We were hoping 2022 would be a more predictable year for our customers than the last few, however, it has turned out to be as turbulent as ever. From the war in Ukraine, massive inflation, the cost of living crisis, the first winter World Cup and the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
2022 found our customers having to react to momentous events, both at home and abroad. As 2022 nears its end we asked our team to pull together the top trends they saw this year as well as tips on how to knock it out of the park in 2023.
Top 7 Trends in 2022
Omni-channel marketing is a phrase that has been around for years but embracing omni-channel in 2022 saw the best results for our customers. Being on one platform means you are a hostage to that platform and businesses that spread across all the key platforms help to lower costs and find new customers.
When marketers create a strategy that ties together campaigns from multiple media channels, it creates opportunities for more impactful messages that are mindful of the customer journey. Our active customers on Tik Tok dramatically increased this year which brings us to the next point…
2. TikTok is not a fad
TikTok is the fastest growing social channel, even recently surpassing YouTube in average watch time on Android devices. It has also become the first non-Facebook app on the app store to reach 3 billion downloads.
We saw some amazing results from the platform in 2022. For a recruitment firm we introduced TikTok to benefit from cheaper costs and the team built out both organic and paid account campaigns. Cost per impression was 50% cheaper than all other platforms.
The customer wanted to drive users to complete a quiz and we saw response volumes increase by nearly 200%. We have a creative team at Push and they regularly update our Blog with the latest tips and tricks.
3. eCommerce Turbulence
eCommerce spending has declined in growth since the beginning of 2022. The impact of inflation on consumer spending will last into next year. Budgets are tight and shoppers are mindful of their purchases. Green commerce is on the rise and consumers are willing to spend more to buy from sustainable brands.
Omni-channel marketing is again a must and creating various touch-points to allow your audience to interact with your business a customer may find you through your content, subscribe to emails and receive a personalised email that gets them to convert or find your business through SEO, start following you on social media and engaging with your organic posts before seeing a post of interest and converting.
4. Broad-match Wins The Battle
In 2022 Phrase Match is out and Broad-match is back in for Google. Customers could expand their reach while achieving efficiency targets with Broad Match + Conversion-based Smart Bidding. Broad-match keywords increase efficiency, save time, expand reach and increase relevancy.
We saw an average of 25%+ increase in incremental conversions and 15%+ of increased value. Smart bidding also only bids on relevant queries ensuring relevance with Broad Match Types and uses machine learning to optimise bids for conversions/conversion values in each auction.
5. Value-Based Reporting
The most important initiative for all lead generation focused accounts. Not just on Google but Meta too. Businesses need to optimise closer to their ‘true’ value and get higher ‘valuable’ customers. High lifetime value Customers = High “Value” customers = more revenue & better efficiency.
Most customers using Value Bidding primarily focus on transaction value, but LTV optimisation focuses on long-term customer value. We can progress towards Value Bidding with LTV by: 1) Sharing better data 2) Assigning value data 3) Optimising Bidding. This topic is too complex to cover in-depth here but Google has provided a handy tool to help.
6. Microsoft Audience Network Drove Real Results
Microsoft’s version of Google Display added some great extra features in 2022 and we saw many successful cases of customers scaling reach to a new and highly engaged audience. Microsoft is the only partner with access to search intent,
browser behaviour and LinkedIn profile data.
For retail customers that adopted remarketing to the audience network, we saw a 33% increase in return on ad spend. MSAN has a broad reach, over 700 million monthly users utilise Microsoft products and costs are much lower than on competing platforms. We won The Microsoft Partner of The Year Award this year and would be happy to help on all things Microsoft.
7. The Need for Speed
We have a saying at Push that fast beats big and our CEO Steve Hyde gave an Oxford Talk on the topic this year. Technology changes exponentially (fast), yet organisations change logarithmically (slow). Business owners must strategically choose which technological changes to embrace, given the highly constrained bandwidth for absorbing organisational changes.
Customers that were the first to implement new BETAs and new innovations in digital stayed ahead of their competitors. Fast is important because when a new marketing tool or channel becomes available, it’s initially inexpensive or low cost to use.
As success with the tool, a channel follows, more and more competitors jump on board. So costs go up as demand for the same space increases. You can watch Steve’s Oxford Talk in full below.
5 Big Bets for 2023
1. Creative is still king
With short-form video taking over and attention spans dropping, businesses have a big challenge. They must be able to communicate in short, quick soundbites to earn attention on mobile. We need to spend more time crafting shorter, simpler messages and take your marketing and brand priorities and turn them into short sentences or ideas.
Challenge yourself to copy popular short video formats and shorten your messages. In addition to TikTok’s rapid rise, YouTube Shorts now has 1.5 billion monthly active users and sees more than 30 billion daily views making it a big area of opportunity for advertisers.
