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5 Data & Analytics Trends to Watch in 2022

Insights / 05.23.2022
Red Door /

What’s more precious: data or gold? If you’re a modern marketer, you know that data is gold. It gives you the insights you need to better target your customers — and ultimately, boost your bottom line. As the digital marketing landscape continues to change, (goodbye, third-party cookies), the way you mine for data is changing, too.

We’re here to guide you with the top digital marketing trends affecting data and analytics in 2022, complete with recommendations. From privacy-focused analytics, to longer sales cycles, it’s all here. Let’s dig in:

1. Privacy-Focused Analytics

As companies continue to prioritize data privacy, event-based analytics platforms are becoming the preferred measurement tool. With these platforms, all interactions can be captured as an event across all web and app visits. Not only does this give users more control over their data, but it also makes for shorter loading times, and more user-centric reporting.

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is leading the pack in event-based platforms. It includes Consent Mode, which allows website and mobile app owners to adjust how Google tags behave based on the user's expressed consent. Added bonus: It gives you access to additional data such as predictive insights and deeper integration with Google ads. No wonder GA4 is set to replace Universal Analytics (UA) very soon. In fact, UA will quit collecting data on July 1, 2023.

What does this mean for Data & Analytics?

With the sun quickly setting on all of that precious data, we recommend your team get started with GA4 as soon as possible. This will ensure they don’t miss out on year-over-year comparisons. For best reporting and results, make sure your analysts re-educate themselves and their clients on event-based data collection.

2. Limitations to Cross-App Tracking

The ability to track across apps is also disappearing. First there was Apple, with their 2020 announcement that starting with iOS 14, users would have the option to opt into cross-app tracking. Google is following suit. On February 16, 2022, the company shared plans to phase out cross-app trackers on Android devices. 

Why are the Big Tech players doing this? All roads point back to privacy. Users continue to demand more control over their personal data and companies are listening. Take Google’s Privacy Sandbox initiative for Android. It aims to introduce more private advertising solutions, which operate without advertising IDs.

What does this mean for Data & Analytics? 

The more cross-app tracking limitations, the more creative you’ll need to be. We recommend leaning on first-party cookies. This means collecting info through your own sources, like e-mail, loyalty programs, and website interactions — all with direct consent from the consumer. Data on their hobbies, personalities, what they like to read, and even eat, will help you personalize campaigns — and convert. You can boost your results by deploying server-side tracking, which allows you to reclaim lost data from users who opted out of cross-app tracking. 

3. Data Freedom For All

For years, first-party data was firewalled behind IT gatekeepers. This made gaining access to data a lengthy process for marketers. Data democratization aims to change that. Simply put, data democratization is the trend of expanding data access and understanding to entire teams. The more people in your organization with quick access to data, the easier it will be to identify and take action on valuable insights. 

Self-serve business intelligence solutions (BI solutions) are a driving force behind data democratization. BI solutions help organizations collect, aggregate, and display data in a readable, “easy-to-get" way. The best part: Data arrives in real-time, giving teams the freedom to observe, analyze, and report as needs arise.

What does this mean for Data & Analytics?

It’s up to your data and analytics team to lead your data democratization strategy. We have a few pointers. We recommend choosing a self-service BI solution that securely houses all of your data in one place. It’s also smart to invest in SQL, analytics, and statistics training for all employees. This will help hone their data-driven decision-making skills.

4. Digital OOH and CTV

Marketers just like you are turning to more personalized paid media methods to reach customers. Take digital out-of-home advertising (DOOH), for example. It refers to any digital ad that appears in a public environment. DOOH advertising integrates with AI and recognition methods like behavioral analysis and facial recognition, to generate personalized advertising in real-time. Yes, the future of paid media is here. 

Connected TV (CTV) is also on the rise, as it’s become more accessible than ever. CTV allows you to place video ads — one of the most effective ad types — on smart TV screens, based on the user’s interests, location, most-watched channels, and more. CTV also gives you the ability to retarget through display advertisements on other mobile devices in the home.

What does this mean for Data & Analytics?

While DOOH and CTV ads are the next step for marketers, they make tracking performance somewhat tricky. Analysts will need to find ways of measuring awareness and lift beyond website visits.

For DOOH, you could create geo-fences around unit locations, so that your brand generates a mobile extension. This would allow you to retarget users on their personal devices, making way for reporting of specific placement attribution.

CTV is easier than DOOH to work with. Measurement methods include View Through Rate (VTR), Cost Per Mille (CPM) — the general cost of one thousand impressions — and even ad measurement metrics you’d normally associate with linear TV. Think: Gross Rating Points (GRPs).

5. Longer Sales Cycles

As the online world continues to evolve, so does the customer journey. Sales cycles are becoming longer and longer. From page experience and user-generated content, to reviews and competitors, consumers have a lot to think about before making their decision.

How can you nudge them in your direction? Our team encourages you to dive into the mind of your consumer. Ask yourself questions like: What are their pain points? What do they value in a brand? What are they searching for? Questions like these will lead to valuable insights that you can use to personalize your campaign to their needs.

What does this mean for Data & Analytics?

A longer sales cycle is actually a good thing for data. It gives you more time to collect it, from multiple touchpoints. Take events. You can pull data from registration or your CRM to create a customer profile and personalized content. Moving into social, you can gather behavioral data for better insights. Tie it all together, and you’ve got a complete view of the customer journey — from start to finish.

Need a hand putting these trends to work? Our data and analytics experts are here to find that precious data and turn it into marketing gold. Contact us today.

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