4 ways marketing will look different in 2022
4 ways marketing will look different in 2022
a man in a suit looks at a tablet.

4 ways marketing will look different in 2022

Achieving success in marketing has always required agility and a willingness to try new things. 2022 won’t be any different: You should expect the unexpected, and plan for what you can.

At Kasasa, we’re responsible for supporting hundreds of community financial institutions (CFIs) with our products, services, and consulting, so we take a hard look at the future and how it’s most likely to affect our industry. And while we wish we had a crystal ball for the unexpected stuff, this article will cover some topics that Kasasa’s marketing leadership can see right now and that you should plan for in 2022.

There are at least four shifts happening in the marketing world that will make 2022 a year for strategic adaptation. Smaller financial institutions may feel these changes more acutely than large ones. But no institution will be able to avoid the consequences entirely.


1. Third-party cookie tracking is going away.

Odds are that, unless you were deeply involved in the world of marketing technology, programmatic media buying, or consumer data aggregation, this statement doesn’t carry a lot of weight. But it’s crucial. Here’s why.

Cookies are very small files that accumulate on your computer or device when you browse the internet. A “first-party cookie” allows website operators to remember your preferences and tailor your experience when you return to their site later. Third-party cookies enable your browsing behavior to be aggregated into large data sets and used to serve you ads across a wide variety of websites.

Thanks to legislation such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), consumers will soon have to give explicit permission for their browsing data to be tracked and shared. In effect, this limits the simplicity and easy data access that advertisers have relied on for years. However, it does not mean the end of first-party cookies or the ability to precisely target an audience with ads.

Few consumers knew their behavior was being tracked because the digital advertising industry was allowed to do so without permission, including buying and selling the resulting data. It was an unregulated industry worth billions of dollars, and it was built on data that most people had no idea they were generating or that was influencing their buying habits.

Once third-party cookies are fully retired, consumers’ data will be far safer and more secure. And your community financial institution can lean into the change. You already serve as a trusted guardian of people’s financial lives. It only makes sense that you would support increased privacy and security for their data as well. And by some estimates, a quarter of consumers will continue to allow their data to be tracked and aggregated — that means the future will still include some of the tactics we’ve relied on for years.

There are options for you to build your own audience and implement marketing tactics that are traceable and preserve the privacy of your account holders and target audience.


What community financial institutions can do.

The most important action item here is to acknowledge that third-party cookies are going away and pivot to marketing tactics that don’t rely on them so heavily, such as direct response marketing. Some CFIs may not even experience a change at all because they didn’t rely on the third-party data ecosystem to begin with.


2. Social media isn’t what it was, and it isn’t going away.

Facebook (or Meta, as the company is now officially called) has been a massive player in the digital advertising space. Not just within its own social media platforms but across the entire internet. That era is winding down, precipitated by Apple’s changes to advertising tracking within iOS and evidenced by Meta’s falling stock price.

Many people are scrutinizing big tech companies such as Meta, Twitter, and Google to see if their platforms and policies cultivate division and negative societal effects. As with most novel technologies, that question has more to do with how people use the platforms than how they are structured. But it’s still worth looking at the situation objectively and making sure that how you use social media aligns with your values — it’s a decision that each business must make for itself.


What community financial institutions can do.

Whatever the changes to social media advertising or the public opinion about big tech, the platforms themselves are crucial for connecting with consumers and growing your audience. And they will continue to offer valuable marketing opportunities because they have become virtual neighborhoods where consumers spend time. Your institution can and should create visibility in these neighborhoods, just like you do in physical neighborhoods.

And the more connected you are to your audience on social media, the more effective your marketing efforts will be as a whole.


3. Video is more important than ever.

Video has dominated social media platforms in recent years. The rise of TikTok may even represent a peak in the use of video. You can see TikTok's influence across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat.

In 2020, Americans spent 15 minutes a day watching videos on their smartphones. When you’re talking about 10- to 30-second clips, that’s a LOT of videos by different creators.


