A new year isn’t just a calendar date; it’s a golden opportunity for companies to rethink and refine their marketing goals and strategies. Put simply, it is a time to embrace innovation and adaptation, in a world that is changing more rapidly than ever.

 

In the wake of a turbulent 2021, consumers now have new expectations and interests, while companies have access to a host of exciting tools that allow them to track their campaigns and communicate more effectively with customers. To help you make the most of these opportunities – not to mention every future campaign you run – we’ve rounded up a selection of 2022’s most important and interesting direct marketing trends.

 

TREND #1: First-party data comes first

With POPIA now in full effect, first-party data has become essential. In fact, third-party cookies will soon be a thing of the digital past, with web browsers like Firefox and Safari already deactivating them, and Google Chrome preparing to follow suit in 2023.

 

“The war on data will escalate and marketers will lose access to more data they have come to rely on,” global marketing consultant Tim Parkin told Forbes. “First-party data will become the foundation of all marketing initiatives. Many organisations, who have not prepared, will scramble to collect this data to stay competitive.”

 

TREND #2: Short-form video content adds long-term value

TikTok. Instagram Reels. YouTube. According to a forecast by US technology company Cisco, 82% of online content will be video-based by this year. Why? Because modern consumers are more likely to engage with interactive, high-quality, short-form content that can capture and retain their attention.

 

Parkin predicts that video content will soon replace static assets, becoming a vital part of future direct marketing campaigns. Be it in an email newsletter or on a customised landing page, video content is the key to increasing brand engagement and exposure – and, ultimately, boosting your bottom line.

 

TREND #3: Email is on the rise (again)

While we’re on the subject of email newsletters, this humble, seemingly old-school channel is stepping back into the spotlight this year, thanks to ease of automation, personalisation and privacy. This ties in with the need to own your audience in 2022, as consumers contend with an increasingly overwhelming deluge of information on social media platforms. Engaging with your own audience – be it via email, SMS or even chatbots – increases your chances of reaching them and providing a targeted, personalised, relevant message.

 

TREND #4: Data is your new best friend

Personalisation can only happen if you know who you’re talking to – and brands are no longer willing to wait for after-the-fact data insights. Fortunately, marketing automation and AI technology allows for real-time reporting and campaign management, providing you with 24/7 feedback on every campaign you run – while it’s still running. From real-time reporting and multivariate testing to batch learning and continuous list cleansing, Leadify’s platform is fully equipped to provide you with the data you need.

 

TREND #5: Storytelling trumps self-promotion

Hard-sell is out, soft-sell is in. Consumers no longer want to hear how amazing your brand or product can be; they want to see it for themselves, in the form of real-life case studies and personal stories. If your product or service helped a client to double their revenue or save precious time, then these are the stories you should share with your customers. Why? Because consumers are increasingly interested in simple, authentic content that demonstrates a company’s benefits, rather than simply promoting them.

 

This is something to bear in mind when you compile your next direct marketing campaign. If it’s an email newsletter, be sure to include real-life examples and case studies, while an SMS can contain an embedded link to a content rich-landing page, which provides additional information and enhances the customer’s experience.

 

To summarise, this year is an open invitation to take your direct marketing campaigns – and your business – to new heights. Leadify is here to walk with you every step of the way, so give us a shout if you’d like to get started today. (It’s easier than you think.)

 

Here’s to an exciting and innovative 2022!