Every year, the world of marketing can be distinguished by certain specific trends and consumer behaviors. Without fail, each year something new worth noticing pops out of nowhere, and a fast and hectic run to be among the first pioneers and race to be the introducers of that new ‘thing’, begins. 

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As we slowly approach 2022, we’ve asked marketing professionals and owners of various businesses about their predictions in terms of the top marketing and PR trends that we can look forward to in the coming year.

If you’re curious to know what their opinions and predictions are, keep reading!

While the world of marketing often has its own, sometimes crazy, rules, it’s no surprise that despite them, there always are some patterns that can be noticed. In this article, we want to talk about those patterns. Five patterns, to be precise, that experts agree on in terms of what we can expect to see in 2022. 

1. No more offline marketing… ever?

We start off with offline marketing or its predicted disappearance. Yes, you read it right. No more offline marketing. 

At the turn of the century, online marketing was a relatively new and unknown medium that needed to be explored. Despite these unknowns, marketing professionals managed to find innovative ways to utilize this growing field and turn it into something huge.

Now, over 20 years later, the growth of digital marketing is becoming more and more evident as marketing channels such as Facebook and Google dominate the digital landscape. What then, is the future of online marketing in 2022?

‘The impact of the pandemic is clearly still being felt in 2021. The shift from the physical to the digital has been unmistakable and as a result, companies are beginning to look for ways to capitalise on this. And what is the solution they are finding? Digital marketing. At our agency, enquiries into SEO work have rocketed and you only have to look at the data on the rise of online shopping trends to find out why. I think this is a trend that is here to stay – with businesses and customers being forced to make the transition online, without apt need and after discovering how easy it makes things, I don’t see many feeling the need to revert back to physical.’

Francesca Hume, SEO Account Manager at Solve

While this is a bold assumption to make, it’s fair to say that a scenario in which offline marketing becomes a niche market is completely possible. But does this mean that offline marketing will go extinct? 

Maybe not as soon as in 2022, but we’re undeniably shifting towards a much more digitalized world, and therefore, we will have more marketing happening within the digital world rather than the real, offline one. 

2. Email marketing is here to stay

Next on our list is email marketing. The profitability of email marketing in the future of 2022 is a topic worth considering especially since it’s still one of the most profitable marketing strategies ROI-wise today. Will this trend continue?

This form of marketing is undoubtedly a cost-effective way to engage with prospective and existing customers on a much more personal and direct level. In today’s high-speed world, there’s a high value placed on speed and accuracy, which email marketing promotes. This is what an eCommerce email marketing consultant at Supply Drop, Danavir Sarria thinks about email marketing and its future:

‘The biggest marketing trend of 2021 was the push towards email marketing. Because of iOS14, the vast majority of brands have had to deal with high CPMs and unreliable attribution, on top of all the supply chain issues they’ve had to deal with due to the pandemic. This led to a ton of ad agencies being fired and more eCommerce brands having to rely on owned media channels to pick up the slack. These days, there are many brands that are only profitable on the days they send out emails. Unless a new ad platform rises or some other big security change happens, I think we can expect this trend to continue as more and more brands realize that they can’t market like they used to do 5 years ago.’

Danavir Sarria, Ecommerce Email Marketing Consultant at Supply Drop

The profitability of email marketing will definitely vary, based on budget and motivation, in  2022. Some people may still wish to believe that it is more cost-effective to invest in paid search and social media ads to get new customers and retain current ones.

On the other hand, others may think that email marketing can be costly and time-consuming, and may not give them enough ROI. The truth is that whether email marketing can be beneficial for your business in the upcoming year is completely up to you and how you decide to approach it!

3. Transparency, authenticity, and integrity 

Moving on, we focus our attention on a powerful trio that more often than not seems to be absolutely fundamental for effective marketing. Naturally, it’s the trio of transparency, authenticity, and integrity.

Transparency in marketing will be crucial in 2022. The World Economic Forum predicts that governments will implement specific legislation to protect citizens from becoming victims of misleading messages about products, services, and even political parties, and their candidates. There will also be greater emphasis on ensuring that authenticity is shown in advertising in order to reduce the amount of fake news online. This fake news is currently read by consumers in their free time, making them believe in often untrue and illusory benefits of products or services. 

No one wants any of this in 2022. 

The third expectation within marketing is integrity. Integrity is seen by governments, companies, and individuals as necessary in an increasingly complex world.

