2021 has been a year that’s proved that our collective desire to (re)build and look towards the future is still alive and well. That’s what the top stories reflect too: a future that’s hopeful, plannable but flexible, and filled with creativity. As we look ahead to 2022, your top reads of 2021 provide a mix of insights to set you up for success.
1. Africa’s digital economy: The key trends defining the next 5 years
The Google/IFC e-Conomy Africa 2020 report shows that digital transformation is causing a boom in Africa’s economies, despite the challenges brought about by COVID-19. Nitin Gajria, director for Sub-Saharan Africa at Google, unpacks five key trends from the report that will define the next five years — and beyond.
Top takeaway for 2022: The pandemic and its aftermath have taught us that Africa’s resilience and innovation are alive and well. But if we are to sustain our economies, we’ll need to be responsible in how we relate to consumers each day.
2. Inside Google Marketing: The steps to master digital advertising
The team behind media strategy for all of Google’s advertising campaigns put together a high-level strategy guide that explains the digital advertising practices Google’s teams use. It includes the waterfall approach to media planning, which allocates budget to various channels based on their efficiency.
Top takeaway for 2022: Customer lifetime value (CLV) is a strong and reliable campaign goal because it’s quantifiable, incremental, and commercially viable.
3. How Jumia used first-party data to boost app remarketing effectiveness
When Jumia, Africa’s largest e-commerce platform, learned that their app remarketing performance was low, they leveraged the power of first-party data to boost sales by 70%. The success of this campaign comes down to prioritising the user and their experience.
Top takeaway for 2022: Invest in a first-party data strategy to provide each shopper with their own shopping experience.
4. Tourism is taking off. Here’s what travel marketers can do now
Travel across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) is still subject to various travel restrictions as the pandemic evolves. In many cases, this has led consumers to explore destinations at home. Despite the challenges, Google research shows that people still want to travel and that there are ways for marketers to respond.
Top takeaway for 2022: Research from Google and Kantar shows that a primary motivator for travel right now is visiting friends and family, so marketers should aim to emphasise human connection in their advertising.
5. Lessons from 7,000 people about ads and privacy
The conversation around privacy continues to evolve within marketing circles but what is the feeling of users, the people who interface with our decisions on a daily basis? When Google commissioned Ipsos to interview more than 7,000 people about their data concerns, we found that respecting people’s privacy and driving performance are not mutually exclusive.
Top takeaway for 2022: People are happy to provide personal information to companies they trust, as long as they know how it will be used and what they’ll get in return.
6. Accelerating behaviours: What Search trends tell us about changing consumer habits
If 2020 was the year of understanding new behaviours, 2021 was the year of understanding which of those new behaviours are here to stay. We analysed thousands of Google searches across EMEA to identify the new ‘habit loops’ consumers are forming.
Top takeaway for 2022: As we assess our new post-pandemic world, one thing is certain: consumer behaviours will remain dynamic. New needs will emerge. Existing patterns will accelerate. And businesses must be ready to embrace this acceleration.
7. How Cadbury took personalisation at scale further with passion points
The average person sees about 2 million ads a year. This is why personalised ads at scale are so crucial to getting and keeping people’s attention. Cadbury chose a unique approach to its personalisation at scale strategy: rely on passion points over demographics to create truly personal — and effective — ads.
Top takeaway for 2022: A marketing campaign based on demographics alone falls short because it assumes interest based on unreliable identifiers. Passion points enable marketers to deliver a customised message that speaks to an intimate interest.
8. Scrap these creative assumptions for better YouTube ads
As people adopted new consumer behaviours, marketers found exciting ways to bend and break traditional advertising rules on YouTube. The findings can help you reframe your thinking so you can build more effective ads for your next campaign.
Top takeaway for 2022: Follow the foundational principles of effective creative, think creatively, build for digital, and take advantage of the capabilities YouTube offers — all with an experimental mindset — and you’ll be well on your way to making effective video ad creative.
9. Restoring retail: The divergent rules to drive online and offline traffic
Many of the new consumer habits people have developed are happening online. So as the world continues to open up and people are faced with multiple options, it's important to keep an omnichannel approach to marketing.
Top takeaway for 2022: Showing up while a consumer is considering a purchase can convince between 18% to 44% of people to shift from their first choice brand to a second choice so invest in automated advertising solutions.
10. Early holiday shopping trends for the 2021 festive season
Although the 2021 holiday shopping season is in full swing, we know that 52% of people intend to maintain their new lockdown behaviours. So as we look forward to 2022, it’s worth revisiting 2021’s festive shopping trends in this research by Google and Ipsos.
Top takeaway for 2022: Holiday shopping beginning earlier each year means increased competition for retailers, who need to start their festive campaigns much earlier to capture demand from these shoppers — and ensure they stay front of mind.
The future is still largely uncertain, but if 2021 has shown us anything, it’s that technology can help us find new and surprising paths to success. We’ll be taking this very same spirit into 2022 to ensure we keep bringing you the freshest insights and inspiration.
Thank you to all of our contributors over this past year for the incredible collaboration and thank you for reading all our stories. Stay safe and well.