2022 has been a wild year for a variety of reasons. And customer trends have followed suit with some very interesting developments. Places like TikTok have influenced many different businesses and is a valid marketing tool. In fact, purchasing products off social media and online has become something of normality. However this is not new news, but worth noting again nonetheless.
With how fast the world changes and trends rise and fall it can feel near impossible to stay in the know. As marketers and business people, this can hurt! I got your back and dug around and pooled together some of the more interesting and noteworthy trends so far this year.
What’s Up With Gen Z?
We all hear the labels and while they feel sucky most of the time, I know I hate being labeled as Gen Z. But it does help keep track of datasets and statistics so I give it a pass. What’s interesting is how much fellow Gen Zers are differentiating themselves from practically all other age groups. Gen Z is even stepping away from its closest relative in similarity, Millennials.
For instance here are some standout points I found while taking a deeper dive:
- Gen Z customers are mostly influenced by price, quality, and reviews.
- Youtube, Instagram, and TikTok reign supreme with most Gen Z. For networking and entertainment but also for finding new brands and products.
- Media is everything. Videos, shorts, clips.
There are many more and we are going to go over them in slightly more detail below. But overall this generation and its close relative the Millennials, change the face of marketing and business daily.
Word Of Mouth Is Huge From Influencers
For a long time word of mouth has been a significant source of referrals and recommendations. You know, “Hey did you see that new game?” or “that restaurant down the street is excellent.” Normally this stuff comes from our parents, friends, and co-workers and at one time this was highly trusted.
But now since COIVD trends show that customers trust online influencers more for product recommendation and endorsement than any other source. An interesting thought isn’t it? I still know people that would laugh or cringe if I told them this. But I find myself on YouTube more than TV. And if my favorite YouTuber recommends a healthy energy drink or gaming product, I would be more likely to listen to them.
Why is that?
Well for starters when many would scoff and ask why you are trusting a stranger. Influencers are in fact not strangers to many viewers. Take me for example. I have been watching YouTube content creator Markiplier since 2014. Since then, he has grown to have over 33 million followers and donated thousands of dollars to charity and even made two YouTube original shows. And I am in his paid little community section for nearly 4 years. I know Mark, but not in a creepy way, but in a way that I have large amounts of trust in him. So when he does advertisements for his clothing brand I am hooked and interested.
Don’t overlook Influencers! They can be an amazing source of customers if you pick the right one, and treat that content creator correctly.
Internet Searching Still Holds Value
This may seem contradictory to what I just went over but stick with me! While influencers are incredibly valid, search is still just as good. Google and SEO will never let you down if done correctly. Wondering what SEO is? Don’t worry we got an entire blog all about it!
Gen Z and Millennials still rely heavily on search engines and even TV for new trends and product information. It is still a good idea to have strategies in mind when maneuvering in this space. If not you could risk putting your eggs in one basket and being disappointed in a social media-only push.
Have A Mobile Friendly Strategy, If Not You May Fall Behind
As just mentioned above if you rely only on influencers and are lacking in internet search. And If you don’t have a mobile plan in action you could be hurt. Gen Z surfs the web a lot on their phones and other devices just as much as a desktop. You want to make sure you work on both types of platforms. It’s great if you have a golden website that is amazing on desktop, but how does it affect you if your mobile site suffers? It can be a lot, mobile is a very customer-hot trend and has been for a while!
Web 3.0 Revolution
Talk about a huge customer trend in 2022! I could go off for hours and pages upon pages about why web 3.0 is amazing. But that would be very boring and in fact, many fellow Gen Z and Millennials throw their money at web 3.0 and the metaverse. Others are just dipping their toes into the water. According to hubspot.com a large blogging site say that 51% of their survey participants have no idea what web 3.0 is.
We will have some blogs coming out soon about web 3.0 and blockchain in general. So keep an eye open for those!
But in essence web 3.0 and what falls under that umbrella gives you complete sovereignty and ownership over your assets. Decentralization Is king and once the values are more widely understood there most likely will be another boom like the dotcom boom from the 2000s.
Customers Want Videos
No not constant ads, that will anger consumers and hurt your brand. But like every other trend so far, if you do this right it could mean a lot of growth potential. Making lackluster and bland videos promoting what you do won’t work. But making something that is creative will. You have to make something engaging and fun to watch and that’s when you are more likely to make a sale or convert.
Also putting these creativity-filled videos on your own site means that when people click or tap them, customers are watching them of their own free will. Not being forced to watch it as a YouTube ad. Trust me, so many app developers make demos and throw them up as YouTube ads that no one wants to see. It ends up making people mad rather than engaging them.
Videos are also shareable and in essence, if your video clicks, you will be making hundreds if not thousands of walking billboards. This can be a double-edged sword. Make a bad video and it flops or even offends then you have a lot of bad press going around. It is a difficult thing to manage.
I’m sure you have seen an example of this at some point. When you’re scrolling through let’s say, Instagram and you see a video you think is just a normal post. Then you see the shop now bar at the bottom. That’s social retail! The social commerce features on Instagram and Facebook feel like they just launched not long ago, 2016 to be exact. Since then many different brands joined up and have been using this feature to varying degrees of success. According to Forbes and eMarketer, sales of these features, not just on Instagram but on Facebook as well, reached 38 billion dollars in 2021.
If we think about it psychologically for a moment, just for fun. When our minds are at ease just going through our phones and checking our feeds, we are more likely to be susceptible to marketing. And then in tandem, purchasing. This could be from the fact that at the moment we are not actively “shopping” so there is a higher chance of making an instinctive decision. Either way, the numbers are there and consumers still love it, making this a very active trend in 2022.
Thinking About Opening The Office? Most Employees Would Rather Quit
Ending with a bang here! With the recent outbreak of COVID, and the world at large adjusting to an at-home lifestyle, when employers were starting to re-open office spaces many workers said they would rather quit. A lot of people, me included, found that working from home saves a vast amount of time in travel and money in gas. Companies also realized that they can save money by offering virtual positions.
One such company is Bungie, developer of some Halo games and the massively popular Destiny 1 and 2. They see the potential of offering virtual jobs to tap into once-unreachable talent. And giving people who live too far from the office an opportunity to work with them.
Many people have become used to this virtual way of working and even more do not want to switch back to the normal “at office” culture. In many ways, this culture is tainted and not effective. Some people may feel uncomfortable in the workplace which would lead to less productivity among other issues.
Finally, Elon Musk recently went on a warpath forcing his entire workforce back into their roles on location. Some of the internal emails seemed hostile at worst and aggressive at best. This has affected the image of Musk and his companies overall. This is a trend to keep your eyes on. And if you can stay virtual and people like it more then why switch it? We will see more and more of this over the course of the next few years.
2022 has been a wild ride of consumer trends and changes in the business world. Gen Z and Millennials have been changing up the marketing space with videos and trusting influencers higher then others. Buying on their phones and surfing the web and even diving head first into web 3.0. Wherever the next few years take us it’s sure to be a wild and interesting ride. Keep your eyes open for rising trends and avoid collapsing ones and adapt your strategy around them. Also, keep your eyes open for more blogs being posted frequently on various topics. Thanks for reading!