More than a metaverse: six challenges for the digital industry

The Metaverse is a trending topic – but we shouldn’t lose sight of other developments in the digital industry: a guest post by Sabrina Huwiler, Digital Marketing Consultant at DEPT®.

What challenges will the digital industry face in the near future? (Image: unsplash.com)

Don’t worry, the next few lines won’t be about the latest industry hype, the Metaverse. We have other experts who can explain it much better and simpler. But I would like to hype you up a bit: namely for six major challenges that we will face in digital marketing in the coming years. As a consultant, it is my job to be prepared for trends, hypes and new challenges and to best prepare our clients for them.

With this blog post I want to stimulate thought. Ask questions. After all, isn’t it precisely this constantly changing environment that makes our daily work so exciting? Let me give you a little insight (I can’t promise it will be “short”) of the six digital challenges I see us all facing. Here we are!

Performance marketing vs creation, or are both possible?

Lots of clicks and reach: This is a daily goal that businesses set for themselves on digital platforms. It’s best to optimize down to the hairline so that as little media budget as possible has to believe in conversions. Accordingly, the media agency is informed and instructed to keep an eye on the most important KPIs. But with which creatives? What do users see on the advertising media we display there? Good question. Just click is often the first thought of performance marketers. On the contrary, the creative agency would probably argue that creative is incredibly important. Exaggerated thesis? Naturally. But this is exactly one of the daily challenges businesses face. How do you combine good performance and great visuals? Because one thing is clear: today’s users want both.

Future without cookies: the end of real» targeting?

How do you limit frequencies to campaigns or retarget users who, for example, have not yet purchased the items in their cart? How can we ensure a rigorous and exciting customer journey on several platforms if we can no longer obtain all the information? Digital marketers around the world will have to ask themselves this question more and more often. As companies like Apple continue to advance topics such as personal data protection, advertisers and brands are faced with the challenge: how to ensure future targeting? This is already a harsh reality for many marketers today. Solutions are eagerly worked on and tinkered with – but what really prevails in the end? In the end, do classic analog advertising media regain more value?

Everybody wants attention

Not only since Corona are we using more and more different platforms to quench our thirst for information, entertainment and communication. Digital platforms are vying for users’ attention – and successfully. TikTok has impressively demonstrated to us that in the battle for attention, the winner is never quite certain. So what’s the challenge as more and more new platforms emerge? To put it as simply as possible: how do we as a brand ensure that our message can be perceived and experienced by our target group across all channels and yet in a specific way? Brands face the huge challenge of producing more and more content for different channels. A colossal task given the rapid evolution of digital platforms.

“Every day we can overturn existing rules, systems and trends,” says digital consultant Sabrina Huwiler of her industry. (Photo: zVg.)

Generation ad blocker

So if we all use more digital platforms than a few years ago, the advertising pressure on them will increase accordingly. We scour the feeds and crawl hundreds of content every day – and now a lot of that content is tagged with commercial interests. But how is the new generation of consumers reacting to this development? With a pure and simple aversion to anything that even remotely smacks of advertising. On platforms like TikTok, marketers have to completely rethink and can no longer score with ad adaptations from other platforms. So how do you reach users who no longer want “advertising”?

There are no borders

More platforms. More noise. More in progress. Always just a click or a swipe away from the next celebrity storm and wars and disasters news. The worlds merge and in the animal feed economy, in which almost all users move these days, there are no more clear ‘headings’. Breaking news from Ukraine follows a cute chat video and is immediately followed by the next TikTok challenge. So how do we integrate the messages of our partners in this complex and constantly changing context in the future? A question that many companies are currently asking, increasingly dependent on major content platforms due to the pandemic and the ongoing digitalisation.

dependence on adults

I just mentioned the reliance on big content platforms. Of course, Meta, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, YouTube and Co. give us an incredible number of new and exciting opportunities to tell digital stories and share them with many people in this world – but thanks to these mega-actors, some addictions and bubbles can also arise, of which we are sometimes too little aware.

There are still completely blocked platforms in some countries. This is what happened with TikTok in India, which has not been available since 2020. In the United States, President Donald Trump also had a “Ban TikTok” debate. On Facebook, for example, election advertising is suspended several times in some countries because the risk of abuse is too great. Just a few of the many everyday examples that show how much many communication measures really depend on the big platforms. Sometimes a reason why podcasts, newsletters, or even your own websites with more content are experiencing a small renaissance. You want to spread the “content risk” on as many shoulders as possible. The challenge therefore seems inevitable for almost everyone in the market: How to take advantage of the big platforms and reach our users without becoming dangerously dependent?

Many challenges, many opportunities

It’s quite a challenge, isn’t it? And we are only scratching the surface. Is there already a “one size fits all” solution for this? Not really… and there probably never will be. Our digital experiences are changing at breakneck speed, and in a few months you might be listening to this blog post as a spoken article while leisurely strolling through one of the many metaverses. You didn’t think I was going to completely ignore the Metaverse, did you?

Last, but not least: it is precisely all these challenges and novelties that make our work and our industry incredibly diverse and exciting. Every day we can discard existing rules, systems and trends and start afresh. so what are we waiting for?


About the Author: Sabrina Huwiler is a digital marketing consultant with global digital agency DEPT®. The company wants to combine “data, creativity and technology” and employs more than 2,000 people worldwide.

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