But, thanks to a glut of recent developments with big impacts on the marketing world, 2022 could see even bigger shake-ups than what we’ve witnessed of late. These impactful developments include the lingering effects of the global coronavirus pandemic, Google’s upcoming phase-out of the third-party cookie, which marketers use to better understand their target consumers and what drives them, and Apple’s recent privacy changes.
And while all of these may make predictions for the upcoming year more challenging than usual, here at TBA Outdoors, we’re ready to dust off our crystal ball again and attempt to look into the future of marketing trends. So, without further ado, here is our educated forecast for five leading marketing trends that outdoor brands can leverage to make their marketing efforts more effective in 2022:
1. Increased investment in online events
Over the course of the pandemic, all brands were forced to rethink their live events — giving virtual events such as webinars, online product launches and virtual conferences a big gain in momentum. In the outdoor industry, the trend was prominently seen with some of our segment’s best-known gatherings — including iconic outdoor-industry tradeshows such as ICAST, which took their events online to allow interested parties to attend, gain industry insights and even network from anywhere in the world via an internet or cellular connection. And offering a prime example of how outdoor brands can harness this trend, TBAO client FIREDISC Cookers has staged a series of its Fired Up Live events, in which country music star Claudia Hoyser hosts guests to converse and share live musical performances with followers of the brand.
While (thankfully) we’re all starting to get together in person again, we predict the online event trend will continue, especially with brand-focused marketing opportunities such as webinars and online product launches. These offer huge potential for a wealth of consumer exposure — all while requiring a fraction of the time and money investments that accompany most in-person gatherings. And smart outdoor brands will embrace this trend to make it easy and inexpensive for consumers to attend their events — in addition to providing the potential for re-using any recorded content that’s of especially high value to viewers/consumers.
2. A heightened hybrid importance
While we’re as excited as anyone to get to see out outdoor-industry colleagues in person again, we also recognize the immense opportunity involved in offering and supporting virtual options for attendance of industry gatherings such as tradeshows and conferences, along with brand-focused gatherings such as store openings and sponsored events. That’s why we think that when such events — along with a range of other brand-organized, marketing-friendly gatherings — are held in-person, they’ll also incorporate chances for interested parties to participate virtually. For outdoor brands, the trend of incorporating interactive virtual elements offers a powerful opportunity to up the attendance figures and exposure anytime an in-person event is staged. Whether it’s broadcasting brand-fueled events live on social media, adding interactive elements such as online Q&A sessions to in-person gatherings or recording educational sessions for later use on a brand website, heightening consumers’ opportunities for hybrid involvement is clearly a winning proposition for outdoor brands. Further, both hybrid and completely virtual events offer excellent opportunities for brands to harness leads and build their target-consumer databases.
3. A renewed focus on brands’ audience ownership
4. A prioritization of personalization
Of course, with all the advertising avenues available today, modern consumers are regularly bombarded with marketing messaging on an array of platforms. And personalization offers a powerful way for outdoor brands to cut through the clutter and get consumers’ attention. Further, the statistics exhibit the power of personalization. Among them:
- over 70% of consumers are frustrated by impersonal shopping experiences
- over 90% of consumers are more likely to patronize brands that provide relevant-to-them offers and guidance
- 80% or consumers say they’re more likely to buy from a brand that offers personalized experiences
- over 70% of consumers say they engage solely with brand messaging that is personalized
Clearly, personalization is a winning tactic for marketers, and we see the trend growing as the business world moves forward. To boost the effectiveness of your outdoor brand’s marketing efforts, start taking steps to learn more about your consumers and to personalize their experiences with your brand. Some of the most effective personalization tactics your brand can harness include developing consumer profiles, using these consumer profiles and customers’ purchase and browsing histories to recommend relevant products to them, sending personalized emails to prospective and repeat customers, creating personalized offers and packages for valued customers, serving customers with content relevant to the purchases they’ve made with your brand, and creating targeted landing pages with customized messaging that varies based on the audience being served.
5. A search for alternatives to third-party cookies
As evidenced by the Google and Apple changes mentioned above, consumers are pressing for increased privacy protections — and moving forward, marketers will need to adapt to the changes. One obvious alternative to leveraging the third-party cookie is for your outdoor brand to collect its own first-party data to build a robust consumer database that can help drive your marketing efforts. Tactics such as employing CRM tools, surveys, email marketing opt-ins, and contests and giveaways are among the top ways to build your company’s collection of useful first-party data. Other options include utilizing tools like Google’s Privacy Sandbox and FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts) to drive your outdoor brand’s targeted marketing efforts.
Could working with a team of experienced marketing professionals help your outdoor brand more effectively leverage the latest marketing trends? At TBA Outdoors, we’ve helped a long list of outdoor brands grow their businesses by using powerful marketing tactics both new and old — and we’re eager to help yours do the same. Our fully integrated marketing firm boasts a team of seasoned specialists (and outdoors fanatics) who can cover all aspects of marketing — including SEO, brand strategy, creative, social media, e-commerce, analytics, public relations and much more — all in one place. And as certified brand strategists, we can also help you with the big-picture adjustments sometimes needed put your outdoor brand on a course to long-term success.
To get started with professional guidance ranging from a simple website analysis to a comprehensive strategy tailored to boost your outdoor brand’s overall performance and identity, contact us today.