It’s been an eventful year in marketing, with many industry players adapting to the changes in consumer behaviour caused by pandemic disruptions. The emergence of new privacy initiatives such as Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) also intensified the urgency of finding creative new targeting strategies. Despite these challenges, it’s an exciting time for the industry; innovative marketing solutions will emerge and we can look forward to other technological advancements in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) as metaverse discussions grow louder. Here are my predictions for the coming year.

Hybrid working is here to stay

While the pandemic posed many logistical challenges across the global economy, working from home didn’t result in a lack of productivity for digital companies. At BCNMonetize, we like the increased flexibility and improved work-life balance of home-working, and this will continue post-pandemic. In general, a hybrid working model seems likely for companies that can going forward, and technology will continue to evolve in order to make this even easier.

Increased innovation in data and measurement

It wasn’t just the pandemic that caused industry disruptions. One of the major talking points was Apple’s ATT, which requires all apps to ask permission before collecting identifiers for advertisers (IDFA). This, alongside Google’s upcoming removal of third-party cookies, will make it harder for advertisers to track the consumer journey and decipher the effectiveness of their digital campaigns. Marketers will need to find a way to work alongside Apple’s SKAdnetwork and Google’s framework to identify consumers in a privacy-friendly way.

Innovation will therefore be key in digital marketing next year. Better use of first-party data will be essential and it’s likely we’ll see more collaboration between advertisers and publishers to paint fuller pictures of consumers and bolster personalization strategies. At BCNMonetize we help brands make the most of their data through tailored video and display ads to re-target users and boost conversions. And no data prediction is complete without measurement; we’ll likely see a greater role for media mix modelling and incrementality as strong solutions to attribution challenges.

The democratization of the internet

Alongside the evolution of targeting and measurement strategies, marketers are increasingly recognising the importance of diversifying their advertising channels. We have seen a huge increase in influencer marketing this year and this is set to continue into 2022. Influencers are an essential tool in the marketing mix as they can easily tailor recommendations to loyal followers who trust their content. We expect advertisers to be further utilizing our partnership with Fenomio in the coming year to connect with content creators and improve audience targeting.

Greater opportunities for influencers and advertisers will arise with the emergence of the metaverse, where they will be able to reach users in a whole new realm. Although the full realization of this digital space is a long way off, discussions about its construction have intensified thanks in part to Facebook’s recent rebranding. We have already seen brands making greater use of AR and VR to increase brand loyalty and smaller companies should take advantage of these technologies to create exciting experiences for consumers. I believe this will form the building blocks of the metaverse, beginning with smaller, more dispersed versions of the virtual platform before being united by a global infrastructure.

This immersive new medium has the potential to democratize the internet, giving all users the power to contribute innovative content, and it’s likely that blockchain will play a large part in this. Social media platforms are already establishing income schemes with influencers using cryptocurrency and in the coming years I expect blockchain will impact social media more widely, giving users ownership over their output.

There are exciting opportunities ahead for marketers, with many solutions to tap into in the wake of stricter privacy regulations. In 2022, digital marketers must take full advantage of technological advancements to thrive in the privacy-first world and leverage emerging platforms to maintain strong connections with their audiences.

Emre Atalay, Co-founder and CEO, BCNMonetize

January 01, 2022