If the past few years have taught us anything, it's that predicting the future is a fool's errand. But despite the inherent risk, the siren song of tomorrow is too strong to resist. So we researched what some of the sharpest minds in the advertising landscape think the next year has in store for us. The big theme that emerged is that the advertising industry is on the cusp of radical change. It will be driven by the continued atomization of media and the ongoing development of new technologies. It will run on the ever-changing relationships between brands, consumers, and platforms.2022 will be a year of reckoning for many in the industry. The changes that have been brewing for years will finally come to a head, and those who haven't adapted will find themselves struggling to keep up.
When we talk about an advertising landscape, we mean the current state of the industry. We also mean where marketers allocated their budgets and what they spend that money on. That can be measured by analyzing marketing spend or the total amount of money spent on advertising by all marketers in a given period. It's no secret that the Covid-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on just about every aspect of our lives. How we work, play, and even shop has changed dramatically in recent months. And as we begin to emerge from this global crisis, many of these changes will likely become permanent. This new normal will significantly impact the advertising landscape, too. In fact, the advertising landscape is set to drastically change in a post-Covid world. With people spending more time than ever online, and with smarter budgets, many brands are turning away from digital advertising as the sole means to get their message across. The traditional marketing landscape offers many advantages over digital advertising techniques. That includes a business's ability to talk to much larger audiences at the right frequency for effective retention and recall, with the right message, not just track disappointing results of an overtargeted audience. Since more and more companies move into the digital space, the competition for attention will only increase, and therefore the costs per click. That means advertisers need to be smart about how they allocate their budget, online, and offline, to drive meaningful results. Therefore, as an advertiser, you need to know what matters most to your most desirable prospects. Specifically, understanding what your target audience cares about most in life regarding comfort, safely, and savings. The EY Future Consumer Index conducted five waves of research with 14,500 individuals in 20 countries since the pandemic began. They identified five different cohorts of consumers. They include those who care first and foremost about:
- Affordability: About one-third (or 32 percent) of consumers care first and foremost about affordability. When you have a brand that nobody has heard of, the only comparison is price. If you have no mass media advertising or an advertising plan that lacks in frequency, reach, or a meaningful message, you are competing on PPC with no differentiation aside from your Google Reviews, just like everyone else.
- Health: A quarter of consumers (or 25 percent) care about their health first. They protect their and their family’s health by choosing products and services they trust to be safe. That means improving the air they breath and the water they consume actually matters. This is a huge case for duct cleaning, air scrubbers, and water treatment solutions.
- Planet: About 16 percent of consumers care about the planet first. These consumers do this by trying to minimize their impact on the environment. They are also prone to buy from brands that reflect their beliefs. This means that those variable speed motors and high efficiency blowers are a reasonable option for many people.
- Society: About 15 percent of consumers care about society first. They work together for the greater good and only buy from organizations they find to be honest and transparent. What you do in and for your community matters. Being a good corporate citizen, respecting seniors and soldiers, and taking an active role in a cause help align you with these like-minded individuals.
- Experience: About 12 percent of consumers care about their experiences first. These consumers believe in living in the moment to make the most of life. That makes them more open to new products, brands, and experiences. Delivering a world-class buying experience costs money. When you do a great job for your customers, especially on the small stuff, you earn their loyalty, trust, and word of mouth advertising.
Now knowing this data, imagine an advertising landscape post-covid scenario. Which of the above groups do you think will be most heavily marketed to?All things being equal, it will always come down to price. The real question is, what are you going to do to not make things equal?For example, let's say you're an Plumber. If you only advertise online, you don’t have the ability to be any different than any of the other Plumbers in your town. You have to put more emphasis on those who prioritize affordability to get the biggest share of market, right? On the other hand, if you had a successful mass media campaign that had you winning the heart of your prospects before they even need your services, not only are you now talking to the entire marketplace, but you also stand out online where they go to find your phone number or online scheduler. No price sensitivity. No unrealistic expectations. Just good customers looking for the things you promise in your ads. Covid-19 has expeditied the way we consume information. Advertisers will need to consider these changes when planning their post-covid marketing strategies. No matter what you're selling, it's vital to have an offline presence that drives your tribe to your online presence. The ones who are doing the best job are the ones with the best message with the greatest reach, at the right frequency. When those interested parties go looking for their services online, they stand 600 feet above the competition and win the clicks with ease. As time goes on and brands better endear themselves to their marketplace, the paid clicks get replaced with direct searches. Feeling overwhelmed on how to get started? Wizard of Ads™ will help. We know how to disrupt a marketplace with a message that matters, turning you into a household name. Sit back while we strategize for you. Book a call.
