2022 is poised to be one of the most transformational years for marketers yet. 

That may sound downright disconcerting after considering the whirlwind of change our industry has endured over the past almost two years. 

But 2022 will be different. 

This will be the year that brands, publishers, and agencies wield the power they have to plot a new path forward. As an industry, our goal will be to ride the winds of change versus fighting with all might to stay in place, like a weather reporter covering a hurricane. 

This won’t just mean doing something different. The transformational change we’re talking about will mean fundamentally changing habits. 

With this in mind, here are BRIDGE’s top 10 data resolutions to help marketers control their own data destines in 2022:

#10 – Take steps to overcome algorithmic biases.

We are learning every day about how AI and algorithms can indiscriminately marginalize certain groups or communities. What steps will you take to understand how this may be playing out in your own campaigns? One of the overwhelming benefits of people-based (versus cookie-based) campaigns is these issues become infinitely easier to identify. 

#9 – Give Big Tech the cold shoulder.

The FAANGs want to rule the world and that includes what data you can and can’t use. They served a purpose once upon a time. But with walled gardens now scaled higher than ever, escaping from the grasp of these monopolistic companies will ensure you remain free to pursue your own destiny on your own terms. 

#8 – Put the focus back on people.

We’ve become so accustomed to data sets comprising millions of code-based targets. Consumers are starting to see the world differently and that means we need to see consumers differently. In 2022, let’s prioritize connections with people, not code. When brands take the time to understand customers and market to them accordingly, real connections are established. 

#7 – Know where your data comes from.

Data supply chains have gotten dirty. If you don’t know the direct source of your data, can you be sure that every person in it has opted in for marketing? To make transparency a priority, make sure you are partnering with data firms that share your same values and have processes in place to keep data clean on a frequently recurring basis. 

#6 – Don’t settle for what works.

When was the last time you put the data sets you rely on to the test? When something’s working, it’s easy to get comfortable. Sure, you may be successful, but what opportunities might you be leaving on the table? Find out by pressure testing the data you’re relying on. 

#5 – Boost the value of the data you already have.

We often find in our engagements with customers that they are not extracting the maximum value from the data they already have on existing customers. Such as, which customers are profitable, which aren’t, and which have the capacity to deliver higher revenues. This knowledge will be more important than ever as digital-native companies attempt to swoop in and take share from incumbent brands. 

#4 – If you don’t have a data strategy, define one.

On a related note to #5, if you are simply running campaigns but not fully leveraging the data being amassed in other areas of your business, you may not be seeing the full picture of your business. We find this most often with our small business customers that simply don’t have the resources to analyze and act on the huge volumes of data coming into their business. In 2022, find a partner that can take your data intelligence to the next level.

#3 – Lay off the cookies.

Cookies don’t want to die, even though they have become staler than ever. As cookies reappear in one form or another, resist the temptation to reach your hand back in the jar and look instead to the personally identifiable information (PII)-based alternatives that will ultimately deliver higher value and help you expand the horizons of your marketing programs. 

#2 – Wield your unprecedented power.

The cracks in an aging campaign ecosystem have emerged. Brands, agencies, and publishers should leap past them by taking back control over how they reach customers. That means not ceding it to the giants that want to control how the game is played, cutting out the “toll bridge players” that don’t add value, and getting closer than ever to your data. 

#1 – Remember, you’re human.

The data world can be quite cold. Numbers, categories, targets – it’s easy to lose touch with what makes us people. We’ve all been through a year, to say the least! As we get ready to face uncertainty once again, let’s remember to all take care of ourselves and each other. When we see the world as people, great things can happen. 

Wishing you a warm, happy and successful 2022.
Steve Horne

Author Steve Horne

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