How to make transactions more convenient and entertaining for consumers—and simpler for brands
By Seraj Bharwani, CSO, AcuityAds
This post originally appeared on AdAge January 4, 2022.
Savvy marketers know that 2022 needs to be different. The pandemic forced an overcorrection of prudence while technology has continued to advance. Because marketers are overwhelmed with expectations to deliver on accountability, creativity and experimentation have taken a back seat. The new year should usher in greater resolve to implement out-of-the-box ideas and take advantage of opportunities to connect with audiences in new ways.
Here are five things every marketer can do to set a fresh tone for the year ahead:
1. Pursue fluid media
Gone are conversations around tiered advertising and debates over above-the-line vs. below-the-line and branding vs. performance media. Audiences never knew the difference—nor should they. Media and channels have become fluid regarding marketing objectives. Investment allocations must flow dynamically across the different stages of the funnel depending on the individual consumer’s familiarity with a brand. Because of tools that enable real-time evaluation and reallocations for optimal business outcomes, it’s now moot to even ask whether upper-funnel dollars are more valuable than those spent elsewhere in the funnel.
2. Make interactions frictionless
There is an easier way to sell anything—and marketers need to embrace it in 2022. Every media touchpoint can be shoppable, providing millions of branded storefront opportunities each month. If a product is classified as an impulse buy, audiences should not be given the chance to think twice about satisfying a need. One-click buying through every display, video, social, influencer post and streaming ad is quickly becoming commonplace.
3. Virtualize your brand
Understanding how a brand plays in the alternate reality space is key. So is deciding whether to accept cryptocurrency, trademarking for the metaverse and creating an own NFT blockchain art and community. The ability to create unique experiences across the audience’s world is enabled by emerging environments. Nike and Adidas are elevating brand experiences into the metaverse—creating immersive virtual spaces in which consumers can play, compete, shop and collect digital offerings.
4. Dig into omnipresence
Meeting consumers where they are helps guide their decision-making process. All marketing and communications plans must add value in the moment and connect with a culturally relevant message. Artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies provide amazing granularity of contextual signals as well as a diversity of messaging options—including within text, images, podcasts, video, streaming and AR/VR for in-the-moment connections. Allocate at least 10 percent of your annual marketing budget to test and learn in order to keep up with audiences.
5. Get user consent
Trust, transparency and data privacy should be the foundation underlying all 2022 advertising and marketing programs. Cookies, IDFA, IP addresses and other cryptic tracking measures will soon disappear, either voluntarily or by regulation. User permission will be key to effective communications going forward. Audience consent is not an issue if value exchange is clear to the user. Focus on value and you will find many ways to collect zero-party data—that which users willingly provide—to make their lives more convenient and enjoyable.
It’s time for a new year of aboveboard audience relationships with in-the-moment experiences, making transactions more convenient and entertaining for consumers and simpler for marketers.