. We need to center ourselves around how the consumer is experiencing our brand and all the different choices and decisions and mindsets they have that could allow them to find us, consider us, and want to try us. They’re very much moving through awareness and consideration in very close contact, so we need to be thinking about putting audiences in the front of how we’re making our decisions and reflecting back to them what is going to be most effective and make them the most receptive.”

Tiffani Saxton, Director of Brand Marketing & Communications, Avail

“It’s about personalization and taking that to the next level. Dig into what it means when you’re talking about your specific business and how you orchestrate across channels. You cannot think about it in a vacuum, like “I’m going to send you a personalized email and I’m going to send you personalized display creative.” Rather, it needs to feel like “I’m going to send you a personalized email that is aware that you’ve seen a personalized display creative before, and it’s going to acknowledge that in a forward-moving kind of story.”

Tyler McKee, Sr. Director, Growth Product, Peacock

“The shipping and supply chain challenges will continue. You can’t wave a wand and fix these issues. I really think that customer service is key, so make sure that the customer service side of your house is in order and ready to keep those relationships going when things don’t go perfectly. Look at those challenges as an opportunity to stoke loyalty, and make sure that you’re ready for that.”

Stephanie Paterik, Editor In Chief, SVP, Adweek

Stop holding on to the past: embrace the future of data and build a better strategy not based on siloed channels

“It’s letting go of the past. You used to be able to track your conversions with cookies. You used to have all of your marketing reported in a certain way and, especially at Google, this overload of data. I think we’re going into a privacy-forward world where suddenly it will become a cohort-based type of approach, which is uncomfortable. It’s very uncomfortable for people to ask, ‘Oh, am I going to invest more if it’s a cohort versus when I used to have all the data I’m used to?’ We’ll have to let go of that feeling of confidence and comfort.”

Katheline Jean-Pierre Coleman, Head Of Partnerships & Growth Marketing, Google

“Think about channels and strategies complimenting each other and not really competing, both organizationally and analytically. It’s establishing tests in the upper funnel and seeing how those affect your efforts in the lower funnel. It’s getting data together in a way where you can think about how they’re impacting each other and not simply comparing how they’re performing versus each other.”

Evan Fjeld, Lead Director of Trading Strategy, The Trade Desk

Plan to be agile: create a strategy that’s consistent across channels and built to adapt to changing customer needs

“We need to be fast. Because we’re making a lot of quick decisions and it’s now constantly go, go, go, go, go, it’s that much more crucial to be communicating and knowing what everyone is doing if we’re going to move quickly. The risk when it comes to moving fast is that there’s a risk that the right hand doesn’t know what the left is doing. The faster you go, the more your internal apparatus needs to be well-oiled when it comes to communication, especially across teams. You need to partner with other teams and make sure that everything is working in synchronicity. The more than marketing and ops and everyone can work together, the better the customer experience.”

Josh Cole, CMO, Sky Zone

“We need to be super agile as much as possible in our strategies, which means keeping a constant pulse on how fast consumer needs are changing. Your plans need to be nimble enough to change your messaging and creative quickly if necessary. So ask yourself: does your media and creative plan support all of that? If your media mix is still based on last year’s media mix modeling, it’s pretty much useless. And if the eyeballs are to be had on digital, you need to have a marketing and media plan that reflects that reality.”

Aprajita Jain, Lead Brand Marketing Evangelist, Google

Stand for something as a business: invest in what you value, both externally and as part of your internal culture

“For a long time, brands could just say, “Hey, look, we’re apolitical. We’re just going to sit this out. We’re not going to say anything. We’re not going to do anything.” Well, that’s no longer the case. I think it’s great the consumer is saying, “No. We want to know where you stand as a brand.” And so you’ve got to ready to move fast and decide where your business fits in this conversation. Because that’s what’s demanded of you by the consumer.”

Jason Freeland, CEO, Outlook Amusements

“Culture should be the backbone of the organization and key to weathering the storm. For us, that means sharing with the organization how we can deliver on our brand’s message, on our mission, and making sure that our students are successful. Part of that means helping marketing teams really deliberately understand the impact you’re having on and the good that we’re doing in the company.”

Esther Duong, Executive Director of Marketing, International Education Corporation

Get creative as the competition gets more heated: experiment and innovate to stand out from the crowd

“Our new reality is this hybrid reality, where in-store and online experiences are getting more and more intertwined, and that’s really where I think brands are shifting their focus. Of course, we’ve seen a lot of people accelerate their digital offerings, especially throughout this past year. Brands are really redefining and reevaluating what this hybrid reality is and what that discovery process is.”

Nilukshi De Silva, Global Head of Digital Marketing & Content Strategy for Calvin Klein Fragrances, Coty

“Expect it to be competitive. A lot of the traditional brands and omni brands, people that didn’t play in digital, had to start in the last year, and they’ve gotten very comfortable with that. By building out their digital teams, they are now playing in the spaces that a lot of e-commerce natives and D2Cs were owning last year. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I think it’ll force folks to think creatively about where and when they spend their budget and how to get consumer attention.”

Katie Wilson, Head Of Ecommerce Southwest, Google

Dive deeper into these crucial predictions for the future of marketing with our on-demand event The Inflection Point: Predicting the Future After Marketing’s Tempestuous Year.


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