The summer has gone, fall is on its way. With it comes a multitude of negative forecasts, talk about cost of living crisis, energy crises around the globe and continued volatility in markets in general.
Taking stock of our last marketing forecast in April, we now look towards the end of 2022. Fall 2022, will continue to see an increase in digital advertising. Search advertising continues, but watch out for new Google requirements around destination. The lines between owned and paid media are becoming more blurred. Brands tapping into the sustainability and low carbon agenda are at risk of getting lost in a sea of the same brand messaging from their competition. Now is the time to find your USP again!
Here, in blue, the predictions we made in spring::
Advertising spending will rise initially with a focus on talent acquisition and small business innovation.
– What does that look like for the rest of the year?
Advertising spend continues on an upward trend, without any major jumps up or down. While digital advertising continues to capture the largest share of the available advertising spend, traditional media seems to be stabilising in terms of its share. The top 5 markets to spend on advertising are the USA, China, Japan, the United Kingdom and Germany (in that order, see Statista “Advertising Worldwide”).
Culture wars in the US and somewhat later in the UK will most likely see more radical advertising and marketing campaigns. A good example of this is the recent campaign for Jeremy’s Razors which is not about the razors, but about a worldview. Brands previously following the loudest voice will have more opportunity to express alternative views. This could provide an interesting platform for creatives in the industry. Not just in Q2 and Q3 but beyond.
– Will political interests continue to dominate the conversation?
Culture wars continue via traditional and digital media. Brands across countries such the UK and USA are using owned channels and social media (which while it looks like owned is not really) to tap into politically motivated messaging. Siding or disputing messaging or even blocking potential customers from accessing their products (Ben and Jerry’s) or, in Elon Musk’s case, casting doubt on others (Twitter) has raised eye-brows and brands.
As the US heads towards its midterms and then towards another presidential election, we will see increased support from influencers and brands for either side of the messaging divide. This will spill over from owned media into social media and then paid media with the lines blurring in the digital communications space. Interesting will be to see if and how messaging in the UK might change. The Queen’s funeral and most recent appointment of a new Prime Minister with more conservative messaging and policies could bring about considerable change. Watch that space.
Brands need to keep an eye on disruptors from the majority world. Including these in any market research of online analysis will be prudent. Disruptors might not be local to the majority world, but might be a competitor who has chosen to take advantage of the increased know-how in majority world countries coupled with the still relatively low pricing.
– We hold that this is very much still true. Equally, the energy crisis creates opportunity for innovation and this could come from from smaller national brands. This, a threat to incumbents but an opportunity for start-ups. This is the time to be brave in terms of messaging and advertising.
Marketers will need to engage with the Meta world whether they want to or not. The talent of tomorrow is likely to hang out in this or similar spaces. Advertising in a magazine just does not cut it anymore :).
– The META world and the continued rise of Tic Toc
Meta continues to widen its digital footprint. Yes, it is struggling with talent retention and might possibly have moved slightly out of sync with customers adoption speed, but its past tells us that META is here to stay. In lie of an alternative which offers users greater value, it is here that more digital ad spend is expected. Then there is Tic Toc, with an estimated 12 billion dollars in advertising spend, this is the most in-demand social media advertising channel of our time. It has grown up and is attracting users across generations with an almost equal split between the age groups 10-19, 20-29, 30-39 and 40-49 (the younger bracket still slightly ahead in the count). The platform is particularly interesting for B2C marketing but starting to see some traction for B2B brands as well.
Complacency is never a good idea in marketing. It is all about the target audience and the following audience does not follow Tic Toc trend: The ever-increasing age group of those over 55 years of age with a high amount of expendable income are mainly found on Facebook, Pinterest and Youtube. To clarify, Pinterest particularly applies to the female demographic. (see Statista 2022).
Find more statistics at Statista
PR and what was traditionally known as ‘below the line marketing’ will continue to grow in importance. However rather than courting the media, brands will aim to drive more of their audience to owned media as well as courting them in online spaces. The difficulty will be how to balance resources and the vast array of spaces a brand could engage with.
– Certainly the above is still true. Key here the ever-increasing pressure to conform with market messaging such as messaging around climate change and sustainability, has started creating brand confusion rather than differentiation. This an issue brand the PR professionals will need to tackle if they are to successfully break through the thick fog of the green ‘us too’.
AI for marketing: the sheer amount of work needed to identify, find and engage today’s online audience will see more and more brands use AI to meet the challenge.
Finally, with an increase in inflation, possible food shortages caused by the war in the Ukraine and resulting supply chain issues for agricultural commodities such as fertiliser, and an increased sense of insecurity, consumers will move to buying less and buying cheaper products or products which seem to offer more value. Marketeers need to be aware of this change and consider that anything which indicates price hikes or sacrifice for things such as Net Zero might no longer be welcomed as readily as in previous seasons. A shift in messaging will be away from “Net Zero” towards “Energy” and “Energy Security” in all its forms.
– The last two points are still very much true. The increased need for digitally aware communication professionals who can use data and artificial intelligence to communicate well and who can think ahead, pre-empt and change course in an increasingly volatile market has never been more prevalent as today.
As 2022 heads towards its wintery end, there is a lot to keep brands and their marketers on their toes.