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Digital Marketing

15 Marketing Trends to Try in 2022, According to 70 Marketers

July 5, 2022
January 25, 2022
Kelsey Donk

Our network's marketing trend forecast: more TikTok influencer campaigns, more SEO for voice search and more pets in ad creative — among other things. Is you strategy ready for the new year?

Table of Contents

It’s 2022 and anything could happen. For many marketers, that’s the problem. 

This year is shrouded in business uncertainty, and only some of that is tied up in worries about the pandemic and inflation (which could impact shoppers’ purchasing power). 

On the marketing side of things, there’s also continued ripple effects from Apple’s privacy updates, which have upended the playbook for both email marketing and paid social media advertising — and Google’s maybe-upcoming sunset of third-party cookies .

With all that uncertainty, where should marketers actually focus their energy in 2022? 

MarketerHire ran a survey to find out what trends marketers see taking off this year.

Some of their responses surprised us — like Jayhawk Media owner John Egan’s prediction that pets and animals will play a key role in marketing creative this year. Egan had two reasons to back this prediction up:

  1. So many people adopted pets during the pandemic. 
  2. Actress and animal rights advocate Betty White died just before 2022 began. 

We weren’t so sure —  but then Uber’s CEO was forced to apologize to dog owners because of an ad campaign that included too many doorbells and worked dogs into a frenzy.  

Better yet, Uber’s official apology tweetmentioned Betty White. 

John Egan: become a fortune teller!

His was just one of the predictions that poured in from our trends survey — all told, we got responses from 70 marketers.

We collected 15 of the most popular, data-backed trends below; they range from metaverse marketing to social commerce to “anti-design.” Let’s dive in!

Marketers will flee Facebook

We asked people who they thought marketing's biggest loser would be this year — person, org, or concept! — and most of them picked Facebook. 

Why? A couple of reasons: 

  • The platform is mostly for Millennials — not Gen Z. No offense to Millennials and Gen X, but “while still important, they are not the new influencing cohort that Gen Z and Millenials are,” fractional CMO Andrea Featherston said. 
  • Organic engagement on Facebook is rare. “Facebook is one of the hardest channels to grow a community organically,” Codi Johnson, social media strategist at Mini Media Marketing said. “I don't see a lot of companies wanting to spend a lot of time there.”
  • Ads are getting more expensive and less lucrative. “I've read reports of ROI falling by half for certain e-comm retailers,” growth marketer Alex Croucher said. “Some have even suggested moving their Facebook Ads budget to other channels.”

Moving Facebook ad spend to other channels? We’ve heard that one before. In late 2021, MarketerHire asked 25+ marketers about how they were handling Facebook Ads in a post-iOS14.5 world. 

Over a quarter of the marketers we surveyed said they’d cut their Facebook Ad spend. 

Source: MarketerHire

They moved that ad spend to a variety of different channels. Google search and display ads took up most of the budget formerly occupied by Facebook, followed by LinkedIn and TikTok. 

Source: MarketerHire

Some marketers also mentioned they were investing in audio ads, Bing, Taboola, Snapchat, Pinterest, email marketing, and SMS marketing. 

And maybe it’s a coincidence, but when we asked marketers to name the people, brands, or channels they thought would “win” marketing in 2022, their responses echoed the companies marketers said were scooping up their old Facebook Ads spend. 

When Facebook loses, LinkedIn and TikTok win, it seems. 

TikTok, Apple, LinkedIn and … Elon Musk will “win” marketing

When we asked marketers to name the people, brands, or channels they thought would win marketing in 2022, they mentioned  automakers, virtual reality, Twix-flavored coffee and “big brother.”

But four proper nouns came up more than the rest: 

  1. TikTok
  2. LinkedIn
  3. Apple
  4. Elon Musk

Maybe it’s a coincidence, but apart from Elon Musk, those companies are the same ones marketers said were scooping up their old Facebook Ads spend. When Facebook loses, LinkedIn and TikTok win, it seems. 

