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In the field of digital marketing, nothing ever stays still. Broad trends move with the market like an invisible hand guides it and micro trends are born each and every day. This year has been as interesting as ever in Japan so far. In this article, we pick 3 of the largest digital marketing trends for this year, 2022. There are two major themes to these trends. Two are a result of increasing digital demand and consumption (in line with other nations around the world). The other surrounds a major change in data control and transparency which highlights the importance of a multichannel approach when it comes to digital marketing in Japan. So, let’s jump right in with our 3 digital marketing trends in Japan for 2022.
Back in 2020, we wrote about how digital ad spend surpassed TV for the first time in Japan in our article Top 3 digital marketing trends in Japan 2020. It was a watershed moment for the industry in Japan and a momentous occasion for digital as a whole – other nations declaring the same only a few years earlier (e.g. the US in 2016 and the UK in 2018). At the time, it seemed inevitable throughout the world and is not showing any signs of slowing down at any time soon.
The vast rise in digital ad spend is no miraculous event. It is fuelled by consumer demand; by each and every one of us in the ways that we lead our lives. We have embraced the online world. As time has gone on, generations have changed, technology has advanced and in turn, so have our habits. We have welcomed this change and our reliance on mobile connectivity and computer usage.
In fact, Japanese people now spend almost twice as much time online as watching TV (see image below from slide 22). For us, this statistic presents two points. Firstly, the demand for digital continues and shows no signs of stopping. Secondly, the sheer size of the opportunity for advertisers online. The advertising pie in Japan has never been so large and never have there been quite so many channels to choose from.
The heading above could also be written as the need to embrace multichannel marketing. That is how important this trend really is. It is all because of Apple’s iOS 14.5. The update in 2021 meant that iPhone and iPad users can now decide if they want to block or monitor apps tracking them throughout the internet. It is designed to give people more control and transparency over apps that want to track them for advertising.
One year on and the iOS 14.5 update still proves that businesses should not be over-reliant on a single channel for their digital marketing. Big names like Meta (formally Facebook) and Google are particularly susceptible to this change due to their higher profile nature. Essentially, it is likely that a lot of people are blocking them. Therefore, the smarter decision, especially for consumer-focused businesses, is to hedge your risk by diversifying your brand’s marketing channels so that you get full consumer coverage across digital.
This means that if you are purely focused on social media advertising for your business in Japan, you may wish to consider looking into search engine marketing (SEM) or even delve deeper into influencer marketing and content marketing in order to expand your reach and grow your business. By implementing a multichannel strategy and diversifying ad spend across platforms, businesses can reach new audiences, grow brand recognition, and increase revenue despite stiff competition and rising digital advertising costs.
Japan’s ecommerce market is expected to register a combined annual growth of 14.3% during the period 2022-2027. This industry is well developed and has registered sustainable growth over the last five years, supported by high mobile and online penetration and high consumer preference for online transactions. Consumers are increasingly shifting from in-store to online purchases, with ecommerce being one of the few areas that has shown positive impact from the pandemic (more on this below).
It is clear that the success of ecommerce in Japan is down to a number of different factors. First off, distribution in the country is advanced and well-connected. This, combined with the country’s small size, means that shipping and delivery is quick and reliable.
Digital advertising, such as search and display, has also boosted the ecommerce market. Furthermore, social commerce is on the rise. This is when ecommerce businesses use sponsored content by working with influencers to promote products which is further propelling the growth of ecommerce. Finally, it must also be noted that people in Japan have not forgotten the pandemic quite yet and many more people are switching to online shopping in order to minimise their risk of infection.
As experts on digital marketing in Japan, we keep our finger on the pulse and know about all breaking trends in the market. Knowing these latest trends in digital marketing is key to creating an effective online marketing strategy. At DMFA, we offer consultation for companies interested in entering the Japanese market with services that include content marketing and influencer marketing. Get in touch and our Japanese digital marketing experts will guide you on your market entry journey.
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