Benjamin Broomfield: ClickZ's Top 5 Articles of 20222022 has been a year like no other for digital marketers. A brief scan of the ‘trends that will shape digital marketing in 2022’ published at the end of last year promised plenty, from the rise of the metaverse (thanks mainly to Facebook’s rebrand to Meta) to the importance of video content.

Many of these trends have carried brands to new heights. From Duolingo’s metaverse launch to Publicis Sapient’s video storytelling division, ClickZ has spoken with brand leaders across 2022 about their successful campaigns and what made them tick. But no one could have predicted what 2022 would look like.

2022: A truly unpredictable year

Rising inflation, and mixed fortunes in social media platforms have created a challenging landscape for marketing leaders. Many, including Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg, were hoping for huge growth in post-pandemic consumption. Instead, we have seen significant layoffs, and whilst there is some optimism about budget growth in 2023, the past few years have taught us to hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

The good news is that this year has delivered some truly excellent case studies and thought leadership. This has offered marketing leaders the best practices they need to thrive in the next twelve months and beyond.

From early success in the metaverse to influencer marketing on TikTok, let’s look at ClickZ’s most popular articles from 2022. *

From a small-scale SaaS platform implementation to a monumental shift from B2C to B2B, transformation is an arduous task for marketers. It requires prioritization, collaboration, and careful execution, with plenty of mistakes and opportunities for learning along the way.

Indeed, BlackBerry’s shift from B2C to B2B is perhaps the best example of a company-wide pivot. Mark Wilson, Blackberry’s CMO, sat down with ClickZ to run through the learnings of this remarkable transition. Its product solutions are now used everywhere, including over 195 million cars and the International Space Station.

Learn from Wilson about this best-in-class example of transformation. Filtering customer insights through each stage of the process, from initial USP discovery to martech implementation, the underlying principles behind this transition are an excellent guide for digital transformation in 2023.

It’s still not too late to shape your strategy for 2023. Indeed, if it’s anything like 2022, incremental adjustments will be necessary to respond to the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing. Indeed, factoring growth marketing into your business plan is a route to owning your industry in 2023.

Author, keynote speaker, and co-founder at, John Hall looks at three growth marketing trends that will shape the coming twelve months and beyond, including:

  1. Strategy integration
  2. Preparing for a marathon
  3. Understanding the value of experts

Learn how each trend should tie your marketing strategy to your business goals, in this exclusive guest column.

Regular ClickZ columnist Ann Smarty has tackled several topics this year, from cross-team collaboration to holiday marketing. In this piece, she looks at the controversial topic of cancel culture.

2022 has seen several brands caught up by cancel culture. H&M has faced accusations of greenwashing, and Balenciaga is in the midst of a child exploitation scandal. This has left many marketers worried. 57% of digital marketers fear of being canceled if they get an ad wrong.

Smarty provides a step-by-step guide to avoid falling foul of cancel culture, from a thorough communications plan to investing in a sub-brand. Yes, prevention is better than cure, and taking steps to avoid controversy is a vital plan. But learning how to admit mistakes and plan for a better future has been a non-negotiable for marketing leaders in 2022. Moreover, it will be in the years to come.

In September 2021, TikTok announced it has over 1 billion monthly users worldwide. And it’s not just impacting the way consumers behave on the app. Instagram rolled back changes to its app following accusations of copying TikTok.

Duolingo and Taco Bell are just two brands racking up millions of views and brand love on the social media platform, but few trends can match the power of ‘BookTok.’ Penguin Random House, a 95-year-old publishing company, is showing that legacy brands can, and should, consider TikTok as a platform for community engagement. Partnerships with TikTok influencers have seen remarkable in-app engagement and realized a 7x improvement in book sales!

Learn about their three-year journey to the top of the TikTok tree from Associate Director of Social Media Alyssa Castaneda, and Associate Director of Digital and Social Media Marketing Felicity Vallence.

What else but the metaverse? Love it, loathe it, or fear it, metaverse activations have consistently made the headlines in 2022. But whilst the likes of McDonald’s & Chipotle have launched virtual worlds, for many marketers it feels like consumers may not be ready for this new frontier of marketing. How can we plan for Web3 when we are still wrapping our heads around Web2?

Heineken struck the perfect medium by bringing their “Virtual Beer”, launched in Decentraland, to life. This campaign was a true masterclass in blending digital and physical channels and showed that metaverse launches don’t have to just mean (albeit eye-watering) impressions.

Rob van Griensven, Global Digital Director at Heineken, pulled up a stool and shared the story behind this activation that had it all: A metaverse launch, ‘phygital’ integrations, personalization, influencer marketing, and all in keeping with Heineken’s brand values. And we’ll drink to that.

2022 lessons can help marketers prepare for 2023

Whilst articles such as these five big hitters held significance in 2022, trends such as digital transformation and metaverse activations will continue to keep marketing leaders up at night. 2023 will be about finding the balance between focus on long-term brand-building exercises, and shorter-term performance marketing that will maximize ROI and ensure each dollar or pound is spent carefully.

Certainly, the mistakes you made, and best practices you discovered, should guide your approach to 2023. If marketing leaders are to make it through 2023, it will be through community and shared learning.

From all of us at ClickZ, have a wonderful holiday season. We look forward to addressing the future of digital marketing once again in 2023!

*Based on total unique page views.

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