Trends that will define digital in 2022

Digital continues to be deeply implanted in the communications strategy of brands in the New Year

e4m by Archana Khatri Das
Published: Jan 6, 2022 8:52 AM  | 7 min read

With more and more brands targeting the millennial and Gen Z, digital continues to be deeply implanted in the communications strategy of brands. With hyper-personalization emerging as the order of the day, we are going to see the digital advertising budgets get bigger in the New Year.

Vasuta Agarwal, Managing Director, Asia Pacific, InMobi

“As the digitalization wave in India continues to engulf millions of new users, all eyes will be on understanding, identifying, engaging, and acquiring the mobile-first non-urban consumers, and this will give rise to a new set of mobile-led innovations such as creator-led live commerce to cater to this TG. On the other hand, mobile gaming and video will become the most mainstream levers for brands to reach connected consumers, especially women. Ultimately, personalization at scale will become the biggest focus for all brands as they look to invest heavily in first-party data and data management platforms while ensuring complete privacy compliance.”

Preetha Athrey, Head of Marketing, Twitter India

“We’ve seen more and more artists, experts and everyday creators leverage the social space to channel their creative instincts — so creator content, especially in the social audio space, is an exciting area to look forward to. We continue to see an increase in regional conversations. People are engaging more with culturally relevant content in their preferred language, and this trend is only going to continue to track upwards in 2022.”

Suveer Bajaj- Co-Founder, FoxyMoron

“The year will be led by technology innovation that prepares our industry for the COOKIELESS, 5G, and the META world. The rapid adoption of the Internet by the Naya Bharat will see millions of first-time mobile users flood the internet and create waves of new trends for content consumption, buying behavior, and casual & social browsing. Brand/content markets need to equip themselves for the Naya Bharat via new solutions that are local and regional in nature. The creator verse, all ready to explode, will finally see some movement with creators now having the ability to monetize their content with platforms and users (and not only brands). This will finally validate “good content” and throw open a gamut of opportunities for cross-media integration.”

Niraj Ruparel, Head of Mobile and Emerging Tech, GroupM India

“Metaverse and virtual avatars are finally not a gimmick. Thanks to the push over the past several years and machine learning and computer vision research reaching its milestones, it’s safe to say that beyond 2021, virtual avatars will make more sense than before, AI-powered digital humans are the two biggest emerging technologies that are in the nascent stages now but would play a major role in the future, taking consumers’ experience to an entirely new level — a lot more than what gaming does these days. The metaverse is poised to change the way people interact in their day-to-day lives, including how we work, shop, and have social interactions. Non-fungible token (NFT) can be anything digital (such as drawings, music, your brain downloaded and turned into an AI) that gives ownership and identity to the artist.”

Nikhil Gandhi, COO - MX Media

“We’ve already seen a rapid increase in the adoption of short videos by consumers and this will continue to exponentially grow in the New Year as well. Nano/ micro-influencers are likely becoming the new mainstream in 2022. The industry will further witness the advent of progressive, coming-of-age content in 2022. This will eventually provide a major boost to both long-form content makers in the OTT ecosystem as well as the Indian short video industry, with more players making a debut in this space and the existing ones will grow to become big players.”

Kosal Malladi, Vice-President, Madison World

“Video Commerce is still at a very nascent stage. It is predicted to grow by over 150% in the next 4 years. The foundation for this has already been laid with platforms like Trell, Roposo, Sharechat betting heavily on this space. Influencer marketing, smart posts on social, videos that go viral —these were the things that were glamorous not too long ago. Layering technology on media will be the next big thing. The recent Diwali campaign done by Mondelez where Shah Rukh Khan advertised for individual local stores is just a small indication of things to come.”

Gourav Rakshit, Chief Operating Officer, Viacom18 Digital Ventures

“The over-the-top (OTT) industry witnessed a watershed year in 2020 and continued its way toward growth in 2021. The sector enjoyed massive adoption across audience segments and content genres. Having stabilized its position as the go-to entertainment destination, we will witness an increase in investments towards digital-specific IPs. Advertising and subscription-driven video-on-demand platforms will continue to grow on the back of original and regional content. Users are not just consuming content passively but are engaging in it, thus making way for interactive storytelling. Further, innovation in streaming will prove to be a key driver and gain momentum in 2022.”

Dimpy Yadav, General Manager Xaxis India

“Virtual reality in marketing strategy — VR is all about “immersion” — the upcoming buzzword for marketers all over the globe. Since so many companies are building new products around virtual reality, its popularity has skyrocketed and it is predicted to have explosive growth in 2022. VR brings immersion that allows an emotional intensity far greater than traditional media. Computer emulated reality experience is closely related to the idea of telepresence, which ‘makes people feel as if they are actually present in a different place or time’.”

Vartika Verma, Global VP, Marketing,

“As enterprises seek to achieve scale, the Conversational AI platform market will be at a pivot point. Furthermore, with customers and employees frequenting four screens at a time, ‘hyper automation’ in enterprises’ engagement strategy will soon become a reality. While omnichannel CX automation will drive innovation in the contact-center-as-a-service market we also expect to witness the emergence of Total Experience Automation (TX). A combination of CX and Employee Experience (EX) strategies, TX strategies simultaneously address their respective journeys, especially the parts that intersect, creating a superior shared experience for everyone.” 

Ankit Prasad, CEO & Founder, Bobble AI

Conversational AI technology, including chatbots, language technology, and vernacular content technology, is gaining steam to provide a more personalized experience and strengthen brand-customer relationships. Catalyzed by the pandemic, these trends will continue to thrive in 2022.”

Ambika Sharma, Founder & MD, Pulp Strategy Communications

“Email marketing will lead personalization as the new frontier in customer interaction, driving more sales and creating a better user experience.”

Sumit Gupta, Founder, Viral Pitch

“Influencer marketing will grow in the B2B space. People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories, and magic. Stars seem to be already quite aligned in the favour of LinkedIn Influencers, making them witness a tremendous rise in the B2B segment. Micro-influencers will seize more opportunities with bigger brands.”

Raghav Bagai, Co-founder, Sociowash

“Building on the same narrative that digital platforms and humans are inseparable, one thing that is definitely going to be everywhere and valid for all brands is conversational marketing. Brands have identified the need to be more human and now because of AI getting even better, brands are able to collect & analyze data for the same and improve their performance. From understanding our preferences to communicating in a humane way, brands want to be more than just commodities and service providers, they want to be people who want to solve our problems and conversational marketing will be leveraged to do the same successfully.”

Rikki Agarwal, Co-founder & Chief Operating Officer, Blink Digital

“Virtual influencers constitute another trend that is gaining popularity as distinctive advertising globally. Recently launched campaigns by KFC and Nike where they created a 3d avatar acting as a real-life influencer is already grabbing a lot of eyeballs and will be adopted by many other brands in the coming year. With Meta investing in VR this year, this is one more trend that’s picking up & will largely take off in 2022. As we move toward 2022, more trends will emerge and the ongoing trends will see growth.”

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