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Three Top Trends in Digital According to OMR 2022

Fabienne Schneuwly
Fabienne Schneuwly
Marketing Manager Europe
5 min read
1 July 2022

After a pandemic-related break of two years, the OMR (Online Marketing Rockstars) event returned to its hometown of Hamburg in May 2022. With over 70,000 attendees, 700+ speakers, 500+ exhibitors and 250 masterclasses, and 10 stages, this year’s edition was the biggest OMR to date.

Despite the diversity of the digital field, a few ongoing topics seemed to rule the debates and discussions. Here are three top trends according to OMR 2022.

Brave new Web3 world

Web3 is what experts call the future of the internet. By now, we’ve probably all heard about cryptocurrencies, the metaverse and NFTs. They’re all part of a blockchain-based version of the World Wide Web that promises users a better experience and more control. Web3 is heralded as the solution to current problems the internet faces, particularly in regards to its decentralised set-up that allows users to keep ownership of their data.

The metaverse and NFTs are particularly interesting for brands and digital marketers. At the world’s first 24-hour Meta Festival, organised by DEPT®, we offered a glimpse into the astonishing new opportunities the metaverse offers brands to connect with consumers.

It’s no surprise that many of the hundred speeches and masterclasses at OMR also centered around the topic of Web3 (e.g.  “The Metaverse Starts with Me” by Deloitte). When metaverse expert Matthew Ball – the guy that’s said to have strongly influenced Mark Zuckerberg – spoke on the Conference Stage, the venue was packed. The team from DEPT® were there in force too, and held a masterclass with H&M to showcase the immersive Web3 experience we built for them.

However, the metaverse and NFTs are not free of criticism. Amongst other things, issues were raised about the impact of NFTs on the environment. In case you’re wondering whether your brand should follow this top trend and get involved in the metaverse and NFTs, you might find it helpful to ask yourself these 5 questions.

Influencers (still) matter

Influencer marketing is not a new phenomenon. But despite concerns that it might decrease due to Covid-19, it actually increased over both 2020 and 2021. In 2022, influencer marketing is expected to grow to be worth $16.4 billion. Logically, influencer marketing related services (and companies), continue to grow as well. This most likely also has to do with the rise of TikTok, the new playground of Gen Z. At OMR 2022, the app had its own booth for the first time. The ongoing importance of TikTok influencers was highlighted by the fact that creators such as Luis Bauer, The Elevator Boys, and Younes Zarou could be heard and seen all over the masterclasses and stages. 

While influencer marketing remains a top trend that was discussed on the conference stages by the likes of Ann-Katrin Schmitz from Baby Got Business, who presented a radiant view of the industry in her presentation“The State of Influencer Marketing in 2022”, it’s worth noting that it’s not free of risk.

Social media fraud, especially “botting”, is a cause for concern, which YouTuber Rezo, known for calling out influencers and politicians alike, highlighted in his masterclass “Exposed – How influencers fool their advertisers”, where he he focused on legal and illegal tricks used by influencers to deceive brands and fake reach. On average, almost 50% of influencers globally are affected by fraud, which is why brands and digital marketers should use available tools to ensure influencer authenticity. Otherwise, you might be paying real money for fake results.

Having a purpose and communicating it is no longer an option for brands, it’s a must.

Purpose, Purpose, Purpose

Last but not least, we have to talk about purpose. Having a purpose and communicating it is no longer an option for brands, it’s a must. Here as well, Gen Z plays an important role; as consumers of tomorrow, they no longer care about the product or service alone, they care about a brand’s cause and impact just as much. Hence, brands like JOKOLADE, Planetly (“Purpose and Profit go Hand in Hand”) and Viva con Agua were keen to snatch a time slot at OMR 2022 to talk about the why behind their products. 

Obviously, simply holding a presentation won’t qualify you as a brand with a real purpose.  Authenticity is key in order not to give the impression of “greenwashing” or “wokewashing”, which can generate high costs for your brand. Standing up for a purpose will likely not only generate praise but also criticism. Nevertheless, if you don’t put purpose before profit now, you’ll be struggling sooner or later.

Take away from OMR

OMR, like many other recent conferences, has shown that Web3 is the hottest topic in the digital industry at the moment. What is more surprising, is the fact that influencer marketing and purpose, two concepts which have been around for a while already, don’t seem to have lost any of their appeal and are still hyper-relevant for brands. The future will show whether Web3 is here to stay as well.

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Marketing Manager Europe

Fabienne Schneuwly