What community financial institutions can do.

Seek to add value and build trust with your audience. The key to posting videos to social media is to create content that aligns with your brand. As a community financial institution, you can reach people with meaningful content even if your team is small and wearing lots of hats.


4. 1-to-1 conversations can be your secret superpower.

While digital advertising is undergoing an uncomfortable shift, direct response advertising and communication are enjoying newfound relevance. Direct response advertising methods typically include physical mail, email, and telephone outreach.

Email marketing is an effective channel that is troubled by unreliable metrics — another consumer-friendly privacy shift initiated by Apple (to the dismay of many marketers). It’s worth maintaining a dynamic email program, but the emphasis will probably shift toward firmer metrics such as click-through rate.

Physical mail is bouncing back in a huge way thanks to the use of QR codes and personalized URLs (PURLs). It is possible to send a unique QR code to every consumer in a database and have incredibly accurate reporting on who scanned the code and visited your site. This degree of visibility is every marketer’s dream!

Although the phrase “telephone outreach” may trigger thoughts of family dinners interrupted by pushy salespeople, the landscape has changed in huge ways. Today SMS/text messaging has become an incredible channel for holding 1:1 conversations with consumers, and it’s a channel that consumers want to use.

To be clear, we’re not talking about using shortcodes to build lists of phone numbers to broadcast promotional text messages. We’re talking about the ability to single out individual account holders and talk with them over text message. A common example of this is a loan officer who is collecting the necessary documents to close an auto loan or mortgage. Another example would be talking with an account holder who has fallen victim to fraud and needs help securing their account information ASAP.


What community financial institutions can do.

Consumers want to feel seen and heard, especially by the financial institution that holds their money. 1:1 communication channels such SMS texting help you meet those consumers where they are, and you don’t even need employees to use their personal phone numbers to facilitate the exchange.

With the right technology partner, communicating over text message is secure, convenient, and builds trust with your account holders. Best of all, it is equivalent to calling them on the phone, so it isn’t governed by the same regulations (such as requiring explicit permission and opt-out mechanisms) as broadcasting promotions to a shortcode list.


2022 is an opportunity to upgrade your marketing and impress your audience.

If you haven’t already, take some time to document the marketing outcomes you’d like to see in 2022. This will create a landmark you can use to measure against and help reorient your strategy as needed. In the world of marketing, there are always new shiny objects that will distract you from the bigger goal if you allow them to.

Now is also a good time to examine your marketing ecosystem and find out how dependent you are on third-party cookies for your campaigns. If you don’t rely on that type of data, then you don’t need to feel concerned about the coming changes. If you do depend on third-party data to run marketing, then you can get a head start on finding alternative partners and technology to hit your objectives.

After nearly 20 years supporting community financial institutions, we’ve survived some major changes and helped our clients do the same. 2022 won’t be a cakewalk for anyone who uses digital advertising, but it can launch your institution into a much more sustainable, consumer-friendly way of communicating and growing your business.


Dive deeper on this topic.

If you’d like to hear more about the marketing changes in 2022, you can hear directly from the experts on Kasasa’s podcast, Thinking Outside the Vault. Our episode on marketing in 2022 is available on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play, Spotify, and Pandora, along with the rest of our catalog of episodes.

What’s Kasasa?

Kasasa® is an award-winning financial technology and marketing services company dedicated to helping both community financial institutions and consumers experience what it means to "Be Proud of Your Money." We're known for providing reward checking accounts consumers love, the first-ever loan with Take-Backs, relationship-powered referral programs, and ongoing expert consulting services to community financial institutions.

By working exclusively with community banks and credit unions, Kasasa is helping to strengthen local economies across the nation, building a virtuous cycle of keeping consumers' dollars where they can do the most good. Our mission is to power a network of financial institutions in all 50 states offering products and services that are clearly beneficial for the consumer and the institutions offering them.