Consumer behaviour shifts and marketing resources constraints as a result of the pandemic since 2020 have forced companies to think out-of-the-box with their marketing. Aside from pivoting to digital, brands have also adapted their advertising, creative production and products to capture consumers' attention and increase mindshare. Meanwhile, markets are currently opening up and countries such as Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia are also exploring vaccinated travel lanes and bubbles to revive their tourism industry.
As the recovery continues to impact consumers' attitudes and behaviour, Forrester's 2022 predictions for media and advertising said that marketers and publishers are looking for ways to extend the agility and capitalise on "unprecedented levels of consumer experimentation". In fact, 41% of marketing executives said that improving their ability to innovate is a marketing priority for 2022.
To provide new waves of innovation and experimentation across advertising and media revenue models, here are the five trends marketers and publishers need to be aware of in the upcoming year.
1. Metaverse buzz will attract bandwagon ad dollars from 20 Fortune 100 brands
While the metaverse has yet to take shape, Forrester said brands are tapping onto the virtual world as it offers new ad placements and formats, access to new audiences, and innovation opportunities. In fact, most virtual worlds operate on private platforms. Though Forrester's survey said that less than one a quarter of US and UK adults express interest in spending time to explore the metaverse, brands should invest in adapting their marketing playbook to the virtual world first.
Some brands that have taken the leap of faith and entered the metaverse scene include Hyundai , Gucci, Warner Brothers, and Nike . Tech giants Facebook and Microsoft have also joined the metaverse wave has also joined the metaverse wave
(Read more: #ExplainIt: Is there a need for a chief metaverse officer? )
2. Global revenue from the retail media category will reach US$50 billion
This year, more retailers including consumer electronics retailer Best Buy and variety store chain Dollar General piled onto the retail media market, Forrester said. It is predicted that the retail media market category will eclipse Netflix and YouTube's revenue to reach US$50 billion. This number is largely attributed to Amazon ads, as it continues to offer a frictionless buying experience for consumers and advertisers alike. According to Forrester, there are at least a dozen other retailers with ad revenue ranging from US$250 million to US$1 billion.
Based on this, marketers are expected to shift ad spend to retail media networks. While the retail media category has deep zero- and first-party data on customers, it is important for marketers to be aware that this will not be a smooth-sailing ride. Furthermore, marketers have to be wary when using digital ad platforms such as Google or Facebook, especially with Facebook's recent run-in with Apple's privacy changes, Forrester said. Though accompanied with its challenges, the retail media pile-on leaves marketers with another channel and multiple networks with varying buying experiences to plan for.
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3. Amazon’s “actionable video ads” will be the bellwether of shoppable ads everywhere
The year 2022 will see a tsunami of shoppable CTV ads, beginning with ad-supported providers such as Tubi and Pluto. Forrester predicts HBO Max to be close behind as it rolls out an ad-supported tier in pursuit of new revenue sources. This comes as social media platforms have been adding shopping features and integrating with major commerce players, resulted in the trend of shoppable ads moving beyond social.
For instance, Amazon launched its new video ads in May that allow viewers to "add to Alexa shopping list", “buy now,” or “shop now” directly from the ad. As compared to 2020, 20% of online adults said they have purchased from social media or shoppable video sites in 2021, Forrester said. YouTube has also followed suit, releasing its video action campaigns, which allows the user to send a video link in the ad to their phone to continue shopping without interrupting the video.
While marketers are advised to experiment with these shoppable experiences, they also have to be mindful of how it fits into omnichannel advertising, branding, and commerce strategy.
(Read more: Amazon SG banks on smile logo to build brand affinity in OOH and digital campaign )
4. Brands will flock to AI-powered audience solutions, fueling 20% category growth
Even with Google's deprecation of third-party cookies delayed until 2023 , marketing executives are still trying to find a replacement. According to a Forrester survey, adapting data strategies for data deprecation will be a priority next year. This year, The Trade Desk rolled out its identity-based targeting solution, UID 2.0. Fueled by agency sign-on and support, Forrester said this resulted in the targeting solution gaining momentum in 2021.
However, publishers such as The New York Times are rejecting this approach because the replacement options still use behavioural data in ways that are not transparent to consumers. As a result, Forrester predicts that in 2022 advertisers will throw their adtech dollars at technology companies such as IBM and Quantcast.
(Read more: Google to scrap third-party cookies: Will it crumble parts of the digital ad world? )
5. Niche publishers will test new revenue models, building momentum for micropayments
While premium publishers double down on their subscription models, adding subscriber-only newsletters and Prime-like perks to convert readers into subscribers, long-tail publishers are left scraping revenue from low-quality advertisers amid rising consumer ad-blocking, Forrester said.
Forrester predicts that in 2022, midsize and niche publishers will be looking for diversify their revenue models to allow pay-as-you-go options to flourish. Citing a Brave Browser report, Forrester said that over three million of monthly transacting users have used Basic Attention Tokens in the platform, which allows users to compensate creators based on the time spent consuming their content. As publishers vie for a share of consumers' paid content consumption and wallet, the study expects a corresponding spike in listicles, clickbait headlines and political content.
Forrester’s August 2021 CMO Pulse Survey was fielded in July 2021. The survey yielded a total of 150 respondents in B2C organisations from the United States. These respondents were employed in the marketing or advertising department, with a position of VP and above and from a company with at least 500 employees. The survey explores topics such as marketing priorities, cancel culture and social commerce. InnovateMR fielded this survey on behalf of Forrester.
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