Fully 97% of marketers responding to a survey for the WARC Marketer’s Toolkit 2022 said they believe changes to consumer behaviour seen during the pandemic will impact strategies in 2022.

As brands shift their marketing strategies from temporary adjustment to permanent transformation, Marketer’s Toolkit 2022: Global Trends Report, the first in a series of Toolkit reports, aims at helping brands identify, adapt and successfully meet the challenges of the year ahead and turn them into opportunities for growth. 

Key findings from the WARC Marketer’s Toolkit 2022 are: 

  • Changes in consumer behaviour will impact 2022 marketing strategies

Seventy-three percent of brand owners in WARC’s industry survey felt changes in consumer behaviours would have a significant impact on strategies for 2022. Another 24% felt these changes would have at least some impact – totalling 97% of all respondents.

Even in countries with high vaccination rates, consumers are rethinking and evaluating lifestyles, resulting in different behaviours, preferences and buying patterns. They are spending more time at home and becoming more concerned about their local surroundings. Personal and family health and wellness are being prioritised. Customer journeys are more complicated as consumers switch between digital and in-store channels.

Marketers can benefit from these changes if they carefully adjust their strategies for this inconsistent and incomplete return to “normal”.

  • The ‘double bottom line’ – valuing profit and the planet – is now a reality 

Forty-six percent of survey respondents said they afford the environment and financial growth equal importance. Actions include changing manufacturing, packaging and distribution; making public commitments they will be accountable for; and encouraging green consumer behaviours in their messaging. But there is still work to be done on measurement, with 25% of respondents viewing sustainability as a “general goal” rather than using specific metrics.

  • Market penetration/customer gain is the most important barometer of marketing effectiveness 

Advertising measurement is in a state of unprecedented flux as a result of increased privacy regulation, the end of third-party cookies by Google and Apple’s opt-in to ad tracking. Over half (52%) of those surveyed by WARC said they are looking to find “new measures of effectiveness”, while 42% acknowledge the need to invest in new technologies to measure audiences. 

As advertisers focus on converting target audiences, more than half (54%) of respondents now view market penetration/customer gain as the most important barometer of marketing effectiveness, up from 44% last year.

  • Spending on social commerce will increase

Three quarters of brands in the WARC survey plan to increase spending, leveraging the power of creators to sell via livestreams and shoppable media.

Content creators on social media are increasingly empowered, as their followings become important to enabling platforms. As livestreaming and other combinations of social entertainment and digital commerce become more important, brands will have real opportunities in this space if they can find effective ways to work with these creators.

  • Spending on e-commerce will also grow

In the Marketer’s Toolkit survey, 78% of respondents expect to spend more on e-commerce and 25% are adopting an integrated approach by merging e-commerce and digital branding teams.

Increased budgets are going into e-commerce, creating new opportunities to optimise brands for an e-commerce environment. This is creating a need for alignment (and in some cases integration) of marketing and e-commerce teams. This could result in a potential clash of cultures, but also presents an opportunity for marketers to play a broader role if they can identify the right strategic balance.

A complimentary copy of the global report, including full trend analysis, CMO commentary, case studies and proprietary survey data, is available to read here.

The full series, available to WARC subscribers, will include a Global Ad Trends: State of the Industry report, with latest analysis and forecasts of advertising spend across 100+ markets (end November); regional reports looking at the challenges and opportunities specific to APAC, EMEA and North America (January 2022); and the Future Thinking Report, focusing on emerging metrics and technologies, and a suite of podcasts (January 2022). 

Sourced from WARC