Another year has come and gone, bringing with it new successes and opportunities to overcome hurdles.
If 2021 saw continued changes in how consumers shop and utilise ecommerce, then 2022 will be when CPG brands shift from focusing on brand awareness and overall user engagement to sales. This makes sense – the majority of 2020 and 2021 were all about keeping share of voice and overall brand affinity consistent, and positioning a brand as ready and useful when needed. The pendulum is starting to swing the other way, and brands are ready for it.
Here are a few critical aspects of the digital marketing industry that will facilitate a new focus on end-point sales.
With evolving consumer reliance on digital channels, shoppable opportunities are taking center stage as a way for brands to effectively engage consumers. Interestingly, major platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Shopify and Pinterest are rolling out new ecommerce solutions at pace – social commerce growth was pegged at 37.9% in 2021 by Insider Intelligence and this is set to grow further in 2022. Based on this, it’s plausible that Amazon will benefit most from these increased budgets, especially as it is launching a variety of tools this year centered around its DSP. The critical takeaway here is that consumers won’t fully roll-back their digital media habits, and all digital marketing players aim to meet them where they’re most available.
With this in mind, retailers unveiling advertising platforms is also a major trend for this year. Following moves by Walmart and Target, Tesco in the UK announced the launch of Tesco Media & Insight, to better address changing consumer needs. The marrying of audience scale, data and point of purchase is the holy grail for many CPG brands – and it could instigate a year where supermarket chains and big-box shops become new acquisition players in the adtech ecosystem.
Additionally, we’re going to see growing interest from brands and marketers in retailer sites, social media platforms, marketplaces, and food delivery services. CPG brands could also benefit from this space, as it could unveil new ways of reaching consumers in a helpful way and strengthening relationships.
2021 saw advancements in consumer privacy regulations – which is a great thing. Through new steps towards deprecating the cookie, and iOS 14 updates, marketers were faced with adjusting their campaign efforts and overall expectations. Couple this with the reality that ecommerce grew, making it more important to understand online customers and their behaviour. With this in mind, many digital marketers realised CPG brands have troves of first-party offline customer data, helping provide strong avenues for targeted engagement.
Bernard Meunier, Head of Strategic Business Units, Nestle stated how data is no longer a nice-to-have, but table-stakes, when the brand announced it intends to increase online sales from 13% in 2021 to 25% by 2025. These developments bring clarity when measuring media effectiveness, as online and offline behaviours need to be matched to deliver optimised consumer experiences. As a result, 2022 will see brands and advertisers innovating and finding fresh ways to gain valuable new shoppable insights, all while meeting evolving regulations.
While new distribution channels and data will be critical for marketing success in 2022, creative stands as a major area ready for new life. For the last several years, digital marketing remained largely focused on data-driven insights to engage specific audiences. However, as industry regulations continue appearing, and 1-1 targeting becomes more difficult, a refreshed focus on creativity is emerging. Rightfully so – it’s what links online consumer experiences to impulse purchases after all.
This means creative executions will become increasingly sophisticated as brands gain access to new data (even if it’s more aggregate in nature), and a new reliance on direct-response modelling will occur. In 2022, CPG brands will draw creative inspiration from the gaming industry when they think about creative performance and execution online.
Creative shoppable media is moving from a local tactic to a full-scaled global strategy. In the past, local language nuances instigated the need for a hyper-local approach, but new technologies ensure brands can scale to enable decision-making and execution at a global level.
It's clear 2022 is going to be a year filled with new changes and unified growth. It will be exciting to see the budding future for shoppable media and marketing, and how consumer preferences continue to change.