2022: The year of blended—and expanding—experiences

February 14th, 2022 | Rachel Arndt

Brands have long sought to expand their reach through experiences, embedding themselves into as much of consumers’ day-to-day lives as possible. In 2022, they’ll push those efforts forward by exerting their influence explicitly (“use our apps”) and implicitly (“take our advice”). This is both proactive, as they seek to drive growth, and reactive, as they respond to the uncertainties of the world and the momentum of newfangled digital tools. 

You’ll see the results borne out in Comperemedia’s 2022 Omnichannel Marketing Trends, which together explore how the year ahead will usher in an era in which brands are all about experiences—experiences that will come through in products, engagements, and platforms.

What are the 2022 omnichannel marketing trends?

Ecosystems Expanding: Consumers are seeking stability, but they’re also seeking novelty. Brands are responding to that duality by developing full-service ecosystems whose value proposition is, first and foremost, to serve all of a consumer’s needs in one place.

Brands as a Life Coach: Lifestage marketing is a thing of the past. What’s in now is for brands to help out when it comes to specific decisions, not just vaguely defined—and strictly timed—life stages.

Beyond the Screen as We Know It: We may all be tired of spending the day on Zoom, but tech companies, in particular, aren’t yet tired of hoping we’ll still spend the day in some kind of out-of-the-ordinary paradigm, whether it’s a novel offline experience or a novel take on virtual reality.

Do you know how your brand will stay ahead of the pack in 2022?

Each of these trends is an opportunity for brands to bring to market new offerings—and to talk about those offerings in new ways. Mintel can help guide you along the way, with research projects that expand your view into the competitive landscape, complete with the context of these ever-evolving trends. Consider, for instance, what kind of experiences you’re encouraging your customers—and would-be customers—to have now. How can you make these experiences more full-fledged while also keeping them focused enough to reflect your brand’s unique nuances?

For each of the 2022 trends, Mintel has a bevy of resources and approaches that can help you master marketing and product strategy. Uniting all these approaches are our data and, perhaps more importantly, our ability to tell the why behind the data and what it means for you.

Ecosystems Expanding

Take a look at what mentor brands in adjacent categories are doing to bring well-rounded ecosystems to market. Are they, like TripAdvisor and Lysol, partnering with others to gain expertise where they don’t have it? 

Source: Path/Comperemedia Omni

Or are they, like Klarna, going it alone and making the case for all-in-one solutions? 

In the upcoming year, sectors across the board should consider building out an offbeat presence on newer social channels, much as State Farm is doing with Jake from State Farm on TikTok. They should also consider taking their presence a step further by interacting with other brands through partnerships that tap into each brands’ expertise; think something like a beauty brand working with a tea brand on a complete at-home spa kit.

It’s not just about what tools and features their all-in-one solutions include; it’s also about how they’re talking about those tools and features. That’s the difference between having a solution and actually convincing consumers that that solution, and the associated ecosystem, is the one worth going all-in on.

Brands as a Life Coach

What do you know that other brands don’t? Why do consumers trust you over other brands? Maybe it’s in your creative approach. Maybe it’s because of where you’re running ads; paid search, for instance, is where financial services companies have been boosting spend for “how to” terms, while other brands are testing out bottom-funnel channels for educational marketing. 

Source: Comperemedia Omni

Or maybe it’s because you’re standing out in a certain channel that other brands have skipped over. 

Tap into these strengths to foreground the trust you already have with consumers—and then build on it, placing ads at the right points in the marketing funnel to speak to consumers where they’re already looking for support. Say you’re a dating app that shies away from direct mail in favor of the digital experience. The right piece of direct mail—novel in its format, crucial in its information—could be a way to stand out, get people paying attention, and stay memorable.

It could also be a way to bring the digital experience into real-life….

Beyond the Screen as We Know It

Going beyond the screen is about more than the products you offer. It’s one thing to talk big about the metaverse; it’s another to convince people it’s worth spending time in your specific version of it. You can do that by truly enacting your value proposition, showing consumers, through experimental and novel creative approaches, that you’re interested in new wants of experiencing the world, starting with awareness and driving all the way through conversion and purchase. Netflix, for one, is rounding out the experience of its on-screen content with off-screen book clubs, and Lemonade is promoting its tree-planting efforts to offset carbon footprints.

Source: Lemonade

Travel brands should think about this kind of alternative experience, especially given how much their products and services are already about experiences. As companies that thrive IRL, they could expand their reach by delving into the metaverse, giving people sneak peeks into upcoming trips or, conversely, nostalgic views of great trips that once happened.

To do something along these lines, you’ll have to understand where to most effectively put your ad dollars to send the message, both through the form and the content, that you understand the importance of the right action in the right place—especially when the right place is somewhere brands haven’t yet tried out.

What we think

Doing all this is no easy feat. But, with custom support from Comperemedia and Mintel Consulting—and armed with our data, expertise, and recommendations—you can be well on your way to not only owning 2022’s trends but also driving what’s to come in 2023 and beyond—whether it’s on a phone screen, in the metaverse, or IRL. Comperemedia clients should contact their Account Managers for more details; for everyone else, please get in touch.

Rachel Arndt

Rachel Arndt

Rachel Arndt is a Marketing Intelligence director. Drawing on marketing intelligence data, she delivers custom insights by uncovering how brands are marketing—and what they should be doing to move their strategies forward.