Consumers also get bored quickly seeing the same creative so having many different versions and testing which creatives work is more important than ever. You’re not just making ads but creating new content that beats past performance. There is no single winning formula. You must test constantly, be unafraid to fail and let the data steer your strategy.
2. Measure What Matters & Respect Privacy
In July 2023 Universal Analytics will disappear and all businesses will have to switch over to GA4. This is the next generation of Analytics that collects event based data from both websites and apps, however, we have seen fairly slow adoption in 2022. GA4 Includes privacy controls such as cookie-less measurement, and behavioural and conversion modelling.
GA4 should also be teamed with Enhanced Conversions to improve the accuracy of your conversion measurement and unlock more powerful bidding. It supplements your existing conversion tags by sending hashed first-party conversion data from your website to Google in a privacy-safe way.
Offline Conversion Tracking has also been a major development over the last few years but needs to be integrated into more and more campaigns in 2023 to help connect digital marketing activities with conversions that happen in the real world.
We have many case studies of the different OCT has made to our customers, for example, a large care home customer of ours saw phone call quality improved to 95% good in the sales team and they could now confidently define phone calls driven by Google ads as a valuable conversion action. The customer also reported a 69% uplift in good quality leads and a 35% decrease in cost per lead.
With people managing more of their lives online, privacy has never been more important. This year Google asked 20,000 people about the consequences of good and bad privacy experiences. They found that privacy experiences impact user trust, but were surprised to learn just how damaging a bad privacy experience online can be.
Consumers view bad privacy experiences as almost as damaging as a theft of their data and It’s enough to make 43% of recipients say they would switch to another brand.
3. The resurgence of SEO
Google’s competitive landscape is a complex ecosystem. The more businesses that run online ad campaigns, the harder it is to stand out. You have to spend more advertising $’s in order to maintain parity. During the pandemic we saw more and more businesses adopting PPC.
According to Statista, the average cost-per-click worldwide was $0.52 at the beginning of 2021 compared to $0.62 at the beginning of 2022. This has helped drive a resurgence of SEO and the need to have a well thought through SEO strategy to complement paid search.
Updated and high-quality content is necessary for SEO, but it doesn’t stop there. Visual content is a must, and leveraging images, video, infographics, and other media will drive more traffic and make your site more user-friendly, increasing engagement and accessibility (See number 1). As in number 2, businesses can use Google Analytics for SEO insights, including mobile traffic monitoring to gather data on bounce rates, engagement, and more site search bar tracking to understand what users are looking for when they come to your site and if there is a content or service gap you could be filling.
4. First party data
We are sorry to still be talking about data and it really isn’t the most interesting topic at times but in a cookie-less future marketers will have to increasingly rely on first-party data. Having this information makes it easy for you to retarget and nurture audiences based on what you’ve learned about them. It also helps make informed decisions and changes to your processes or products based on what your customers say they do or do not like, not educated guesses.
Businesses need to ensure they have a plan to collect first party data through strategies such as – user registration when logging onto websites, event based tracking, surveys and polls, warranty or product registration, customer feedback and reviews. With the death of third-party data on the horizon, first-party data is the future.
This level of data collection gives you the insights needed to understand customers & prospects better. From our benchmarking, companies who properly nurture their leads see a 450% increase in qualified prospects. Those who take the time to nurture and grow those customer relationships, see 50% more sales at a 33% lower cost.
5. Don’t focus 100% of your time in the short term
For years, businesses have been trying to answer the question of how they can most effectively spend budget in a way that drives maximum audience attention and conversions. Part of the problem is that nothing in marketing is ever linear. Long-term successes drive sustainable growth, but you can’t wait for a year or more while those long-term efforts have time to come to fruition.
Digital campaigns can be launched in a day and get instant responses but they are not as sustainable as longer-term initiatives.
Customers should ensure they are also dedicating time to guarantee long-term success through:
We already covered SEO earlier and You’ll need at least six months to start seeing results, and the best-ranking websites in competitive industries have spent years perfecting the craft. Once you get it right, though, the marketing results tend to be immense: according to some experts, you can expect to see $1 or more in business revenue for every $1 spent.
- Content Marketing
Turn your website into a hub full of high-quality content, including relevant blog posts, articles, white papers, and other pieces that draw attention to your online presence and, ultimately, your organisation’s core offering.Blog posts can help your SEO through the optimisation of specific keywords. White papers can become lead-generating tools designed to draw your audience through sign up forms. Brand storytelling videos can be effective on social media as well as your website.
- Organic Social Media
Engaging, interactive and popular presence on the social media networks that your audience tends to spend time on. Regularly pushing out content that’s relevant and engaging for your audience, responding to comments and reviews to turn your presence into an engaging conversation and paying attention to relevant industry conversations and adding comments where appropriate to build your credibility and responsiveness.
Thanks very much for being a Push customer this year, we appreciate your support. Have a Great Christmas and we look forward to growing together for an even better 2023!