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3 Data Trends Expected to Impact Marketers in 2022

Are you ready for the "The Future of Data and “Marchitectures”"

Data trends continue to shape marketing and advertising campaigns. In the age of digital everything, information overload, and mobile device dependency, data is power, and it’s shaping the way every industry conducts business. In marketing, it’s how we understand, reach and interact with customers and brands — and that’s shifting, too. 

There are an estimated 2.5 quintillion bytes of data created every day, and that number is only growing with the expansion of the Internet of Things. This data defines how marketers advertise, digitize, consolidate and measure success. We’ve highlighted three data trends to prepare for in 2022 and how these trends are impacting the future of marketing. 

Advertising and Privacy

Starting in 2022, Google will begin testing and deploying the early stages of its Privacy Sandbox initiative, which is slated for full implementation in 2023. The project is still in development but intends to remove commonly-used tracking mechanisms, such as third-party cookies, and block covert tracking techniques as we browse the web.  

Top MARTECH Blog: How Deep Learning Can Shape the Future of Digital Advertising

The initiative also plans to enable publishers to build sites that respect user privacy.

Website developers and businesses can still reach customers and generate revenue from their sites without relying on intrusive web tracking. While this creates many opportunities for companies to innovate, it’s also unclear how it’ll impact media mixing, marketing strategies, and attribution. 

Considering Google’s Chrome web browser will no longer support third-party cookies when it takes full effect in 2023, marketers will have limited targeting options for advertising campaigns. This may require a bit more creativity with first-party cookies.

Some of these impacts are already being seen in Google Ads switching eligible conversion actions from rules-based attribution models (like “last click” or “linear”) to data-driven attribution. This method gives credit for conversations based on how people engage with your ads and decide to be a customer. It looks at website and store visits and Google Analytics conversions from search (including shopping), YouTube, and display ads. 

This method can also use data to determine which keywords, ads, ad groups, and campaigns have the most impact on reaching your business goals. Data-driven attribution may help close the gaps made by third-party cookie losses and bring data to the forefront. 

Consent management is also changing.

A new data privacy act, the California Privacy Rights Act / CCPA, passed in 2020, is adding stricter regulations for businesses on the use of personal information. This particular act goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2023, but any data collected by companies from Jan. 1, 2022 will be subject to compliance. This will undoubtedly impact marketing businesses around the country, expanding what is meant by “personal information,” requiring companies to allow consumers the ability to opt-out of third-party sharing for advertising purposes and more. 

It’s time to prepare for holistic consumer data collection and consent management approaches rather than a point solution to fill the soon-to-be missing data gaps needed to meet business goals. 

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And finally, advertising relies on consumer targeting, a strategy that must also shift with these data-driven, privacy-oriented evolutions. We’re expecting a shift back to content-based personalization and direct partnerships while continuing with the successes of influencer marketing. Letting consumers know how you’re using their data and for what purpose can help build customer trust and further your personalization goals. 

The Future of Data and “Marchitectures”

With the inevitable death of third-party cookies, we mentioned first-party data, or information your company collects directly from your customers. This data will become increasingly crucial as privacy laws evolve, so consumer trust and proper consumer data collection will help set the stage for advertising techniques going forward. Plus, it’s critical to understand the customer before implementing new digital experiences. 

In fact, a Forrester report found that by “investing in digital experiences and customer insights, organizations can better meet customer expectations.” This will attract and retain customers and increase sales, as 80% of customer experience leaders think that data-driven customer experiences will yield business outcomes. 

Yet respondents pointed to not having the right tools when it comes to keeping up with customer needs during unprecedented challenges. While 82% of respondents say their organization is constantly trying to capture more types of customer data, many are still struggling with making sense of that digital customer data, and don’t have effective customer interaction analytics and channel orchestration capabilities. 

Moving forward, 49% of decision-makers plan to invest in technologies like real-time decision engines and 48% on advanced customer analytics solutions to understand their customer data. Ultimately, the report on data trends concluded that “investing in data and analytics to improve CX delivers business, customer, and brand benefits.”

In 2022, we also expect to see more “marchitecture” designs or marketing technology platforms and services that fit together to meet business goals with data. This method focuses on consolidating data by implementing an architecture of tools and platforms that work together. Data is passed back and forth between these applications to automate actions, and data is maintained, contextualized, and organized within one system stack. Considering digital means more than mobile and web, “marchitectures*” will help marketers meet consumer digital experience expectations where they are.

Outdated Key Performance Indicators Impact Data Trends

Current KPIs are outdated and don’t take into account the current digital world. Forrester predicts that in 2022, 70% of B2B marketers will adopt an “always-on” digital engagement strategy, but 75% of those efforts to create “automated, personalized engagement won’t meet ROI goals due to inadequate buyer insight.”

The pandemic has also changed consumer habits — customers are increasingly online, and marketers must develop new KPIs to assess the effectiveness of marketing campaigns based on increased digitization. According to Amazon, KPIs change over time. Current effective KPIs include lead generation, ROI, and impression shares.

Still, with the shift in consumer habits and data collection, we expect KPIs to evolve quickly in the next couple of years. The end to third-party cookies will also impact current KPIs, making historical campaign data obsolete as the identity landscape changes and consumer profiles are built with new data types. Marketers will need to test new campaigns in a third-party cookieless environment and set new expectations as these shifts will ultimately force a change in thought, technology, and measurement going forward. 

*marchitectures: Marketing Ops + IT Architectures

[To share your insights with us on data trends for 2022, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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