2022 is rife with potential. We’ve spent a while looking at the trends forecast, so here’s our market-eology breakdown on what’s to be expected for the coming year.
The 2022 Economy
Investment banking company Goldman Sachs is expecting strong global growth in the coming quarters, with the global GDP likely to rise 4.5 per cent.
As recovery continues swiftly through stimulus package support; things like personal loans, business loans and credit card interests are reduced.
And while the Reserve Bank had planned to begin increasing interest rates, wage price data recently released from the Australia Bureau of Statistics could delay these plans. The statistics found that wage prices have risen by just 0.7 per cent, failing to outpace inflation.
Which arrives us at the consumer: with low interest rates, consumers are ready to spend.
The 2022 Consumer
The 2022 consumer is more digital, more health-conscious, more eco-friendly, more price-sensitive and more local than previous years.
In their annual global consumer survey, PwC noted that the pandemic has facilitated a dramatic and historic shift in consumer behaviour:
As the word ‘unprecedented’ became more common than tea-drinkers in the UK, we adapted to our new and weird world in one specific way: spending.
And while concerns over health, the environment and the economy have always been of concern for consumers in recent years, the demand for action is greater.
Sustainability and Value-Driven Content
Considering the 2022 consumer is more eco-friendly than ever, it stands to reason that the same demand for sustainability is reflected in 2022 trends.
For consumers, our decision making has changed. The importance of value for money is being overtaken by the alignment to our values as people.
Having a mission-led brand that extends beyond the bottom line, but with a core belief and principle is a driving force in our current climate. This means addressing core issues such as sustainability, inclusivity and diversity.
However, it’s also important to note that as the supply chain becomes strained to its limits - thanks to a shift in demand for products, a global shipping container imbalance, and changing shipping routes - it’s important to communicate well with your consumers about these challenges.
More than 90 per cent of Aussies used their mobile phones for online shopping in 2020.
In the US, mobile commerce had a 53.9 per cent share in e-commerce at the end of 2021.
And globally, it’s forecasted that over 70 per cent of internet users will only access websites with mobile devices before we ring in the new year for 2025.
To cut to the chase: if you haven’t optimised your website’s experience for mobile, it's time to give your fave UX designer a buzz.
Recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statics reported that nearly 30 per cent of Australians were born overseas.
In 2022, reflecting our diverse landscape in our marketing strategies is not only important, but demanded by the consumer.
Consumers want to see advertising that is optimised for their needs, and not big-blanket campaigns. That’s where targeted ads and marketing strategies come into play!
There's no better way to do it structured flows for your email audiences that are highly segmented is just one of the ways to take advantage of this trend.
New data has shown that location-based marketing is 20x more effective than standard ads.
Brands can use geofencing to deliver personalised messages to a very small set of individuals who are more likely to buy. Location-based marketing has been found to be 20x more effective than standard ads. This reduces marketing spend. Budget is not wasted on prospects who are less likely to result in a sale.
If your business runs ads in different cities, one city may have a different lifetime value. If you’re able to calculate the lifetime value of each city, then you can target the city with a higher lifetime value with a more expensive product, as the data would show there’s a higher chance of conversion from that audience.
Consumers are buying more in-app, social platforms like Instagram and TikTok and even in live streams whilst remaining on the platform.
For Gen Z online shoppers, social media ads are the most popular channel for new brand/product discovery. These young consumers are 36 per cent more likely to discover new products or brands through social media ads than boomers who shop online, with growth in social commerce and influencer marketing being key contributors.
POV: You’re a fashion-interested user scrolling on TikTok, when you come across a new influencer with amazing blue pants. You click their profile, which directs you to their Instagram page, and after two posts find the dream blue pants, which the influencer has kindly tagged. You click the boutique’s profile, find the pants on their Instagram boutique, and bam:
Without having a single visit to the brand's website, you’ve made a purchase.
More and more brands are realising the value of user-generated content and putting in measures to scale it. In a similar realm to Influencer Marketing, the power of UGC lies within the validity of the consumer.
Important as Gen Z requires far more social proofing before they commit to a purchase. More pragmatic and analytical about their decisions than members of previous generations, Gen Z’s inherent skepticism means that UGC and influencer marketing leverages the influencer's strong following, to give brands the seal of approval.
But it’s not just Gen Z: according to a survey conducted by Stackla, only 19 per cent of consumers find brand-created content authentic.
The survey also found that 56 per cent of consumers are more influenced by social posts when online shopping than during pre-pandemic times.
Mixed Reality - The Future is Hybrid
Meta, anyone? According to Forbes, 85 million people used augmented or virtual reality in 2021 alone.
Of course, this trend isn’t explicit to virtual reality - you don’t need to go out and buy VR headsets for all of your employees.
Rather, it’s about creating hybrid events and experiences which allow for greater connection.
For example, hosting an in-person event with the ability for customers to experience the event virtually - as simple as live-streaming on Instagram, this hybrid allows us to reach a larger audience of potential customers.
It’s a hard but unflappable truth for businesses: we trust people more than brands.
So it’s really no wonder that in the US alone, influencer commerce is expected to grow by 24.9 per cent this year.
In 2022, influencers don't just push consumers to the bottom of the funnel - they drive them there, contributing to quantifiable conversions. The benefits? Bigger audiences, brand awareness, swaying target customers’ purchasing decisions, and improving brand loyalty and trust.
Which segues nicely into our next trend, the home of the influencer: micro-communities.
The brilliance of TikTok - and what trend forecasters believe is what makes it so popular - is its ability to segment and create niche communities.
Social media is a vast, expansive place with so much going on at all times, and these communities cut through the noise to provide smaller, interest-focused groups.
Popularised during a time where human connection was lacking in a way we’ve never experienced before (global pandemic, anyone?), these communities give a sense of belonging to users, by connecting them to like-minded individuals with shared interests.
These subcultures are only going to grow. Being an early adopter of these communities is so valuable - as it allows your brand to become synonymous with, and gives you the advantage of breaking into an untapped market.
Consumable content is all about short-form content that’s authentic and entertaining.
TikTok’s mega-popularity has fast-tracked the democratisation of the internet - anyone can go viral.
Brands no longer need a billion-dollar budget to create impactful content. As simple as pulling out your phone and using a trending sound to convey your brand’s world, consumable content is all about connecting with your audience.
Now, there’s a myth we’re dying to bust at DataSauce. General marketing advice will say that our attention span is shorter than a goldfish - so the shorter, the better.
This is a bit of a red herring. Our attention span isn’t shorter, but your time frame to connect with your audience is shorter.
It’s all about filtering - with the over-saturation and noise of the internet, our brains have become super speedy at filtering through all of the stuff that gets thrown at us.
So, it becomes less about making everything you create 2 seconds long, but rather grabbing the right audience’s attention - quickly, and cleverly. Then you've got all the time in the world*.
* If all the time in the world is three minutes long
During an immense time of global upheaval, nostalgia has become the backbone of sanity. Within the first month of the global pandemic, the volume of the terms “nostalgia” and “nostalgic” grew by 40 per cent.
From ABBA’s revival to the F.R.I.E.N.D.S’ reunion, to the Y2K comeback; going back to the past is a highly effective way to keep up with the present.
Baby boomers have $2.6 trillion in buying power. Gen Xers earn more than any other generation. Millennials have a lot of spending power.
So, while Gen Z may be the digital natives, it’s important to not neglect older generations from your digital strategy.
So as they say, that’s all folks.