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Highlights from Winterberry Group’s 2022 Annual Market Outlook

By Mareena Maki on January 28, 2022

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Mareena Maki

Senior Manager, Marketing

The Direct Marketing Club of New York kicked off the year hosting the 2022 Industry Forecast Annual Outlook event. As a proud sponsor, Alliant joined fellow marketers and industry leaders to hear Winterberry Group’s Senior Managing Partner Bruce Biegel review the top trends coming out of 2021 and his cross-channel U.S. marketing spend predictions for 2022.


The rebound of US marketing spend through another pandemic year was significant in 2021, up 21.6% compared to 2020. That is a whopping $77.4 billion increase – largely driven by gains in digital spending. Growth is expected to continue in 2022 with a forecasted 11.8% increase.

Here are some of the key trends that will influence performance in the year ahead:

Spending on Data, Identity and Data Services Increases Across all Channels

Omnichannel strategies to deliver consistent experiences across all touchpoints is more important than ever – and data serves as the foundation. In 2021, the use of data was up in every marketing channel with spend on data, data services, identity and platforms growing by 26.4%. The largest spend gains were seen in digital media, web personalization and TV (addressable, CTV and linear).

For 2022, overall data spend across all channels is expected to grow 13.1%. TV data usage will see the largest percentage increases at 19.2%, representing $5.1B total. While expected increases aren’t as high for digital media and direct mail, they still take the number 1 and 2 spots respectively for total data spend.

TV and Video Everywhere

Video formats across devices were a catalyst for growth in 2021 as budgets shifted towards Connected TV to align with changing viewership habits. CTV has proven to be a must-have component of a marketer’s strategy, and it expected to grow by another $5B in 2022. Additionally, video strategies across linear, advanced TV (CTV/OTT) and digital will continue to converge, with total spend reaching $130B.

Direct Mail is Making a Comeback

2021 was a big year for direct mail, up 10% YOY with total spend at $41.9 billion. In addition to spend, direct mail volume also increased by 4.7%. So what is leading the comeback? Most direct mail marketing, 80% to be exact, now supports pure customer acquisition. Cross-sell and loyalty initiatives lead growth in retention mail, which saw an increase of 7.9% for the year.

Direct mail and other offline marketing spend will continue to benefit from omnichannel commerce strategies and solutions. Direct mail marketing spend is forecasted to grow 3.5% in 2022.

Challenges are Changing DTC

Retail commerce is integrating digital and physical shelves as inventory challenges continue. With retail marketing spend projected to double to $40 billion in 2022, a DTC marketer’s budget should remain elastic as spend moves to and from media marketplaces. Marketers need to consider outcomes over impressions, closely monitoring how performance is tracked to ensure the greatest ROI.

Changes Around Identity Standards and Regulation Continue

Third party cookies received an extended lifeline in 2021, but that doesn’t mean marketers should pause preparation for the future. Privacy and data regulations will continue to expand in 2022, mostly at the state level as no national privacy legislation is likely in an election year.

Identity solutions will evolve as the competition and control dynamic across varying channels continues. In addition to regulatory decisions, browser developers, device manufactures, and consumers all influence emerging targeting and measurement solutions. Marketers will need to maintain a flexible approach to effectively reach consumers.

After a tremendous year in advertising and marketing, the rally is expected to continue. Marketers are diversifying their marketing channels and strategies are increasingly data-driven. Alliant is committed to providing a collaborative data environment to help our Members and partners grow in a constantly evolving ecosystem. Reach out to our team to learn more and check out the full report to see all Winterberry Group 2022 predictions!

Source: Winterberry Group “Outlook for Advertising, Marketing and Data 2022”

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