Here’s why our survey respondents think those four entities will win big in 2022. 

TikTok has varied potential. 

TikTok was the projected 2022 winner by a long shot. Influencer marketing on TikTok is growing increasingly popular — nearly catching up with Facebook and Instagram, and surpassing YouTube. 

Source: eMarketer

But marketers have also found other uses for TikTok, like email marketing. 

In the replies to the above tweet, e-commerce agency founder Olly Hudson shared that quiz funnels and giveaways have helped him capture email addresses on TikTok. 

Cody Plofker, director of e-commerce at Jones Road Beauty, said quiz links on TikTok were helping his brand get email addresses for less than $10. 

Apple is ready for (and creating!) privacy-first advertising. 

Apple’s recent iOS updates have made the privacy-first web a reality — and hit marketers and paid social platforms hard. 

Apple’s iOS14.5 made it possible for users to opt-out of behavioral tracking, and its September 2021 iOS15 update obscured Apple Mail users’ behavior

By late January 2022, over 70% of iPhone and iPad users had updated to iOS15. 

“With recent updates giving users the ability to control how their data is shared, Apple is well positioned to adapt to the move to decentralization and putting more control in the hands of the consumer,” growth marketer Nate Murray said. 

“With recent updates giving users the ability to control how their data is shared, Apple is well positioned to adapt to the move to decentralization and putting more control in the hands of the consumer.”

Apple’s ad revenues, in particular, are poised for long-term growth — though Apple suffered some app store ad spend losses last summer.

“My hunch is, we'll see an Apple ad network — I think that that's the long play here,” engineer and developer Thomas Larkin told MarketerHire last year of Apple’s iOS 14.5 update.

LinkedIn is the future of work.

LinkedIn’s latest ad campaign about inclusivity, positioned the company as an empowering platform, Breakthrough Content & Marketing president Amanda Bhardwaj said.

Its branding’s alignment with job market realities — like The Great Resignation and the rise of freelance work — could help LinkedIn win big in 2022. 

LinkedIn will be top of mind for people who are looking for new roles, DWR Social owner and social media marketer Doug Ray said — thanks to its inclusive positioning and its measurable power to bring in leads for users...

... and brands.

That means a relevant brand and a growing user base for the platform. 

Now can LinkedIn monetize that with paid ads that actually work? Let’s not overpromise. 

But it’s looking like a good year for LinkedIn’s brand, relevance and user base. 

Elon Musk doesn’t need ads. 

Tesla founder Elon Musk is an inspiration to some marketers because he doesn’t need “to invest heavily into traditional channels,” senior paid media analyst Brian Murray said. 

Tesla is known for spending $0 per year on advertising, but Musk tweets about the brand all the time. 

This one-line tweet got nearly 330,000 likes and around 39,000 replies. 

Whether he’s retweeting Tesla’s brand account or spitballing about crypto, Musk “does not give a damn about what everyone else is doing and does it his way,” Featherston said. “He is also not afraid of failing spectacularly.”

Web3 will be even more of a marketing buzzword

If you aren’t hearing about Web3, are you even on #MarketingTwitter? 

“Everyone in marketing is talking about Web 3.0 and how marketing will be transformed,” Databox growth marketer Borja Prieto said. 

“Everyone in marketing is talking about Web 3.0 and how marketing will be transformed.”

Web3’s biggest proponents imagine that it will also transform the internet into a decentralized digital space on the blockchain, where apps are owned by users instead of adtech’s current, centralized duopoly, Google and Meta.

Most of the marketers we heard from seemed excited about the dawn of Web3. It’s “a new era,” growth marketer Michelle Zelena said. “If you don’t know what it is, you should learn ASAP.” 

But others weren’t quite so sure. “If it actually finds its legs, Web3 might just screw everything up for everyone in marketing for a long time,” Sales Enable CEO Daniel Redman said. 

