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The top 10 digital trends that will dominate in 2022

For Prasad Shejale, Founder & CEO, Logicserve Digital, the past year has taught us a lot and pushed us, in a way, to go back to the basics and follow an empathetic and humane approach in everything we do. It taught us the importance of perseverance and resilience. It urged us to let go of old ways of doing things, figure out alternatives and quickly adapt to the changes to be able to stand strong in the market.

Here are some trends that Shejale feels will be prominent this year and will help brands to make an impact through their efforts.

5G

5G has been making good progress and I am sure we will soon see it become mainstream in the coming year. It offers a wide range of benefits right from increased capacity for delivery of new content and services, and delivering unique experiences in unthinkable ways, that too at incredible speed.

The government of India also has been supporting the development of 5G technology in India and, I am sure, it will be one of the most important technologies that will drive the digital transformation journey in the future.

Shoppable content

The pandemic has given rise to an increased reliance on ecommerce and newer ways of online shopping. E-commerce industry is gaining a huge traction and is predicted to be a $1 trillion industry by 2022.

In an effort to provide a seamless shopping experience to users, we have already seen some newer formats and channels for shopping come into picture this year. In the coming year, marketers will dive into the shoppable content space which allows users to directly shop their favorite products without having to leave the platform or content they are consuming in a few easy steps. Brands will surely use this trend heavily in the coming year to revolutionise the way people shop.

Visual and Voice search

We have seen huge developments in the visual and voice technology. This will continue to grow and will push businesses to rethink their digital strategies and figure out ways to be visible when people search for them via visual search or voice search. Some reports predict that voice shopping is going to reach $40 billion by 2022. Brands definitely don’t want to lose on this opportunity.

Short videos/ micro-videos

This trend is already becoming mainstream as people are able to consume content in a quick and convenient way and, they also enjoy the short format of the content. Short videos are everywhere now right from social media to shopping platforms. Owning to the shrinking attention spans of new-age users, this format is very apt for these audiences, and it will continue to help business connect and engage with their customers in the coming year. We will also see a combination of other factors that will help brands provide personalisation as well as interactive aspects to their content to make it interesting and keep the audience hooked to their brand. There are endless ways to incorporate short-form videos into your digital marketing strategy and businesses will embrace this trend in 2022.

First-party and zero-party data

Data is extremely important for any business to service their customers better, understand them and continue enhancing their experience. There is a growing importance of first-party and zero-party data nowadays and, it is already urging businesses to change the way they collect information and use it mindfully.

Some companies have started directing their efforts towards finding solutions to safely collect first-party and zero-party data and use it for designing their marketing plans. We will see more companies focus on this area and be ready for a world where third-party data will be long forgotten.

Zero-click searches

As different forms of search like visual, voice, etc are becoming more popular, there will be an increase in zero-click searches too. Zero-click searches happen when the search engine displays the information people are looking for in the search results page itself and the person doesn’t necessarily have to click and visit the article or website to know the answer for their query. This information showcased on search results page is also used by voice assistants to answer voice search queries of users. Brands will be seen leveraging this opportunity and making the most out of the zero-click searches. The content needs to be optimised for featured snippets keeping in mind the kind of queries your customers might have when they search on the web. Focusing efforts on this aspect will not only allow brands to be discovered by more people but will also help them improve their search result rankings. SEO strategies will change going forward. Marketers will be seen aligning their SEO strategies that will allow them to leverage the newer types of search ways and features like featured snippets, etc., while also providing more value to consumers in such a way that it urges them to click and visit the actual website despite of getting an answer for their query on the results page itself.

Total experience

Total experience is a strategy that takes into account multiple experiences across different touch points like the employee experience, customer experience and user experience to understand the holistic impact you have created and helps you drive the positive growth for your business. This holistic approach of managing stakeholder experiences is not followed by a lot of people but has a great potential to enhance employee and customer confidence, satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy. Considering the current circumstances, I believe, more businesses will align towards this approach to provide a seamless, effortless and fun experience when people connect with them and accelerate growth.

Human-first data experiences

Personalisation is surely an important aspect for businesses to truly connect with their audience and build a long-term relationship with them. Consumers definitely like it when they feel that a brand understands them, caters to their needs aptly and helps them with their concerns swiftly. However, there’s a fine line between this personalisation that can seem to be helpful or become creepy at times. That’s where human-first data experiences come into picture. I feel this will be a gamechanger for brands in the coming years. Brands will be seen designing experiences that not only consider the consumers likes and dislikes but also add value. They will be more transparent with them and make them aware about how they can or cannot use any of the consumer data. While brands will continue to make the most out of the consumer data to improve the overall experience and drive conversions, they will be mindful about customer’s preferences and boundaries about sensitive information.

Conversational and experiential marketing

New-age marketing is more conversational and experiential than ever. This is what people want and brands will surely react to it. Conversational marketing allows brands to cater to consumer needs at the right time, through right channels and in the best way that they want, thus building a stronger connect with them. Also, with the ongoing situation and the hybrid ways of doing things, experiential marketing will scale up too. This will allow brands to deliver unique experiences to their customers in a hybrid model wherein the ‘touch and feel’ aspect is an important decision-making factor. The conversational as well as experiential marketing allows brands to reach out to a larger set of audience, improve brand recall and drive conversions. In the hybrid world we are living in right now, these marketing approaches will be very popular and help brands elevate their marketing game.

True one view of customer

Catering to the unique customers and their individual needs is always important. As we move towards a cookieless world, brands need to figure out alternative ways to understand their audience well and have a process in place that will allow them to continue delivering customized experiences that cater to the individual needs in the best way. While there are ways to figure out different customer personas and use varied factors to build identities, brands need to have a more holistic approach to build a unified view of a real person and maintain it as their preferences and any other information evolves over time. There is no standard way of doing this.

As times change, your customers will change too. Brands need to have the required and right data with them, draw useful insights, build the right identities across channels that can help them deliver the right experiences while following the compliance protocols. In the future world, these identities will be crucial for business success and this year, I am sure, we will see more brands investing their efforts in this area to have a true one view of their customers and continue designing solutions that meet the expectations of their customers.

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