From fan tokens to feed fatigue: The year in fashion marketing

After an unexpected 2020 that forced fashion to rethink its marketing strategies, brands faced a new set of challenges this year.

Among them: less efficient digital targeting linked to Google and Apple’s new privacy measures and rising digital advertising prices across Facebook, Snapchat, Pinterest and other social platforms.

“Meta is the motorway billboard of the internet that is still the most used by brands,” says Lore Oxford, We Are Social’s global head of cultural insights. However, what’s become clear is that the Meta-dominated era, which fueled thousands of new direct-to-consumer brands, is transforming, she explains. Marketers must think more broadly about where to spend their digital budgets, and from this year’s standout advertising moments, some are starting to rely less on digital targeting of consumers and are getting inventive in a post-cookie world.

At the same time, new opportunities emerged as pandemic restrictions eased in many countries and customer spending rebounded. Marketing spend matched to step up to the moment.

Data from WARC, a marketing intelligence firm, which surveyed over 1,350 global marketers in 2021, shows that spend in the global marketing industry had a meteoric 23.8 per cent rise to a total of $771 billion this year and is on course to reach a value of $1 trillion by 2025. Digital platforms are set to lead this growth, with 66 per cent of ad professionals planning to increase spend on TikTok next year, while YouTube (61 per cent of surveyed marketers), Instagram (60 per cent) and Google ( 57 per cent) are also set to benefit from higher spend in 2022.

Creating DTC relationships

At the Vogue Business and Google Summit in November, Google’s head of industry for fashion and luxury, Corey Moran, recommended brands think about advertising channels that build direct-to-consumer relationships and deeper audience engagement. This year, major apparel retailers, including Nike, Levi’s and Uniqlo, prioritised local stores and community engagement.

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