It would certainly disrupt digital advertising as we know it. New channels and best practices would have to emerge. That could look like: 

  • More “tokenized” attention programs: “Crypto is aspirational,” Permission.io CEO Charlie Silvers told MarketerHire  — sopaying people in crypto for their attention has a memorable “wow” factor. 
  • More NFTs created by brands: “Somebody will make a B2B NFT work,” said Friday.app’s head of marketing, Josh Spilker. 
  • More competition in paid media: “Whenever a new market like [web3] opens up, supply and demand is at play,” marketing consultant Tyler Champley said. 

Key marketing channels will expand into the metaverse

In-person events are so 2019. Tech show CES learned that the hard way, when big exhibitors like Amazon, Meta and Google backed out of the in-person event, which was supposed to make its post-pandemic triumphant return in early January 2022 — during the omicron surge. 

The show went on, but it was more “mellow” than expected, AdAge reported

Forward-thinking brands in 2022 will ditch in-person events altogether. Instead, “the metaverse will be the new ‘in-person’ event space,” content strategist Sarah Noel Block told MarketerHire. “It will create an opportunity for people to gather without gathering.” 

Even Reese Witherspoon is planning for the metaverse!

The metaverse could have implications for marketing specialties like:

  • Paid search and social media marketing: Paid ads could move from search engines and Instagram to the metaverse, marketing manager Christina D. Warner said. Imagine “search ads” targeting digital avatars’ queries about a virtual space, and “paid social ads” in a virtual gathering space for friends. 
  • Product marketing: In the metaverse, whether through Meta’s Ray-Bans or AR-app scanning, “people will be able to interact more with [virtual].. products” before they purchase, Poast ECommerce founder and CEO Jeremy Scott said. Marketers will need to tap into the metaverse to build awareness and familiarity with their products. 
  • Content marketing: Some say the metaverse will look more like augmented reality than virtual reality, and even Mark Zuckerberg said he expects the metaverse to include “mixed realities” at the Meta announcement. That could bring content marketing into the real world. Imagine if outdoorsy apparel brands built scannable, interactive trail maps for consumers to scan, read and engage with while hiking, Nate Murray suggested.

But the metaverse could benefit the biggest marketing teams with the most resources — like, ahem, Meta — before it trickles down to the little guys.

“It is really up to large corporations with massive resources to leverage the new media,” growth marketer Lesya Liu said. 

We’ll figure out how to work virtual products into marketing strategy.

When Mark Zuckerberg announced Meta in 2021, virtual merchandise was a focal point. The announcement video showed friends shopping for merchandise to wear in the metaverse after attending a concert.

Source: Meta

It might sound weird to the average consumer, but “the world of digital assets is growing faster than people realize, and big brands are already staking their claims,” writer and content strategist Chandler Karadsheh said. 

For example: In December 2021, Forever 21 launched a virtual shopping experience on Roblox, “Forever 21 Shop City,” and it's not limited to Forever 21 clothing for Roblox avatars. Roblox users can actually own their own Forever 21 franchise, hire employees, and purchase new inventory from the virtual flagship store. 

Meanwhile, smaller brands are producing virtual merchandise on the blockchain. For example, hair-loss startup Keeps, recently minted an NFT version of its hair loss treatment. 

Source: Keeps

The serum was a one-time-use product. When activated, it minted a new NFT — a version of Cryptopunk #6457 with fuller hair and a Keeps-branded background. 

The virtual treatment was more influencer marketing than actual merchandising, since it isn’t really available for purchase. (Though someone could theoretically make an offer on the new NFT.) 

It was attractive to people in the crypto community, though, because the Keeps NFT was directly inspired by the Bored Ape Yacht Club’s very similar (though much larger) Mutant Ape project

The more native virtual products appear to their communities and platforms, the more successful they’ll be in 2022, marketers predicted. “This space will be dominated by those who understand the confluence of art, technology, crypto, and brand exclusivity,” Karadsheh added.

“This space will be dominated by those who understand the confluence of art, technology, crypto, and brand exclusivity.”

