Marketing has undergone some huge shifts over the past century, from days of newspaper ads and shouting out bargains at the local market to cookie-driven personalised features on your social media feed, the world of marketing and advertising has undergone significant shifts. As marketers in 2022, we use data (and a lot of it) to find out exactly who our audience is, what their interests are, and how we can best approach them to promote our products and services. It’s become a fine art, a science if you will, where years of fine-tuning has created well-oiled marketing machines. It’s no wonder that, according to YouGov, UK companies spend on average 9.3% of their budget on marketing. It’s vital for most modern businesses, and the ways that we market ourselves to consumers is shifting fast. The next ten years of marketing may look very different from the past ten years as inventions such as AI, better tracking tools, and new media formats take hold in the mainstream.
Here’s what to keep an eye out for as we look at the future of marketing…
The end to third-party cookies
We’ve already seen a shift by companies away from the use of third-party cookies (Apple’s Safari makes it a lot more difficult to use cross-site trackers, and the rise of privacy-focused browsers such as Brave have made cookies all but useless), but a recent announcement by Google has cast doubt on the future of the trackers entirely. It has been announced that Google Chrome, the world’s most popular desktop browser, will cease to support third-party cookies in 2024. This will likely see a shift towards using more stripped-back user trackers or opting for Google’s own services which provide details on users’ browsing habits such as Google Analytics. An interesting move by Google, and one that’s sure to change how digital marketers approach collecting user data in the future. Many advertising agencies have already voiced their concern about this shift, which is sure to shake up the industry.
Marketing in the metaverse
The metaverse is now a reality and is growing fast. Since Facebook’s rebranding to Meta with a new focus on developing online, VR-driven worlds to connect people, communities, and brands, the metaverse is growing fast. ‘The metaverse’ is a broad term that essentially describes the network of virtual worlds powered by VR and AR to connect people to each other without being physically present. Its advocates promote it as the next stage in online and virtual communication, providing a more immersive, engaging, and expressive way of reaching others. Users can live out a virtual ‘life’ entirely within the metaverse, with complex economies, groups, events, and more. With this entirely new platform and form of media coming into the mainstream, marketers are finding a whole new way to reach audiences.
With a lot more data about users, high engagement, and new opportunities for reaching audiences, significant parts of future marketing look set to take place in the metaverse. What exactly this will look like is still largely unknown, but it’s guaranteed to send shockwaves through the industry.
Personalisation is king
As we move to even more in-depth consumer insights and data on audiences, marketers will look to personalise their products to suit individual users and groups in evermore unique ways. Companies are learning to offer customised products and designs to consumers as they continue to collect data on individual needs and desires. We’ve already seen a shift towards targeted marketing in recent years, with the next step in this evolution being products and services built to suit the needs of individual customers thanks to the sheer amount of data marketers can collect about their audiences. We’ll continue to see products created by companies driven almost completely by data collected about consumers by marketers. We’ll likely see a time where consumers know less about what they personally want or need than brands do.
Consumers expect relevant advertisements
Even today, consumers expect more than ever that the advertisements they receive are relevant to their unique needs and wants. This highlights the importance for marketers to make sure that they’re using data to target the most relevant groups with advertisements. Irrelevant ads can do more than damage than good nowadays, and as data continues to become more in-depth, marketers are going to have to further specify the exact audience who will receive their digital advertisements. Fortunately, this data, combined with machine learning and refined algorithms, will make learning about your audience much easier than in the past.
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