We have summarized the 5 most important digital marketing trends (+ a bonus trend) until 2022. For a more detailed description of the trends, download our trend report at the end of the article.

Trend 1: Realtime customer centricity – Focus on the customer

In order to meet the demands of modern customers, companies must undergo a paradigm shift in digital dialogue marketing: away from the inside view, towards a customer experience that focuses on the customer. The keyword is customer centricity.

Every customer receives exactly the information they need in their current usage context. To be able to use this information at the right moment, all processes involved must be realtime capable. Real customer centricity is therefore always realtime customer centricity.

Trend 2: Agile marketing – for faster results

The demands on companies, especially on marketing and service communication, are not only increasing, but also changing continuously. In order to be able to react to this, marketing should increasingly use agile methods.

Orientation towards the best-of-breed approach in the selection of marketing technologies enables the greatest possible fl exibility and individuality. A successive approach based on the bottom-up principle in the implementation of use cases and the development of capabilities ensures timely results and reduces complexity.

Trend 3: Optimization – Testing instead of a 360°-customer view

Many companies fail because of the numerous efforts and hurdles involved in establishing a 360° customer view and using it for individualized digital dialogue marketing measures. Measures that are easier to implement often generate a far greater uplift in results.

This is where testing stands out in particular. With the right technology, it is even possible to establish multivariate testing procedures with little data, which optimizes digital dialog marketing measures so precisely for small segments or even individual customers that one can speak of genuine individualized 1:1 communication.

Trend 4: Artificial intelligence – Optimize more efficiently

Artificial intelligence opens up new possibilities for optimization in digital dialogue marketing. AI processes help to identify the context in which a customer is currently using the product and to select the appropriate communication for this context.

This works even if the data quality is poor, because self-learning algorithms are becoming increasingly better at interpreting even erroneous data or supplementing missing data that is necessary to recognize a context. The most important use case for AI in digital dialogue marketing, or the use case in which optimization by AI provides the greatest uplift, is multivariate testing.

Using AI, it is possible to test a theoretically unlimited number of factors and factor characteristics of a campaign and to optimize the campaign for different segments, automatically and in realtime.

Trend 5: Data protection and data security – High standards lead to competitive advantages

Legal and political developments such as the GDPR, but also the increasing sensitivity of customers, make data protection and data security an increasingly important challenge for companies that process personal data for marketing purposes.

But high standards of data protection and data security are not only a duty, they are also a competitive advantage. Customers are more likely to trust companies with their data if they establish high standards and communicate this proactively. Since marketing today requires the use of technology, it is important to consider data protection and data security criteria when selecting marketing technologies and service providers.

Bonus-Trend: Interactive email marketing – Rare but attention-grabbing

Interactive elements are still rare in email marketing. They are therefore particularly eye-catching, lead to higher conversion rates and, depending on the use case, reduce media disruptions by eliminating the need to switch from email to landing page. Possible application scenarios include forms in emails, surveys, in-mail shopping, videos, live content, or image galleries. However, there is still a lack of a uniform standard for interactive elements.

That being said, companies should at least take a conceptual look at the possib ilities of interactive emails and design possible use cases. There are already various technical possibilities, but they do not work the same way for every customer and are also dependent on the email client. Therefore, decide individually for each use case whether the use of interactive elements is worthwhile for you.