What does that mean for marketers? Successful ones will likely leverage NFTs and virtual merch as exclusive loyalty rewards — and find innovative ways to make more and more people see virtual merch as a reward. 

Social networks will look more like shopping malls

The most popular social media platforms (like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube) have already invested in native storefronts, but social commerce isn’t just in-app purchases — it’s also purchases agreed to on social and paid for elsewhere (on PayPal or Square, in person, etc.). 

So Facebook is already big — only Amazon is bigger than Facebook Marketplace

According to the marketers who responded to our survey, though, social commerce in the U.S. is just getting started, and this will be the year that Stateside social commerce starts to catch up to China’s.

Source: eMarketer

“The social networks will try to cut out the middleman... to speed up checkout, help with data collection, and improve tracking for advertisers and businesses,” Top Growth Marketing founder Jack Paxton said. 

“The social networks will try to cut out the middleman... to speed up checkout, help with data collection, and improve tracking for advertisers and businesses.”

The greatest barrier to entry for brands on platforms like Facebook and Instagram has been the high fees, Paxton said. Facebook charges a 5% fee on all transactions made through its platform. 

“Once the other platforms get more involved and competitive, I think we will see those fees come down,” Paxton added. And that prediction has already come true. Facebook is waiving its sellers fees through June 30, 2022

Social commerce sales are forecast to jump almost $10 billion in 2022.

Source: eMarketer

And while the YoY growth rate could slow in the next few years, overall sales could hit nearly $80 billion by 2025. 

“This could be an ideal time for [marketers] to take advantage of what seems like inevitable growth,” digital and content strategist Valbona Tika said. 

Content creators will become creative directors

When actress Dakota Johnson became the co-creative director of sexual wellness company Maude, both she and the company said she would be more than a brand ambassador. She would be involved in product development, and would have a hand in creating a new “device,” according to a Vanity Fair article

Johnson’s “creative director” title wasn’t an entirely new one for a celebrity to hold — a New York Times article in late 2021 bemoaned a flood of celebrity creative directors including Kendall Jenner (Fwrd), Drew Barrymore (Garnier), and ASAP Rocky (PacSun). 

Even Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex, has a leadership position at mental health startup BetterUp, where his work as the Chief Impact Officer centers on brand awareness and community building. 

These types of partnerships tend to be a form of celebrity influencer marketing, which can require more buy-in from brands than partnerships with smaller content creators. 

But according to the marketers we surveyed, celebrities won’t be the only type of influencer to have a say in brands’ creative directions in 2022. 

“More often than not, [content creators] are the trend-setters of what's ‘creative,’” Codi Johnson said — and respondents foresee them giving input earlier and earlier in product and campaign creation. 

Why? In part because “people really don't want to hear from anything that does not have an authentic personality,” DTC Portfolio CMO Patrick Pan said. “It is easier for a person to fulfill that than it is for a brand.” 

“People really don't want to hear from anything that does not have an authentic personality.”

According to a 2021 YPulse survey, both Gen Z and Millennial consumers trust YouTubers above any other authority — including police, politicians and documentary filmmakers. TikTok creators and Instagrammers also made it into the top 10 for both Gens.

Source: YPulse

Aligning closely with content creators’ may help brands build trust with consumers. likely they are to build trust. 

Even if brands don’t name individual content creators as creative directors, they can hop on this trend by involving creators more completely in marketing campaigns. 

“Depending on a [brand’s] key demographics, more marketing may need to be put behind creating influencer campaigns to develop new viral marketing trends,” email marketer Ashley Khawsy said. 

Think more campaigns like Dunkin’s partnership with Charli D’Amelio, which involved the creation of a drink called “The Charli,” special merch, TikTok dances and a song. 

@charlidamelio got my own song and it just hits different. show me how you “do the charli” while you drink ‘the charli’ using #charlirunsondunkin!! @dunkin #ad ♬ The Charli - Dunkin'

The most important marketing KPI will be engagement

When we asked marketers what the top key performance indicator (KPI) to measure in 2022 would be, the top answer was engagement — by a huge margin. 

