If you are here to learn the top ways your business can go viral on TikTok in 2022 you are in the wrong place. This will not be your average blog on the token digital marketing trends to ride into the new year, because we are, as our name says, (un)Common.
The speed of change over the past decade was unprecedented, until a pandemic hit and created an even greater demand for business agility. Business survival through 2020-2021 required rapid action and creative innovation like never before. This raised the bar for competition across the digital landscape.
Advancements in technology and automation did not wait for businesses to catch up to a pandemic. Thus, 2022 presents a great challenge and opportunity to do two very important things:
- Shift back to long term strategic visioning and get out of survival mode
- Arm ourselves by embracing the latest technologies and applying those advancements to our strategies
A Salesforce study showed that 88% of CMOs understand that their marketing efforts must transform in order to be competitive in this new market.
How do you transform your marketing efforts? First and foremost, it is critical to establish a strong foundation upon which to elevate your digital marketing success. That foundation is a strategy.
Get Your Strategy in Order
Without a data informed strategy, a trend is simply a distraction. As an online marketing agency that supports clients across a wide range of industries, one commonality we have seen coming out of the ‘pandemic pivot’ is a lack of goal-aligned strategy.
It’s important to understand the risk your business faces without strategy. Some of the struggles clients come to us with include:
- Inaccurate projections leading to sorely underperforming paid media campaigns
- A lack of understanding of customer persona and journey leading to missed opportunities along the buying funnel
- A misunderstanding of the competitor landscape and search engine optimization (SEO) potential, resulting in content production never seen by the intended audience
“Strategic digital marketing success in 2022 is about re-evaluating the channels and tactics businesses are investing in post-covid to ensure their target market’s behaviors haven’t changed and that they are not missing opportunities to connect with their consumers.”
~Brandon Jones, Director of Client Operations, Unfair Advantage Digital
It’s common to revisit strategy on a quarterly basis. But given the past two years, now is the time to fully re-evaluate your efforts with a holistic approach. What does this entail? Consider the following your 2022 strategic checklist:
- Customer lifecycles and segmentation aligned to business objectives
- KPIs that determine success
- Content marketing founded in storytelling
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Pay per click advertising (PPC) across the marketing funnel
- Conversion rate optimization (CRO)
- A website hyper-personalized to your customer journey
- Cross-channel social media marketing (SMM)
- Email marketing nurture campaigns by segment
Adopt a Data-Driven Mindset
A strategy is your critical foundation for success. But without data accuracy, you cannot measure goal achievement and drive informed decisions to adapt your strategy to market changes and consumer behavior. It’s common to hear advertisers and social media marketers complain that they can’t keep up with ever-changing algorithms.
What are these algorithms adapting to anyway?
Consumer behaviors signaled by search activity, engagement with content, and responses to advertising campaigns.
Your business can do this too. What we find in many of our Analytics Audits is that clients are not tracking goals and conversion actions in a way that accurately informs strategic business decisions, nor lends insights into how they can better serve and communicate with their consumer in today’s personalized world.
What this ultimately comes down to is lost revenue and wasted advertising spend.
For example: In response to the pandemic, many businesses came up with new business models which led to competing priorities. As a result of this rapid response and lack of historical data, these new offerings were folded into historical marketing and projection models. These misalignments can be costly.
“If you want to have multiple priorities then you absolutely must have different budgets aligned to those priorities and a specific method of measuring each.”
~ Annie Duke, Director of Client Operations, (un)Common Logic
So how do you compete in 2022 and ensure you are maximizing strategic insights and ROI?
- Perform an analytics audit to ensure you are tracking leads, conversions, and goals accurately in accordance with each business objective and line of business
- Prepare for the next generation of Google Analytics (GA). GA4 will replace Universal Analytics (UA) as the default for measurement. A few notable updates:
- GA will leverage Machine Learning to address data loss concerns related to privacy, cookie, and tracking limitations
- It will provide more real-time reporting capabilities
- It will take a more user-centric view of user interactions on both website and app properties
- Plan your KPI and reporting requirements to ensure your analytics platform provides relevant and accurate revenue driving insights
These efforts will set your business up for success in a highly competitive digital world, while also laying the foundation for a critical 2022 effort: building first-party data.
First-party data is brand-owned data, collected with permission from those who visit your site, that allows you to continue to personalize your advertising and marketing efforts.
Why is this important? Collecting first-party data in 2022 will prepare you to compete in a cookieless 2023, much like the ability to stock up on hand sanitizer helped us prepare for 2021.
Machine Learning and the Death of the Cookie
Not too long ago, in a pre-pandemic 2017, Alphabet Inc. Chairman Eric Schmidt focused a Google research team on experimenting with Artificial Intelligence (AI) to design the best possible chocolate chip cookie. Dozens of iterations of feedback allowed them to ‘perfect’ the cookie recipe through AI.
Now, almost 5 years later, digital marketers are looking to Machine Learning (a subset of AI) to save them from the death of the cookie. While a cookieless future may be a privacy win for consumers, it is a disruption to digital marketing advertisers who have relied upon third-party data for retargeting and personalization. You may have already experienced an impact as a result of the iOS14 rollout.
“A key focus in any business’ 2022 strategy should be ensuring that you’re being intentional with 1st party data collection, and preparing for a digital marketing ecosystem with growing measurement gaps as we enter a cookieless world.”
~Richard Clark, Senior Technical Manager, (un)Common Logic
While first-party data gives you exclusive insights into your buyers’ journey, in a cookieless world, it still leaves you with a huge gap when it comes to competitor insights, search behaviors, and interest preferences.
According to the Google blog… “the new Analytics is designed to adapt to a future with or without cookies or identifiers. It uses a flexible approach to measurement, and in the future, will include modeling to fill in the gaps where the data may be incomplete.”
Being ready for GA4 sets you up to access Google’s machine learning expertise and use features like predictive insights to round out critical consumer analysis.
Don’t postpone these efforts! When the masses start to make the strategic moves these changes demand, you’ll already be ahead of the competition.
Contact us to learn more about the (un)Common Logic approach to digital marketing, including our foundational SEO, CRO and Analytics Audits.
Want to learn more? Read up on how Google’s departure from third-party data will impact your advertising efforts.