Digital Marketing Lessons To Take Into 2022

Digital Marketing Lessons To Take Into 2022
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Tasneem Ali (main photo) is the general manager of digital advertising agency, Pure.amplify, as well as a client solutions expert and all-round adtech aficionado. In this guest post, Ali outlines all the lessons digital marketers should take on board for the coming year…

A couple of years ago very few people knew what a QR code was or how to use them. Today, over 7.5 million people are using a QR check-in app in New South Wales alone. It’s just one of the many technologies that have seen rapid adoption since the pandemic and have now become useful for everyday purposes, such as business cards and medication prescriptions.

Along with a surge in the use of online retail, collaboration platforms, videoconferencing and streaming entertainment, there’s a multitude of areas for marketers to get to grips with. How and where we do business, socialise, shop, and enjoy leisure time have all changed. So here are some of the digital marketing lessons the Pure.amplify team feel that we can take from 2021 into 2022:

1. Social tracking changes

While people have been entrusting the government with data about their whereabouts, there’s increasing awareness and concern over being tracked. Big tech companies are changing their policies in response, trying to stay ahead of possible legislation such as the EU’s Digital Services Act, which may ban microtargeted ads.

Apple has already updated its privacy settings to require opt-in tracking, resulting in a US$10b drop in revenue for Snap, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Google is set to block tracking cookies (though it has delayed the move until 2023) and Facebook is limiting tracking in what its Head of Product describes as a “very meaningful pivot”.

Various identity solutions are already proving to be a promising replacement for cookies (in fact, the IAB will be exploring them in a webinar this week!) They aim to eliminate cookie-syncing problems like user duplication, data loss and identify users across all channels. However, we need to start thinking beyond identity data solutions as well and start looking for tools that utilise other data points (such as weather, time of day and opt-in consumer spend tracking) that can be used to forecast consumer behaviour.

2. Understanding customers’ challenges

Due to the pandemic many businesses are facing logistics issues and delivery delays, and are unable to replenish stock fast enough. Stock disruptions aren’t new, but the current level of demand is one that most companies have never had to deal with before.

Previously most vendors wouldn’t run out of a product they were marketing , confident they could quickly get more stock. But as products sell out and reorders can’t be speedily fulfilled, there’s often a need to instantly change creative or switch off ads. Amid postal delays, delivery advertising may also have to be changed to just

“click and collect” or “next day delivery” may have to be adjusted to “x business days”.

This is why at Pure.amplify we’ve revised our approach to customer flexibility. We’re adapting how we operate to understand and accommodate for customer pain points, and strengthen relationships. As part of this we’ve also expanded our operations teams and our global workforce means that we have been able to extend business hours to accommodate clients wherever and “whenever” they are.

3. Coping with sales and channel volatility

Lockdowns saw a huge surge in online retail – for many product categories it was the only shopping option available. There was a spike in companies sending their employees lockdown gifts – a trend that may become a “new normal” even as COVID restrictions ease.

One of our clients, a specialty beverage retailer, saw a massive increase in its gifting range, not just with products but with extras such as gift-wrapping and delivery, with sales exponentially higher than normal. Recent purchase data patterns indicate that as soon as lockdowns end, online sales initially plummet and then pick up – so retailers’ need to be constantly prepared for this state with in store and ecommerce messaging consistently being on point and speaking to exactly what customers are looking for in either channel.

4. Retaining valuable staff

The “Great Resignation” is making headlines around the world, as employees are reluctant to return to the 9-5 office-based grind after months of remote working. Nearly 3% of US workers quit their jobs in recent months, while one in four UK workers are planning to change jobs with resignations at their highest level in 20 years. LinkedIn data shows the trend is already happening in Australia, with 26% more workers changing jobs in October 2021 than in October 2019.

It’s clear that many people aren’t prepared to return to the workplace under the same conditions as before. Many are quitting for lower-paid, lower-stress jobs. Others are switching industries or taking long sabbaticals. With a global talent shortage in many industries, it’s a jobseeker’s market right now.

All organisations, including the marketing and media industry, need to take heed and adapt if they want to retain valuable people. As well as moving to a smaller office with fewer permanent desks, and continuing with remote and hybrid work, some of the initiatives we’re using include having no internal meetings on Wednesdays between 11am and 1pm.

Taking care of employees’ wellbeing is also vital. Many people are stressed and burnt out from the past two years of COVID. We hold Pure Wellness online workshops once a month to help with mental health. We’ve also started a “Pure movers” program to get people out of the house and away from their computer for an hour a week, with a dedicated Slack channel to share our activities.

It’s important to keep a focus on connecting even when normal methods are inhibited. Online social events can foster team spirit and create a sense of closeness that we don’t get through regular remote working.

Now more than ever, businesses need to evolve and harness the new trends and consumer behaviours that have emerged over the past two years. Long-gone are the days of set rules and service level agreements; we now have to embrace the flexibility and agility that digital offers, and drive innovation across the industry.

Here’s to 2022!

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