Across every marketing specialization, marketers said the importance of engagement will skyrocket in 2022. 

Source: MarketerHire

For social media marketing, TikTok has boosted engagement’s importance. The TikTok algorithm weighs engagement over follower count when choosing videos to show users on their For You Page. 

For influencer marketing, follower count “actually doesn’t even matter,” influencer agency FamePick’s VP of talent Kristina Milova told Marketing Brew. When deciding whether or not to work with influencers, Milova recommended focusing on engagement rate first.

“Engagement will always be the most important KPI for social media,” social media manager Noelle Greenway told MarketerHire. “The content we create is meant to be shared and liked.” 

“Engagement will always be the most important KPI for social media. The content we create is meant to be shared and liked.” 

But engagement isn’t just for social media managers. While the phrase “engagement” came up most in our survey, clicks and other types of conversions can also be considered an engagement metric. And those KPIs can be used to measure content marketing, emails and paid ads on search and social. 

In fact, engagement metrics like clicks have become even more important in email marketing since iOS15 obscured formerly reliable metrics like opens. 

Clickthrough rate and conversion rate made it into the top 10 KPIs to measure on their own, which suggests to us that engagement will be key across channels in 2022.  

Interactive content marketing will gain momentum

In 2022, “content will get more personal,” Block said. “I don't mean personalization, which has been important for years. I mean [brands] creating more interactive engagement points throughout their content marketing.”

That could look like more live interviews that also serve as research for blog posts or email newsletters, Block said. If members of the audience contribute questions during the interview, they change the direction of the final written content.

This trend could also mean that other types of content will be interactive. Think product-recommendation quizzes, calculators and decision trees. 

The popularity of games like Wordle suggests the strength of that trend, according to Lani Assaf, marketing lead at Elpha. Wordle “exploded from a few players to hundreds of thousands these last few months,” Assaf said. “After two years of doom and gloom, people just want to PLAY.” 

“After two years of doom and gloom, people just want to PLAY.” 

Content marketing will take a more playful form in 2022, with quizzes and other highly-shareable dynamic content, like this “NSFW” (New Standards For Work) quiz by Vimeo that delighted MarketerHire’s content team in late 2021. 

Source: Vimeo

Vimeo’s CMO, Harris Beber, told The Drum that the goal of the quiz was for people “to have fun, learn something about themselves in our NSFW reality, and – hopefully – connect the dots between Vimeo powering a video-first work world.”

A Vimeo survey found that 80% of participants’ employers were communicating important information via video. The quiz was intended to make those employers think of Vimeo when they needed to make a new video. 

“If you're a brand that can understand this psychological moment and meet people with spunky, enjoyable, fun and interactive content, I think you'll win” in 2022, Assaf added.  

Note: That means content marketers who know how to build interactive games and dynamic content could also be in high demand!

SEOs will focus on voice search optimization

In a few years, there may be more smart speakers on the planet than actual people on earth to speak to them. A Juniper Research projection estimates there will be 8.4 billion voice assistants like Siri, Google Home and Alexa in use by 2024. Meanwhile, the United Nations estimates the world population will reach 8.1 billion by then. 

In a few years, there may be more smart speakers on the planet than actual people on earth to speak to them.

These projections don’t mean that every person will have their own voice assistant — some people will have multiples — but it does suggest that voice search will gain popularity. 

For context: In 2021, an estimated 90.7 million smart speakers were in use in the United States. 

Voice technology still has some barriers to adoption, including accuracy, recognition issues, and language coverage. 

But smart speakers grow smarter every year. In 2021, the U.S. version of Amazon Alexa had 80,111 skills, up by nearly 10,000 skills from 2020. 

Source: Voicebot.ai

As voice assistants’ abilities improve, “users are becoming more comfortable asking their phones questions and getting answers that way,” SEO marketer Daniel Bliss said. As a result, “[voice search] could totally change the way we look at keywords.”

