These digital Trends will define the next decade
These digital Trends will define the next decade
By Nikos Iliopoulos
The global pandemic had an impact on every business. From a digital marketing standpoint, what will 2022 bring?

People love and hate trends equally. On the one hand, we don’t want to be left out, and we are afraid society will not accept us if we don’t do this or that, if we don’t read a certain book or watch the series that everyone is talking about. On the other hand, we rebel against trends because that is what makes us feel unique.

Superdigitalisation: the digital world surrounding us

In all surveys consumers are making it clear that they are increasingly using technology to carry out every possible activity, such as buying products, booking experiences or even exercising.

Moreover, consumers prefer to invest in well-designed technology, giving priority to companies that put user experience first when designing apps, websites or services. In this context, the inevitable question is: how agile is your company in the face of this challenge?

30% of companies say they have not defined a post-COVID business strategy. This has a negative impact on the whole business, as it is key to anticipate your customers’ needs by getting to know them and paying attention to the digital channels where they express their concerns. And this is especially relevant for CMOs and their marketing departments. 

Direct-to-consumer (D2C): when consumers prefer to buy directly from the brand

Whether it’s on the essentials market or on the luxury products one, direct to consumer implies that brands need to own the customer relationship from beginning to end, taking advantage of all the data to create unique, personalised, more efficient and maximum return experiences.

And, in case you still think that consumers are reluctant to share their data, this year we found out that 61% of consumers would be willing to share more information with brands in order to improve their shopping experience.

D2C accounts for 40% of all online sales, with sustained increases (data from eMarketer | Digital Commerce 360), a trend that has consolidated in 2020 and is likely to grow in 2021.

At this point, the issue is not only whether physical shops will continue to close (they already do), but to what extent it will be necessary to reinvent those that remain open, so that consumers keep considering they are necessary.

The key aspects of this trend will be:

  • The importance of minimising channel conflict
  • The pricing policy
  • The fight against online distribution giants
  • The necessary investment in data and technology
  • The undisputed cultural change within organisations

Homebound economy: home is not only a place to spend the night

During the past few months, as the economy as a whole has suffered a heavy blow, the demand for products that make our homes more comfortable and livable has grown steadily. Suddenly, our homes became the place for work, exercise and digital leisure.

And although the promise of vaccines and the safety they will bring, will eventually allow us to go back to outdoor activities, the truth is people think remote working is positive: 51% of the population prefer to work remotely, as opposed to the 25% who prefer to work from the office, and the percentage of employees working remotely is expected to rise from 63% to 87% after the crisis, according to Bain & Company.

Moreover, the search for properties in rural areas has increased by 46% these days. Now that our home has become a place where we spend a lot of time and from where we can work, people start looking for housing alternatives outside the city.

People, data and AI: a rigmarole for brands

Because of the complexity that surrounds them, it is not easy to keep track of trends in Artificial Intelligence. However,  it is worth highlighting two marked trends: towards companies’ internal processes and towards consumers.

AI applied to business processes: AiOps

AiOps is the abbreviation used to refer to artificial intelligence for IT operations. And it refers to multi-layered technology platforms that automate and improve IT operations through analysis and machine learning (ML).

Or, to put it simply, everything that seeks to save time spent on processes within companies so that people can use that time more profitably. However, these technologies will make their greatest effort in aspects related to cyber security and automation. In a year in which consumption of and access to the internet from our homes has increased significantly at a global scale, it has become more evident that security has been compromised.

AI applied to marketing and consumers

As we collect and optimise customer data, our ability to predict the next effective action or the perfect offer will continue to improve, because the foundation of AI is its ability to learn and further infer user preferences.

With time, as this cycle keeps powering itself, we will be able to deliver the best experience based on our knowledge of the customer, which is the desired goal.

The investment in DMP, customer intelligence or CDP and CRM tools that are capable of hosting the necessary data and automation processes will increase. Simultaneously, however, many companies still use Excel to host their clients’ data.

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