Deloitte has unveiled seven key marketing trends in the global marketing industry. The 2022 Global Marketing Trends Report reveals how high-growth brands across the business landscape are leading the way, and looks to arm executives with fresh insights to help navigate the path forward.
Here are the key trends marketers should keep an eye out for:
1. Purpose as a beacon for growth
While many businesses have been redefining their value proposition and are trying to find ways to make an impact beyond profit through "purpose", the challenge often lies in getting the right purpose in place to resonate with consumers who are spoilt for choice. Deloitte's 2022 Global Marketing Trends Consumer Survey revealed that consumers cited price and quality as their top-three purchasing criteria when purchasing from a specific brand. As such, it is a given that brands need to deliver on those two fronts. However, other criteria such as purpose-related factors, become competitive differentiators in getting your brand noticed.
Meanwhile, Deloitte's Global Marketing Trends Executive Survey found that high-growth brands are translating purpose into action in markedly different ways from their lower-growth peers. They are doing so by looking at purpose more holistically, which implies that brands that commit to purpose are gaining a critical competitive advantage. For these high-growth brands, purpose not only inspires product and service delivery, but also guides employee decision-making and corporate social responsibility investment strategy.
2. Authentically inclusive marketing
The consumer population has become increasingly diverse - be it race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or differences in ability. Hence, brands need to reflect a range of backgrounds and experiences within their messaging, advertising and brand campaigns to effectively connect with future customers. However, just marketing inclusiveness and diversity will not make the mark with consumers, as they want to support brands that represent their values as well. According to the consumer survey done by Deloitte, 57% of consumers are more loyal to brands that commit to actionably addressing social inequities.
The report also shows that high-growth brands are more frequently establishing key performance metrics for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) objectives than their lower-growth competitors. At the same time, they are also reducing the cultural and demographic distance between the makeup of their teams and the markets they aspire to reach.
3. Building the intelligent creative engine
While marketing may have been pegged as a field for creatives back in the day, organisations have been seen to gravitate toward hiring marketing talent with more analytical skills to keep up with the current data-intensive environment. An executive survey by Deloitte showed that analytical expertise edged out creative skills in almost every industry when it comes to the top skills of respondents' highest performers; except for the consumer industry.
However, the report noted that this was not a one-to-one swap of creative skills for analytical and technical skills, but CMOs building greater collaboration on teams, both internally and externally. This is especially important in hybrid work environments, where marketers see both opportunities and challenges in making the digital-physical construct of work successful. For CMOs, the prioritisation in skillset was more about a cultural shift that reshapes how marketers work toward common goals that unlock dynamic creative outcomes.
4. Meeting customers in a "cookieless" world
While relevant ads are appreciated, consumers have become more wary of how their personal information, purchase preferences and browsing habits are being used. This have led to the tightening of regulations, and saw many web browsers and tech companies disabling third-party cookies - or going "cookieless". While going cookieless can hinder marketers' ability to effectively engage with consumers, the report revealed organisations that pivot toward using first-party data in combination with digitalisation can work around this issue to continue their strategic initiatives.
Furthermore, 61% of high-growth brands said they are shifting to a first-party data strategy, while only 40% of negative-growth companies say the same. This may also imply that high-growth organisations recognise the pressing need to get ahead of the consumer sentiment shift on data privacy.
CMOs from high-growth brands are also well ahead of negative-growth brands in deploying first-party data in more sophisticated ways, specifically in delivering personalised content via dynamic creative optimisation (51% versus 36%), and using data to serve ads to users via programmatic media (49% versus 29%).
5. Designing a human-first data experience
Consumers have become increasingly wary of brands that seem to follow their every move and there is a fine line between helpfulness and intrusiveness when it comes to consumer data. Around 68% of consumers said that they found it helpful when a brand they regularly shopped with provided them alerts when items went on sale. However, 53% of respondents also reacted negatively when their social media feed showed them an ad because their device was listening to them.
The abundance of customer data available can lead to a paradox within organisations, with marketers seeking to use data to create better customer experiences and chief information security officers working to adhere to privacy regulations. Ultimately, the CMOs should work with chief information security officers to cultivate customer trust through better data practices. CMOs should also design experiences that create value, provide transparency and empower customers to control their own data journey.
6. Elevating the hybrid experience
After conquering the digital delivery barrier, the next challenge for marketers lie in providing the best integrated physical and digital, or hybrid, experiences. Around 75% of global executives surveyed said they will invest more in delivering hybrid experiences over the next 12 months, with many executives looking to hybrid to increase personalisation (43%), innovation (43%), customer connection (40%) and inclusion (38%).
Businesses can also elevate their hybrid experiences by expanding choices, integrating feedback, and investing in technological infrastructure. Most importantly, brands can utilise the principles of human-centered design to make their physical and digital experiences as agile and flexible as consumers have come to expect.
7. Supercharging customer service with AI
A dynamic experience for customers means delivering the assistance and information they need, when, where and how they want it. Consumers cited timely offers and knowledgeable customer service as the two most helpful criteria when it comes to making purchasing decisions. Hence, marketers can work to optimise AI within the customer experience. By designing and deploying an AI strategy that helps brands meet customers in their moment of need, marketers and customer service leaders will be able to create an end-to-end customer experience that seamlessly blends AI and human service to better serve their customers.
The 2022 Global Marketing Trends Report was formulated by conducting research among C-suite executives and consumers around the globe. Deloitte gathered data and insights that uncovered the ways that brand leaders are holistically rethinking their approach to customer engagement and experience in order to remain competitive.
Photo courtesy: 123RF
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