SEOs have already established best practices for voice search. A 2018 Backlinko study of 10,000 Google Home search results found that:

  • Short, simple phrases perform best. The average voice result was just 29 words long and written at a 9th-grade reading level. (Not that your SEO blog content should be 29 words long, but make sure to include a short and sweet answer to frequently asked questions in SEO content.) 
  • Featured snippets are favored. Around 41% of voice search answers were also featured snippets. 
  • What works for desktop works for voice search. Most (75%) voice search results were in the top three results for their query. 

The desktop-voice-search parallel means SEO isn’t in for a sea change, but still — pull quotes and other quick insets could be more important than ever in 2022.

AI copywriting will lead to “peak content”

If AI copywriting takes off in 2022, we may “reach ‘peak content,’” Karadsheh predicted. 

Translation: the barrier to entry in content marketing will hit a low, and more companies will be able to pump out content with the help of AI tools. 

“Peak content” doesn’t necessarily mean the quality of content will peak. More likely, the quantity of content will hit an all-time high. 

“The low end of content marketing will be much more driven and supported by AI copywriting tools like Jarvis,” Omniscient Digital co-founder Alex Birkett said. 

“The low end of content marketing will be much more driven and supported by AI copywriting tools like Jarvis.”

To stay out of the bad-content-swamp, content marketers will need to “focus more on their strategies, and not just execution,” Karadsheh said. 

Content can still stick out if it includes interviews with subject matter experts and specific examples, and follows the seven laws of content marketing. 

That work requires the use of a human brain — not an algorithm. “I don't think [AI copywriting] will eliminate the need for a content marketer, but it will help us work smarter and faster,” Block said. 

Fact-checking content will become cool again

Another way to stick out in the era of “peak content” is to include facts in your content, check them twice and cite them! This isn’t a revolutionary practice. Journalists have had fact-checkers take a look at their work since at least the 1930s. But it is trending. 

While Google searches that include “fact check” spike every four years during the presidential election season, they’ve also been on the rise since at least 2016. 

Source: Google

That may not be surprising since searches for “fake news” also surged during that period. But the marketers who responded to our survey also said they’re noticing a marketing-specific interest in fact-checking.

“Many of my clients are being... stringent about facts and fact-checking,” Egan said. “This stands in contrast to the earlier days of the internet, when accuracy standards were not at their prime.” 

“Many of my clients are being... stringent about facts and fact-checking.”

Employees will become influencers (and content marketers)

Traditionally, “brand strategy services focus on what makes your organization unique to your ideal customers,” Bhardwaj told MarketerHire. 

Not anymore. 

Amid the Great Resignation (AKA the Freelance Revolution), “companies are now requesting brand strategy services focused on attracting and retaining the best and brightest so they can succeed in the competitive hiring market,” Bhardwaj said. 

That makes sense. In 2018, a study published in Corporate Communications suggested that social media posts by employees had similarly positive effects on an organization’s reputation to posts by customers. But negative posts by employees caused more damage to an organization’s reputation than posts from customers. 

At a time when more people are quitting (and posting to social media about why they quit), companies will be laser focused on improving their employer brand, our survey respondents said. To do that, they’ll want to share positive stories from current employees. 

In 2022, employers may expect their teams to post to social media about three subjects, Karen Spaeder predicted:

  • Positive brand-related experiences
  • Promotion for products and services
  • Anecdotes about the company’s culture

Posts from employees can have a big positive impact. Like, 200% more engagement than posts by official brand accounts — even when those brand accounts have more total followers.

This tweet is so relevant, we’re embedding it twice in one story (a first!):

The shift to employee advocacy could change how we think about influencing and employment. If employers expect their employees to create content for the brand as part of their job, is that not a paid post?

It is at Walmart! The company already pays a select group of its employees as influencers. 

It also means a blurring of the line between employee influencer and content marketer. Small businesses with limited resources to invest in the organic search will decentralize their content production, Alex Birkett said, and offload content marketing responsibilities to team members who wouldn’t usually be responsible for producing top-of-funnel, brand awareness content. 