‘I’m sure it’s not news to anyone that 2021 has been an absolute rollercoaster of a year, no matter what industry you’re in. We now live in an age of excess information where consumers are being bombarded with endless streams of news, advertising, and media – much of which is, unfortunately, causing fear and distrust. Because of this, I think the most important marketing trends that will emerge from this landscape are those that can show they value transparency, authenticity & integrity. People are more than ever needing to know that the source of their information is reliable, honest, and simply human! Add in the fact that AI content creation is taking hold and I think this trend becomes more important again.’

Darcy Ogdon-Nolan, Owner of Rocks Off Magazine

The need for transparency, authenticity, and integrity in marketing is becoming more important as consumers are less trusting of the information they are being given by businesses. Transparency is vital for brands to build trust with their customers. It’s also beneficial for brands to be authentic because people will see through you if you lie or make false claims. It’s important for brands to practice these three rules with their marketing strategies to ensure they can further grow as we approach 2022.

4. Online events are here to stay

The future of online events is an interesting topic. As the world continues to evolve, so too will online events. At first, we were forced to get used to online events because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it seems like this once hated, and rather sad reality is slowly becoming our new way of life to some extent. After all, online events have many benefits, some of the most popular ones being:

  • better scalability,
  • increased attendee count,
  • time and cost-saving opportunities,
  • expanded global reach,
  • and countless networking opportunities. 

‘I think we can all agree that virtual events have continued to take the marketing world by storm this year. Having to communicate completely online over the last 2 years has created a surge in online events. It’s forced marketers to change the way they engage with core target markets and introduced all new types of interaction opportunities. And that’s not all. We’re now starting to see the shift towards hybrid events which I’m sure will bring with it a whole new mix of marketing and content developments.’

Emma Hardy, Content Marketing Manager at streamGo

One thing that we can’t forget about, however, is the fact that humans will always have the need to socialize and find ways to connect with each other in the real world. It can definitely be argued that the future of online events is set to become just as diverse as it is today, and we’re looking forward to what 2022 shows us in regards to that. 

5. The Power of Artificial Intelligence 

Last but not least, let’s focus on the power of Artificial Intelligence. The future of AI writing tools is a very hot topic right now with the advancement of technology constantly demonstrating unlimited possibilities. Companies hope to allow writers to seamlessly use AI to generate content for their projects. It’s still unclear if these tools will be more of a blessing or a curse, but more importantly, it’s key that they are used responsibly.

‘One of the biggest trends is that companies started to rely more on AI tools, particularly AI writing tools. I am not talking about machines creating blog posts and pillar pages. I mean that  AI in marketing has become more powerful, more sophisticated, and can solve specific, real problems for companies. For example, now AI writing assistants can rewrite your content, repurpose audio and video into other types of content, research your topic and help build comprehensive content outlines, and more. Some tools even write paragraphs for blog posts by following the user’s instructions and prompts. This doesn’t mean that robots will replace humans – this simply means that we will be able to focus on more creative, strategic tasks and assign administrative tasks to machines.’

Natalie Luneva, Co-founder and CMO at outranking.io

The question of whether AI writing tools will one day replace human marketing content writers is a question marketers have been asking for years. In fact, there is no clear answer as to whether or not AI will stick around with marketers for longer than other technologies and trends did. 

While some agencies are developing AI tools that can accurately predict what people are interested in reading about on certain platforms, the ease with which humans craft content is not being replaced by artificial intelligence any time soon. Some firms are exploring this idea with AI that can create content that fits the needs of specific social media platforms, but we are still in the early days of this technology. 

‘AI-based content tools have and will continue to change the face of marketing. These tools can supplement the workload of a writer or even help an individual develop advertisement copy. It’s powerful if used right, and can also tarnish your brand if done wrong. AI content is not perfect and should not be used to replace traditional content marketing.’

Mushfiq Sarker, Owner of The Website Flip

On the other hand, with more people rapidly becoming more immersed in social media, the goal of marketers has evolved to generate content that resonates with their target audience. Now, with automated writing tools being so successful at producing engaging digital content, the future of marketing may have an intelligence-based component, who knows? Time will tell.

Are you surprised?

Despite the fact that we can make predictions about what the world of marketing will look like in the years to come, let’s not forget about how quickly things and trends can change. Therefore, if you aspire to be a talented creator, make sure you keep your eyes and ears open and never limit yourself to what others think will or won’t happen. 

We hope you found this article valuable. We’re curious to see what 2022 brings and which one of the trends, if not all of them, mentioned here will turn out to be true. 

If you’re interested in similar publications, grab a cup of your favorite tea or coffee and head over to our blog section! Other than that, thanks for your time and see you in 2022 when we will finally see which trends will last and which won’t!