Q1: What technological developments can we expect in 2022?
A: To understand what to expect in the future, we first need to take our bearings in the present. What are the significant challenges we are facing right here, right now? Firstly: data – first party, second party, third party, you name it – and secondly: privacy. So, in terms of technological development, we should expect revolutionary tools that provide solutions to these challenges, from transforming the data into valuable insights, to managing large swathes of information effectively, and in a way that is privacy- and consumer-centric. In my opinion, Customer Data Platforms (CPD) are going to be front and centre, as they fulfil all of these requirements and more. CPDs organise data in a way that is transparent and enables cross-department communication, while simultaneously preventing data silos or infringing on privacy. Furthermore, they provide comprehensive consumer profiles, and allow for real-time campaign optimisation.
Q2: How will CDPs shape user experience in the next year?
A: As third-party cookies will be phased out; brands will be looking for alternative methods to truly personalise the consumer experience. CPDs are unique in this respect due to the granular insights they deliver. The 360° customer profiles, based on behaviour and acquisition, alongside additional features that enable analysis, segmentation, personalisation, and identity resolution, will help businesses provide the best service possible. Furthermore, CPDs support omnichannel campaigns, streamlining brand communication, which will benefit the customer when it comes to having a seamless brand experience. From the consumer privacy perspective, CPDs work with industry-approved identifier systems that are completely in line with current GDPR and privacy-related attitudes and regulations. So, where these systems help companies manage and optimise their data, they automatically improve the user experience.
Q3: Should brands be looking to rebalance their marketing strategies?
A: The short answer is yes. The slightly longer answer is yes, and here’s how: the marketing landscape, where transformation towards digital was already well underway, has been catapulted into the world of e-commerce, online, and delivery services. Meanwhile, tech giants such as Facebook and TikTok are growing their range of services to include shopping, while other spheres of activity such as retail and travel have taken a blow. In theory, this means: more ways to interact with consumers, more ways to collect data, and more insights from more sources. That’s a lot for businesses to contend with. So in practice, we can expect brands to change their focus towards ways in which they tap into this proliferating stream of data points, CTV and audio are two further examples here and tools that unify information from multiple sources. When it comes to the consumer, privacy and data quality will also be a priority, and when it comes to marketing strategies, advertisers will have to concentrate their energies on refining their personalisation, measurement, targeting, and attribution abilities.
Q4: Any final expert advice on what brands and marketers can expect to see next year?
A: There are some key areas each brand, and every marketer, should be aware of, not only this year, but every year. I’m talking about the features and topics that, when considered properly, make companies successful: communication, consent, identity, collaboration, and interoperability. These are all interlinked. In an era where consent and privacy will only increase in importance, brands can expect clear communication to be not only a desirable, but a necessary, quality for audiences. When it comes to tools and cooperation, brands need to think laterally and creatively: what will produce the best solution, or the best outcome? How can I ensure data management and privacy at the same time? Who can I work with to ensure I am not overly dependent on big tech companies? How do I communicate these changes to my clients effectively? Finally, instead of watching these areas and waiting for changes to occur, brands and publishers should be proactive and try to set the scene.