This post was originally published via Forbes Agency Council.
While 2022 planning is well underway for most brands and advertisers, it’s never too late to consider new or different ideas. In today’s landscape, it’s crucial to have extra strategies and tactics to pull from. This way, you’re prepared to pivot while gaining a competitive edge. After all, eMarketer projects that e-commerce sales will surpass $1 trillion next year. And by 2024, e-commerce sales will likely account for more than 20% of total retail sales. To ensure you’re covering all the bases, here are four considerations to keep in mind while planning for next year.
Since the beginning of this year, advertisers have fielded a whirlwind of information, deadlines, and uncertainty surrounding third-party cookies. While the assumed timeline of signal loss has been delayed, it remains inevitable. To succeed during the transition, although not as urgent as it once was, it’s important to understand the implications. Simply put, in a world without cookies, programmatic advertising efforts will be less effective. And the typical media buying process will become more disjointed.
One way to ensure you’re equipped to manage changes is to lean into your brand’s first-party data. And if your brand doesn’t have a significant amount of first-party data, use this time to build upon what you have. Aside from first-party data, advertisers can consider leveraging privacy-safe platforms like Google’s Privacy Sandbox in the future as a workaround.
Next, it’s important to recognize the evolution of e-commerce and the rise of social commerce. Over the last two years, brands have been forced to shift their focus and the way they reach and convert customers. These shifts are likely not temporary, and in 2022, media optimization will probably hold more weight than ever. As brands juggle a multi-channel presence, online and offline sales, and more, media needs to be tailored to a variety of user experiences.
Brands that can optimize media for every platform will have an undeniable edge on the competition. With this in mind, make it a priority to define customer segments. This way you can identify the segments that drive the best results and long-term value. Begin by using predictive customer lifetime value modeling. And identify those more inclined to make a purchase through purchase propensity modeling. Doing so will give you various lenses through which to view your customer base and determine where your media investment should be allocated. You can then classify your findings into segments, making it easier to create efficient media objectives.
While well-optimized media is essential, so is your campaigns’ creative. These elements of strategy go hand in hand as creative directly influences the success of your media. Therefore, creating high-quality ad creative is a critical component of your 2022 planning. To drive this home, there are roughly 230 million online shoppers in the U.S. This, in combination with countless advertisers competing for attention, means creative is a can’t-miss opportunity to stand out and drive conversions.
In addition, changes to advertising have affected how shoppers engage. Now, on most platforms, advertisers have mere seconds to get someone’s attention as they’re scrolling. This puts more pressure on advertisers to deliver impactful campaigns on every platform.
When planning for high-performing creative, keep in mind these key components:
• Is it driven by insights? Take a look at the data you’ve collected to learn what performed best. Lean into what’s successful, and build hypotheses around what could have performed better and why.
• Is it relevant to the moment? Culture is moving faster than ever, and consumer expectations are high. Messaging that taps into a consumer emotion will garner more attention in the crowded landscape.
• Does it adhere to best practices? Not only should your creative meet best practices for each channel but also for each unit, audience segment, and stage of the funnel.
• Are you set up to iterate and optimize? Iteration and exploration are key to maximizing the use of your media dollars. Set up a cadence to evaluate performance and rotate in new creative on an ongoing basis.
Finally, expand your footprint across the many platforms where shoppers can buy your products. And this goes beyond Amazon and Walmart.com. Most social platforms have evolved to include their own e-commerce shopping capabilities. So as we head into 2022, consider all the ways your brand can reach and sell to its customers. Diversifying your strategy will be key in the short and long term.
When doing so, remember to create a consistent experience across platforms. This makes it easier for your brand to resonate with shoppers and convert them into loyal customers regardless of the channel. With this in mind, the check-out experience you provide shoppers is critical. Using Amazon as an example, brands enrolled in Prime and Subscribe & Save may be able to increase sales since they offer a built-in and familiar experience.
Lastly, don’t forget human connection in your strategy on marketplaces. It’s wise to capitalize on the shoppers’ desires to connect with those that have shared values. Each marketplace will offer insight valuable to discovering common themes among your consumers. Use these learnings to better tailor your product pages and overall presence.
The last several years have been undeniably difficult to navigate. And through all the trials and triumphs, the brands and advertisers of the future have begun to make themselves known. Next year will likely be equally as pivotal, and those with proper support and expertise will inevitably become leaders in the digital space. With the above considerations in mind, you will be ahead of the game.
Please reach out if you could benefit from a strategic partner as you continue your 2022 planning.