It’s that time of the year again!
No, I’m not talking about the holiday cheer, sparkly lights, or cinnamon smell that fills the air. Although it helps, what really gets me excited is all the juicy data, reports, and analyst predictions that start to flood in towards the year’s end.
For well over a decade now, every December, I have been digesting massive amounts of data, using them to predict trends and shifts in the market.
I love every second of it.
And I’m pretty damn good at it, too.
Yes, the pandemic took us all off guard and sent the entire marketing world into a spin. Luckily, the behavioral and economic patterns were always there, just condensed, in the state of crisis. Now that the panic is subsiding, we can finally predict market shifts with more certainty.
Side note. I’m preparing a 2022 survival guide as a downloadable marketing playbook. If you want a copy, make sure to subscribe here, and it’ll be delivered as an early New Year’s present. 👉 Subscribe here.
Here are my 7 marketing predictions for 2022
Those who worked with me before know my predictions are scarily accurate. (Let’s just say that people would have saved a LOT of money if they came to me before investing in Quibi.🤷)
And, yes, I’m starting from number seven to build suspense.
If you’re interested in learning more, I’ll add a bunch of resources at the end of the blog.
 Marketers push to rethink their promotional channels & tracking
The cookiepocalypse is coming! 🤯
“A cookieless world?” I hear you scream in horror.
The good news is, it’s just virtual cookies, your snacktime is safe. The bad news is, it’s part of the Privacy Sandbox initiative from Google, which includes a few milestones, like the third-party cookie deprecation in late 2023.
And, yes, you need to know this even if you’re not a marketer. If you’re in business and have any kind of online presence, this concerns you. This is probably stressing the hell out of your marketers, so give them some space.
Loss of third-party data can cause issues with:
- Goal conversion tracking from various channels
- Personalization of on-site conversation (e.g. chatbots or automated support ticketing system)
- Granular ads’ targeting, which will affect both cost and effectiveness
- Audience visibility in various analytics tools
- Cross-domain, and in some cases even affiliate conversion tracking
So, in 2022, we’ll see smart decision-makers proactively diversify their channels and test new pipelines, on top of building a strong first-party data strategy.
Because of the impending doom of the ads’ reach, we can also expect marketers to push more budget towards the ads in the second half of 2022, meaning ad space will likely become more saturated.
Measuring will be more challenging than ever, though, so if you want more accurate data, be prepared to cash out for some tracking and analytics tools!
To reach more about the cookiepocalypse and how to prepare for it, check out this article from Criteo.
 Alternative channels emerging as favorites
Organic is still the holy grail
No surprise here. Organic traffic means that whoever is visiting your website or social media pages is coming for a reason. They have a need you might fulfill and an intent to purchase.
For most people generating revenue online, regardless of whether they’re businesses or individual creators, organic traffic usually means higher value customers, better conversions, and the highest return on investment.
For this, you’ll need a well-crafted strategy that maps content against every step of the buyer’s journey, and not just to convert. Not just SEO content, and not just product or customer-focused content. A healthy mix, to accommodate the long decision-making process.
Most small businesses won’t be able to compete with established websites or media outlets for visibility on search engines, so even though organic content should play a big role in the long run, in the short-term more businesses will turn to other channels to feed their pipelines.
Account-based marketing (ABM) is back on the map
With ads expected to lose their reach and targeting in 2023, we’ll see companies, especially in the B2B sector, strengthening their ABM efforts. ABM is a simple, yet effective tactic, where sales and marketing work together to narrow down their focus on high-value targets.
Nowadays, ABM can be an extremely effective approach for companies targeting creators and influencers. Actually, what we lovingly call networking on platforms like LinkedIn, can be considered ABM. Identify prospects, build a relationship, identify those fit for your offer, and convert.
Partner offers popping up all over the map
One great way to get in front of an audience is to partner with someone/company that offers different services to the same audience. Poster-printer company partners with a frame-builder. Yoga teacher partners with a community center. Nike partners with athletes.