“Monoliths” — like traditional blogs and landing pages — “have been tipped and shattered,” brand marketer and epigraph founder Tom Briggs agreed. “Now is the era of the average content creator. Everyone has a mouthpiece.” 

“Now is the era of the average content creator. Everyone has a mouthpiece.”

And even regular employees will be expected to use that mouthpiece this year. 

Demand for community managers will surge

Community-building is part of marketing — especially when it takes place on social media. 

“People want [exclusivity] and to feel like they have access to the CEO to make changes for a brand,” Ryan Bennion, marketing consultant at GOAT Marketing said. “I think prominent brands can stay relevant with rising generations by getting involved themselves in personal replies and posts on social media.”

“I think prominent brands can stay relevant with rising generations by getting involved themselves in personal replies and posts on social media.”

To reach those generations, brands may need to invest in emerging channels like forum and chat app Discord. Since 2019, the percentage of teens who consider Discord their favorite social platform has more than doubled. 

Source: eMarketer

While the platform still trails behind apps like TikTok and Snapchat, it’s more popular with teens now than Twitter and Facebook. And because Discord is forum-based, like Reddit, it’s a great place for community managers. 

When Hot Topic launched its “Anime & Beyond” Discord in 2021 to reach the intersection between its apparel customers and anime fans, it came with a set of Hot Topic “community team members and staff” who are labeled in the Discord community as such.

Source: Discord

These Hot Topic representatives aren’t the same as moderators, but they do announce new merchandise in the #merch-drops channel, and one imagines they also monitor requests for new apparel. 

The marketers who responded to our survey said community managers like those in the Hot Topic Discord will only get more powerful in 2022. 

“Community managers who specialize with Discord, Reddit, and Telegram will see their demand skyrocket in 2022,” Champley said. “Often the most under-appreciated in marketing organizations, community managers will rightfully become equals with their marketing counterparts.” 

“Community managers who specialize with Discord, Reddit, and Telegram will see their demand skyrocket in 2022.”

“Anti-design” will defeat “blanding”

Remember “blanding?” 

The term, which was first used in 2018, described a trend toward sameness in branding. Every brand started using similar fonts and color schemes, to the point that it was hard to distinguish one company’s logo from another.

Blanding was widespread — in both the DTC lifestyle startup space and luxury fashion houses.

Source: The Fashion Law

But according to our survey respondents, the era of blanding is over, and something new is in.

That new style is more like “anti-design,” defined as “graphics that defy conventional design rules - clashing colors, asymmetry, etc., where the graphic delivers the message but in an unconventional way,” Hivemind AI managing partner and marketer Tiffiny Wiley said. 

While Wiley first saw the trend toward anti-design a year ago, she expects it to gain traction in 2022. It’s “a creative way to break through all the clutter and grab attention,” she said. 

Sweetgreen’s latest subscription service campaign could signal movement in this direction, brand consultant Stefan Kalczynski said. It’s “the perfect example of brands moving from millennial ‘branding’ to an edgier, more contrasting aesthetic,” he added. 

Source: Sweetgreen

We can expect to see more brightly colored backgrounds and hard shadows in marketing campaigns for the rest of the year, Dylan Rhodes, principal at Parker-Lambert Agency, agreed. 

Experiment or stagnate in 2022 

In 2022, marketers will test new channels and playbooks to adapt to the privacy-first web, the pandemic, and whatever else the year throws at us. 

Get first-mover's advantage on the ones that make sense for your audience — whether that's by opening a Discord, minting an NFT or optimizing your SEO longreads for voice search.

Need help from an expert to hop on one of these trends? We can match you with a pre-vetted freelance marketer — in as little as 48 hours. Try MarketerHire today.

Kelsey Donk
about the author

Kelsey Donk is a writer at MarketerHire. Before joining MarketerHire full-time, Kelsey was a freelance writer and loved working with small businesses to level up their content. When she isn't writing, Kelsey can be found gardening or walking her dogs all around Minneapolis.

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