In a year that’s shaping up to be just as eventful as the last two (oh, calamity!), it’s no surprise that the digital marketing landscape is changing just as rapidly as ever.
With the tech giants constantly improving their offerings and switching up their strategies, there are many changes afoot in the world of digital. Today, Soup Agency is taking on a few of the trends that stand to have the greatest impact on their practice in years to come.
So, without further ado, here’s their take on three of the rising new digital trends that will be making waves in the industry this year.
The Cookie Is Dying
Last year, Google announced that they were planning to reduce the use of third-party cookies in 2022 (now 2023) in response to growing concerns about consumer privacy.
For almost the entire history of digital commerce and marketing, cookies have been used to collect information about website visitors and accurately target demographics within campaigns. They’ve been a revolutionary tool for marketers, but it’s high time that you prepare for their demise.
Although, if we’re being honest, the cookie has been dying for a while. The increase in cybercrime over the pandemic has led more ordinary people to be proactive about their data privacy, and the explosive popularity of commercial VPNs (networks that conceal the IP address of users) has made it increasingly difficult to gather high-quality data.
Of course, the solution for us marketers isn’t to simply demand that users be less savvy with their own privacy (come on, not all marketers are that callous). You need to figure out how you can connect with customers in new ways.
This is leading to a resurgence in the popularity of email marketing. After all, when someone gives you their email address — that’s about as fair and consensual as advertising gets.
Email marketing is a consistently lucrative field, as customers who provide their emails are generally receptive to being sold to. Emails are also more versatile than many may think, and you have the ability to use email lists on advertising platforms as a substitute for traditional cookies.
Native Shopping Experiences
So, what are native shopping experiences? The term ‘native shopping’ refers to shopping or e-commerce properties that are seamlessly integrated into the use of non-commerce sites like blogs, VR, or social media.
Essentially, the term ‘native’ is used to describe the fact that users don’t have to leave the site they’re visiting in order to make a purchase.
Harvard Business Review has found that ‘what consumers want from marketers is, simply, simplicity. Customers are less inclined to make a purchase when they are faced with obstacles or unable to get sufficient information. In other words, the harder your customer needs to work — the less likely they are to be a customer at all.
The expansion of native shopping seems to solve many of these issues by allowing users to have an in-app purchasing experience free from barriers, and this area is only expanding.
Instagram was a pioneer of this trend with its Instagram shopping feature, which allowed users to make immediate purchases based on promotional material. Last year, Tiktok also jumped head first into the native experience through its partnership with Shopify. Youtube has also announced that it plans to improve its shoppable tags, which allow users to identify and purchase the products they see within videos.
For marketers, this trend is likely to result in higher conversions and opens up new doors for affiliate campaigns and marketing by reducing the friction created by influencers and personalities simply directing users to where they can make purchases. There are already a number of innovative campaigns taking advantage of the native experience, and Soup Agency predicts that there’ll be more.
Streaming Service Advertising
As traditional film and television have moved to tablets, laptops, and smartphone screens, so have their advertising models. Whilst streaming services were initially proposed as an alternative to ad-saturated commercial networks, the success of models such as Youtube Premium and the world economy collectively tightening their belts have resulted in an increased curiosity about potential streaming service advertising.
Last month, streaming service Disney+ announced that they would be expanding their subscription offerings to include an ad-supported tier later this year, which would offer lower prices to users in exchange for including ads.
With a user base of over 130 million, many of whom spend extended periods of time using the streaming service, this is exciting news for marketers looking to tap into new audiences.
Whilst the change is limited to the US for the time being, Disney says that they are planning an international expansion of the service in 2023.
Despite Disney’s move, Netflix CFO Spencer Neumann stated that whilst Netflix couldn’t rule out a move towards traditional advertising in the future, it was “not something in our plans”.
As of yet, there is not much information available about how the Disney+ advertising system will operate, but Soup Agency I keen to explore the new opportunities it provides. In fact, at a time when many households seek to cut back on spending, the agency wouldn’t be surprised if more streaming services adopt the model in the coming years.
Digital marketing is and always will be an industry that’s hard to keep up with.
Ironic, since so many of us pride ourselves on ‘having our finger on the pulse’. The reality is, that our job is mediating between the interests of our clients and the infrastructure of tech giants — both of which are constantly in flux.
It’s exciting to see what’s next for the world of digital marketing: from innovations in Social Commerce to a masse return to the humble email, the industry has proven time and again that it can adapt to new challenges and thrive.