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Key trends in marketing for 2022, by House of Comms’ Jamie Wilks

With dwindling attention spans, a diverse range of platforms and an escalation of CMOs’ importance, some big changes are coming, writes Jamie Wilks, co-founder House of Comms and The Marketing Society member.

The marketing industry moves faster than most, especially with digital technology and platforms at the centre of all things marketing. Honing in on the key trends is very much open for debate, but there are some huge, obvious considerations to be aware of.

Consumer attention spans are shorter than ever.

What does this mean? Ads will need to grab attention in a heartbeat. So, design, format and placement mixes become more challenging. If you try to be too clever or take too long with your message you will not get far. The impact of Gen Z is contributing hugely to this move.

The first solely digital generation are now budding young adults with serious spending power visible in consumer behaviour and trend reports globally.

The impact of digital storytelling

Finding the creatives and agencies to be able to tell digital stories will be defining factors in your marketing success in 2022. TV commercials have been the prime storytelling platform for brands for more than 50 years. TVC ad revenue is dropping, simply because those ads have fewer viewers and there are many other options today. The emergence of subscription broadcasters on digital platforms will see that downward trend continue. Thus, the primary storytelling platform for brands is becoming less popular. Next? Integrated storytelling, which will inevitably be digital or social first, and still film or video content, of course. This remains king, and this won’t change for a long time – just often shorter and more frequent content series vs larger, longer productions. Still, it’s an art – that’s for sure.

The rise of new and emerging social platforms

We’ve had Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and YouTube for a long, long time. TikTok has muscled in; however, this is changing. More platforms are emerging for various reasons – new ways to be content creators, youngsters dodging their parents, cries for less censorship and adverts. Whatever the reasons, new players are emerging fast with big backers. Jodel, Gettr, Bitchute, MeWe, Parler – this list is large but marketing leaders will be wise to keep an eye on these platforms that are amassing tens of millions of users and take full advantage of new audiences, new targeting opportunities and more bang for your buck. Jodel has made a huge splash in the Middle East with Arabic-first communities in particular. This will inevitably see the continued diversification of the existing big players. Meta is a punt for Facebook though, which has been struggling to maintain engagement and user numbers – especially with teens and Gen Z. Let’s see what happens.

CMOs to dominate new CEO positions

This has been coming with the significance of data in the marketing sphere. The overlap with product and service design with some or all digital transformation budgets now being spent by marketing as opposed to
IT. Now we see more CMOs stepping into CEO positions than ever before. And it makes total sense. Long may this continue.