My suggestion would be to go beyond just the partner promotions and look into cobranded offers, discounts, and joint lead generation efforts.
Micro-influencers are a big thing
And I’m not talking about these fellas.
I’m talking about accounts (individuals, groups, and businesses) with the number of followers spanning anywhere between 1K and 100K. Those with following above 10K tend to be more interesting to brands targeting a specific niche, looking to stay on budget.
 More content than ever before
Content can educate, entertain, captivate, interest, and convert, so no wonder that in 2022 there will be more content than ever before. More people and companies will recognize fractional content as a great opportunity to generate leads, and lucky for them, the demand for quality content is still far greater than the supply.
Here’s what you need to know:
Written content isn’t going away, by any means. But being mindful of your content strategy will take you a long way. Instead of trying to chase after Google algorithms, sticking to quality first will future-proof your online presence. Regardless of the algorithms’ mood.
Video content continues to make massive leaps forward as the quality of both recording capabilities, and the replay increases. With high-res recording devices being more affordable than ever and appearing on camera normalized thanks to the pandemic, there will be more people joining the video creators club.
Live streaming is finally stabilizing in popularity. After a massive hike in usage in 2020, live streaming experienced a drop in popularity in 2021, both with audiences and businesses who are using them as a part of their marketing strategy. People were just zoomed out. Lucky for all the live streaming platforms everywhere, live events, meetings, and even conferences still allow us to have a safe, collaborative experience, and we’ll just see more of this in 2022.
Interactive content, like slide-decks, filterable reports, quizzes, or even videos if you have the right player, will experience a bit of a renaissance in 2022. Start by asking yourself: what will make your audience stop scrolling. Interactivity is a great way to engage with your audience, and stop them from just skimming through your content.
Audio content makes a comeback! According to the GWI trends report, we can expect an increase of short and long-form audio content, as more individuals and businesses recognize it as an effective marketing tool.
Other visual content you’ll need to have in your arsenal in 2022 includes a plethora of story-type of images, gifs, and short videos. Besides enriching audience experience, this type of content is also coming into more favor with search engines. Google even launched its Web Stories last year, and we can expect to see more stories pop up as rich results on mobile devices.
 Voice search enters the arena
I know all of us have been annoyed when we did a voice search for the best way to cook a steak, and the results came back as the last day to book a shake.
However, you also probably noticed that voice search is getting more accurate, and most of us are using it more frequently. For convenience, speed, or even just curiosity of what funny results comes back to us. (Yes, I did try to voice-search my name.) Without a doubt, voice search is making strides.
So what does that mean for you?
Ask yourself. Is your business voice-search optimized? Search Engine Journal published an extensive article on how you can optimize your online presence for voice search.
 Fake diversity and greenwashing get public trials
2021 brought an uprise of the silenced, the forgotten, the abandoned, the marginalized, and the victimized. It was also the time nations sat together to discuss how to unfuck the planet, with long-term floppy goals. With a powerful roar, people stood in unity, staring down the big bad wolves in a very public event.
It. Was. Beautiful.
There were a lot of companies that for one reason or another recognized the need to join these movements. Some were genuine and took a stand for what they believed in, while others just felt that if they don’t join, they might be the next talk of the town. So instead of taking care of their dirty laundry properly, structurally, they decided to hide it all in the closet.
And people have had enough.
In 2022, we can expect to see more dirty laundry aired than ever before. Companies trying to divert attention, snuff out the whistleblowers, or greenwash their efforts, will get a very public trial.
Lesson? If you’re not diverse, inclusive, embracing, and green, pretending to be will hurt you more than taking efforts to actually improve your environment.
 Emerging tech continues to confuse your elderly uncle
But they’re oh so much fun!
AR/VR tech will become (slightly) more affordable and we can expect to see new players entering the metaverse. Companies will invest more into developing new tech, but broad adoption isn’t something I expect to happen in 2022. The hardware will still remain out of the budget of an average mortal and don’t even get me started on the supply-chain issues that will continue to haunt us in the first half of 2022.