Trends Shaping the Advertising Landscape in 2022 and Beyond
Advertising technology trends that will shape the advertising landscape in 2022 and beyond include the following:
Video content will make its way to the forefront of the content queue. Our insider at Instagram told us in a recent Partner Meeting that Instagram Reels now is given preferential treatment over static images being posted on the website to combat the explosive growth of TikTok. YouTube has followed up with a somewhat lame attempt called YouTube Shorts, while Facebook is grasping at straws to incorporate Reels into their news feeds. Highly engaging and memorable ad formats will be the star of the 2022 show. Video will continue to increase in popularity as a content format, with short-form video ads becoming more prevalent. As digital platforms become more sophisticated, we will see a shift towards interactive and personalized advertising experiences. That could include 360-degree videos, choose your own adventure interaction, virtual reality (VR), and augmented reality (AR).
Rekindled Interest in Audio Content
There's also been a rekindled interest in audio content. Podcast ads, in particular, are on the rise as more people listen to them on their commute or while doing chores. What most business owners lose sight of is the monstrous volume of listeners still tuning into local radio stations and the nightly local news and live sports on television. To stay ahead of the curve, brands need to be prepared to experiment with new formats and technologies, in addition to, but not in lieu of proven mainstream mass medias that still hold the lion’s share of listeners. Keep an eye on emerging platforms and trends so you can adapt your strategies when the time, and data, are right. It's also important to remember that, no matter what changes we see in the landscape, the principles of good advertising will remain the same. That means creating entertaining content that resonates with your target audience.“Entertainment is the currency of a too busy public.” -Roy H. Williams
What else is on the horizon of the advertising landscape in 2022? The answer may be more on-brand eCommerce. We've already seen a shift towards this with the rise of platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Pinterest. Both platforms are visually-based and highly effective for promoting products and services. This trend is only going to continue in the coming years as people consume more content through social media channels. As a result, brands need to focus on creating strong visual stories that stand out on a crowded feed. They should also make sure their website and product pages are optimized for mobile so that potential customers can easily purchase items they see advertised. Have you ever read a J. Peterman product description?
Connected TV (CTV)
Connected TV (CTV) will become increasingly important and the future of television advertisement. This includes cable television set-top boxes (STB), Over-the-top (OTT) and streaming services like Prime and Hulu. This channel allows brands to target specific audiences with targeted ads. The key is to make sure that the ads are creative and interesting enough to capture attention in the first 2-3 seconds. While very challenging to spark an impulse purchase for externally-triggered, grudge purchases like plumbing repairs, there is a case to be had for leveraging the emotional response from an internally-triggered identity, purpose, or adventure action, like getting a better job at your fine establishment.
Multimedia Campaigns-Media Mix
As consumers' media consumption habits change, so does how they interact with advertising and the digital media landscape. To reach consumers where they are, brands often feel the need to create multimedia campaigns that combine various types of media. This is the number one mistake we correct at Wizard of Ads™ when developing the media buy and overarching marketing strategy. While omni-channel dominance is practical for multinational brands with limitless budgets, a small residential home service company is committing a costly mistake by trying to spread their advertising dollars around too much. Would you rather convince 10% of your market 100% of the way of 80% of your market 10% of the way? With over 35 years of proven results, we can tell you with confidence that if your frequency is wrong, you are wasting your money. Message first. Frequency second. As much reach as you can afford upto a specific threshold depending on the channel.
Mobile Device and Mobile App
As more and more people use mobile devices and apps, mobile device compatibility and advertisements on these platforms will become increasingly important. The mobile advertising landscape allows businesses to target consumers based on their location and interests. Expect a further and further departure from demographic targeting, cookie tracking, and retargeting as a result. Privacy and anonymity online are continuing to trend upward so be prepared to tell a better story to win those clicks.
With more people working remotely, there has been an increase in using virtual meetings and events. These provide brands with opportunities to connect with their target audiences without needing physical travel. Additionally, webinars can be cost-effective in generating leads and building brand awareness. Saying something that people care about and sponsoring events that resonate with your target audience will become more and more important win the hearts and minds of your potential clientele.
Rise of the Machine and AI Learning
Artificial intelligence (AI) will increasingly be used to create targeted and personalized advertising experiences. AI can be used to gather data about consumers’ preferences and behavior in lieu of cookies and other implied tracking methods. It can then be used to create targeted ad campaigns that are more likely to result in conversions. Consider captions, image alt tags and descriptions, and meta data when producing content. All of these will have a greater impact for searchability as AI and machine learning continues to evolve. Looking beyond 2022, it's clear that the advertising landscape will continue to evolve. Brands need to pay attention to the curve by investing in strong visuals, mobile optimization, and persuasive storytelling to remain successful. The devil truly is in the details when it comes to search, so be thorough and consistent in your presence and your processes. When it comes to telling powerful stories about your brand and getting you deep into the memory banks of your prospects Wizard of Ads™ has award-winning talent to make your brand a household name. Book a call.