In marketing, being customer-oriented is vital for any winning strategy. Understanding who your customers are, what they’re interested in and why they engage with your business will help you form the right strategy and tactics to attract them to your new offering. Like everything, consumer trends change rapidly depending on the group of people you are talking to and over time, so it’s essential to keep up to date. That’s why we’ve compiled some of the most relevant trends for 2022 from GWI to help you with your marketing strategies.
Global Web Index is the leading audience profiling company for global marketing and is home to the world’s most extensive consumer study. The 2022 study, Connecting the Dots, reveals the biggest consumer attitudes and behaviour trends marketers need to know.
1. The pursuit of purpose
Everyone has a finite amount of time in their lives, and we spend most of it working. The time between becoming an adult and retiring is short (16,790 days, to be precise) even if it doesn’t seem like it, and the pandemic showed us that life and time is the most precious thing. This has fuelled a consumer trend toward individuals re-evaluating every aspect of their lives to maximise enjoyment and happiness. We had time to reflect and reassess what matters most in our lives and how we spend our time with a big emphasis on purpose. Consumers are feeling brave & adventurous, particularly given they feel more secure or optimistic with their finances and are treating themselves to new possessions and experiences as a result. Who remembers the old saying YOLO? It’s truly making a comeback.
Action: Brands should be looking to match their tone of voice with the consumer’s desires and YOLO mentality to engage and retain attention spans.
2. More than skin deep - personal care
Consumers spent time in lockdown experimenting with their appearance, which has changed attitudes towards the beauty industry, impacting cosmetics, retailers and social media campaigns in 2022. Trends saw consumers purchasing patterns alter. Before the pandemic, consumers bought skincare products less regularly than makeup, but consumers now consider both as of equal importance with a trend towards products that maintain versus enhance appearance. What’s interesting is we are seeing new consumers emerge. For example, the fastest growing interest in skincare is among male consumers, particularly in APAC and Europe and North America. As a result, there is an opportunity for brands to expand their offerings in this area. However, there are ongoing concerns around misrepresentation in the industry, and brands need to be more diverse and work harder to reflect customer needs.
Action: Campaigns should be targeted but sensitive to the fast-evolving modern beauty buyer and inclusive of celebrating individuality.
3. Media preferences are changing.
Time is precious, and attention spans are declining fast. So, it’s the job of media brands to occupy consumers’ attention, and the time available is highly competitive. Looking at time spent is a valuable metric for marketers, but we need to bring in data on what customers think and how they feel to understand the media’s true impact. News consumption, for example, is always essential when significant world events happen to stay tuned to the latest updates; however can quickly cause fatigue with the many negative news stories – it can all feel a bit doom and gloom. On the other hand, TV streaming boomed over lockdown and provided customers with entertainment. Gaming is fast becoming Gen Z’s favourite pastime and is quickly catching up with music & movies. Finally, audio of all kinds has thrived with increased interest in podcasting. Music streaming is the only medium to outperform itself since the pandemic – possibly due to consumers getting screen fatigue and opting for audio mediums to give their eyes a rest.
Action: Focus on distinctive media assets that keep the user experience unique and fresh, add meaning to someone’s life by helping them discover new things they love or creating communities and focus on escapism.
4. Sharing the good, the bad and the ugly on social media
Consumers are sick of seeing constant manufactured images online. There is a clear trend toward closing the chapter on perfection in social media, with more and more individuals showcasing reality vs perfection. Gen z’s interest in influencers and celebrity news has fallen since last year, and if this trend continues, this could have a decreasing impact on consumers moving forward. Brands must consider this and meet their followers where they are so that they don’t miss out or, worse, look like yesterday’s news. Unedited images are the new fashion and can give brands an edge and get ahead of potential new regulations.
Action: Add a touch of imperfection to your pictures on social media to reflect the reality of post-lockdown life. Messy & casual images and memes work well and provide the light-hearted content consumers want. But, most importantly, be sure to change with the times and stay relevant.
5. Wellbeing at its best
Over the last couple of years, individuals have focused more on improving their minds and bodies. Two-thirds of people are more conscious about looking after their physical and mental health, with people who work from home saying they have seen an improvement. For many of us, our view of health is moving from reactive to preventative, including small daily acts such as taking breaks from work, spending less time on social media and watching less news. This comes down to identifying stress triggers and taking steps to avoid them. There has also been an increase in funding for digital health with the sector growing, showing the impact of this trend – and it’s not just by young consumers – it’s consumers of all ages.
Action: employers need to recognise mental health as a growing issue that they need to support employees with and for individuals to prioritise self-care and take action to stay at their best.