NFTs and AR are also starting to interlace. And not surprisingly, we’ll see more clothing brands joining the early adopters. If you’re curious how that will look, check out this recent acquisition by Nike.
And this bombshell from Adidas.
If you’re unfamiliar with NFTs (non-fungible tokens) besides being the worst-named-innovation of the year, the true potential of NFTs remains to be seen. Unfortunately for them, I don’t see a bright future for NFTs unless they implement a few big changes. They will for sure have a spike as a novelty, but as the shine starts to dwindle, and people start to realize how environmentally unfriendly they really are, more people will pull back, and smart brands will follow. Until there’s a real way to combat the massive carbon footprint of this new tech, we should all chill. (Global warming pun intended.)
If nothing changes, NFTs will remain a glorified skin for the metaverse, with limited application. I smell Quibi in the air. 🤷
Unpopular opinion but someone had to say it.
Cryptocurrency continues to be a polarizing topic throughout 2022. Big players like Microsoft and Visa entering the field will definitely open dialogue for wider use of the blockchain technology, but as everything related to invisible money, cryptocurrency will remain gobbledygook for the largest part of the population, and risky investment for the brave. With more than USD 7 billion worth of crypto reportedly stolen in 2021, it’s highlighting the dangers of having virtually untraceable money. For now.
The no-code trend is expanding! In simple terms, no-code is an approach that deconstructs programming languages, and uses visual cues that help people with no programming skills (erm… me?) to write or test software. Now, non-programmers can inject their own ideas into the world directly, regardless of their technical skills. This means more creative solutions, diverse products, and essentially quicker routes to minimal viable products. Of course, there will be limitations to these no-code environments for a while. Regardless, we’ll see an amazing diversity of ideas flood the digital world in 2022.
 Direct-to-consumer (DTC) continues to rise
The grand finale. The story of the ages. The acronym that defies marketing standards and brings about a new era.
Also using D2C as an acronym would be so lame.
I bring you direct-to-consumer, a massive trend that’s sweeping the internet.
In truth, DTC is not a new thing. It’s been around in the offline world longer than money. Even e-commerce facilitators, like Etsy or Shopify, have been enabling individual creators to reach their ideal consumers directly for 15+ years.
However, it was the pandemic, the lockdown, and isolation, that got those creative juices flowing, and pushed more people to consider joining the DTC world—as both the consumer, and the buyer. It was like watching a flower pot watered for 20 years explode in bloom in less than a year.
So how will 2022 be different?
Simply put: the demand will continue to grow, as people become more comfortable buying from individuals online. On top of that, the global workforce is also experiencing a massive push towards remote, hybrid, and gig-economy so we’ll see even more individuals offering something online.
We’re already seeing average buyers leaning in two different directions. Buying from small, local, niche markets, or buying from superbrands. (Looking at you, GenZ.) With the climate awareness growing, and more people looking to invest in a local economy, the demand in the DTC space will finally catch up from the slight saturation we’ve experienced in 2021.
If you’re in the DTC market, and you haven’t chosen a specialty or a niche, it might be a good time for you to go back to the drawing board and see how you can tighten your offer to find a better market fit. You don’t have to, but it will simplify things for you, from a marketing perspective.
[BONUS] The creator economy continues to take shape
You didn’t think I’ll skip over the talk of the town!
Creator economy is a complex mix of e-commerce, micro and macro-influencers, ads revenue, referrals, and sponsorships. In 2022, creators will have more options than ever, in choosing how they want to monetize their work.
Some will focus on one revenue stream, but I expect most to have at least 3-5 active revenue streams. The space will be saturated, though, so if any newcomers want to succeed, they will need to be consistent, connected, and prepared for a marathon.
But, more about that in one of the future blogs.
If you haven’s already, make sure you subscribe, and I’ll send you the Marketing Survival Guide 2022 Playbook as soon as it’s ready! 👉 Subscribe here.
Until next time! Happy Holidays.
I didn't forget. For the super curious, here are the resources.
Global kickass trends reports: