Why 2022 Will Be The Age Of Experimentation For Marketers

By: Michael Della Penna, Chief Strategy Officer of InMarket

There’s one thing keeping marketers awake at night. And no, it’s not Elon’s bid to buy Twitter – or his marionette act with its board and leadership; it’s not even record inflation. Rather, it’s the ripple effect to come from the demise of third-party cookies.

In a recent survey of 70+ agency buyers and marketers, 65% of marketers said the depreciation of cookies will have the largest impact on the industry over the next year, while less than half of them feel “very prepared” for the shift. As a result, we’re on pace to see the second half of 2022 become a period of unprecedented experimentation for marketers.

Why?

The next year could be the last time marketers have their proven playbook of established revenue drivers in place. We’ll see more marketers taking a portfolio approach to their strategies, and record reinvestment to diversify tactics at the top and bottom of the funnel.

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Setting the stage for experimentation: 

Third-party cookies added layers upon layers of depth and optionality to targeting and re-targeting consumers across the digital ecosystem. In their absence, marketers will invest more in new tactics to build relationships with their customers, learn their post-pandemic behaviors, and reach them with value-driven messaging on their terms.

New platform and trendy players are piquing marketers’ curiosity and inciting FOMO. Now more than ever before, status as a household name is merely 60-seconds away – if brands move fast enough.

Whether a top-of-the-funnel engagement tactic, or a bottom-of-the-funnel revenue driver, themes of flexibility, value, and speed including the ability to react in real time will become increasingly critical to success.

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Where they’re experimenting: 

Top of the Funnel

In an InMarket survey of 70+ agency buyers and marketers, 14% indicated they plan to spend more on social media in the coming months, across both new and existing platforms. With the rise of TikTok and Instagram Reels, marketers have the opportunity to go beyond ads to create high-impact moments and experiences with consumers and build for the future. Early brand adopters, like Dunkin’, are seeing tremendous results from their ability to partner with creators and drive incremental sales to their stores.

Similarly, we’re seeing the scale and customization on Connected TV (CTV) and Over-the-top (OTT) cast interest – where 12% of marketers are planning to increase spend. Connected TV advertising is expected to grow 32% this year and become a $27B market by 2025. For marketers, their coordinated targeting capabilities across omnichannel touchpoints offer the opportunity to not only optimize results in real-time across channels, but explore channel-level impact across multiple points.

Expect to see more experimentation and budget allocation to these top of the funnel marketing tactics as brand look to grow awareness and consideration in an increasingly Identity-less world.

Bottom of the Funnel

Paired with the new engagement tactics that build in-depth customer profiles, nearly a third (29%) of agencies and brands plan to push spending into mobile contextual advertising and e-commerce, to drive incremental sales at the bottom of the funnel with first-party data.

Whether in-store, at-home, or some combination, geo-contextual solutions enable brands to reach customers when their intent is at its peak – while they are in the purchase process. These contextual moments lean on value-driven messaging – product information, features, use cases – to make it a popular bottom-of-the-funnel tactic to drive results. This experience-led feature allows advertisers to maximize creativity in a medium that has no reliance on IDs and include their own data collection capabilities.

2022 represents the year to plan, prioritize and profit from the key top and bottom of the funnel strategies and tactics that will drive ROAS for your organization. By approaching these efforts holistically and with an eye towards creating great and engaging experiences marketers can enter the post-cookie world confident in proven tools to reach customers and drive revenue.

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