While some assumed COVID-19 wouldn’t be a factor by 2022, it was, with ramifications of new consumer expectations continuing to impact digital marketing and customer experience efforts. Yes, consumers returned to brick-and-mortar stores, but they still wanted to enjoy the enhanced online experiences they’d become accustomed to during the pandemic — causing many retailers to embrace the “click-and-mortar” model and focus on creating seamless journeys between both.

The year brought with it the announcement that Google would sunset Universal Analytics and replace it with Google Analytics 4, and a new trend — quiet quitting — was a hot topic of conversation. As Facebook became Meta, we witnessed Roblox shift from children’s games to a retail marketplace, and buying commercial property in the metaverse became a serious consideration. The EU put the Digital Services Act into force — and Twitter’s meltdown and leadership changes birthed a number of “alternatives” as changes to blockchain networks offered a decentralized system of global hotspots.

It was a year of changes, growth and most importantly — hope. So, let’s take one last look at the CMSWire top stories of 2022 according to our readers.

Without further ado, here are the top 20 most popular articles on CMSWire from 2022:

20. 4 Companies Taking a Stand on Social Issues That Matter

Today, consumers want to trust the companies they are dealing with, whether it is with how their data is being used or how a company behaves in the world at large. In fact 87% of consumers say they would purchase a product from a company that “stood up or advocated for” an issue they care about — but it's a double-edged sword because over 50% think that if a company does advocate for social issues, they are only doing it for the PR. In this article, Vice President and Editor-in-Chief of CMSWire Rich Hein looks at some case studies of companies taking a stand for social issues that matter.

19. How Web3 Changes the Content Model

While the underlying architecture of Web3 has yet to be finalized, its decentralized nature is a core part of its proposed architecture. Additionally, the content models that Web3 facilitates will put control back in the hands of content producers and consumers. Learn more about how the new Web3 content models affect the way brands approach content, marketing and advertising.

18. The Business Case for MACH Architecture

Whether you choose to call it a MACH, composable or headless architecture, one thing we can agree on: there are over 8,000 players in the martech ecosystem, and digital leaders should take advantage of the innovation that resides outside of the monolithic, single-vendor suites. Take a deep dive into MACH (microservices, APIs, cloud-native and headless) Architecture, the challenges, the benefits and how to bridge the gap between business and IT.

17. 4 Strategic Approaches to Customer Journey Mapping

Journey mapping can help provide insights into every part of a customer’s experience. Hear from four CX experts who share their own strategies for creating a customer journey map and then follow the six steps for creating you own.

16. How Marketers Should Prepare for Google's Universal Analytics 2023 Sunset

As Steve Jobs once said, all software has its sunrise and sunset. In March 2022, Google Universal Analytics (UA) saw the sun begin its decent as users were given 15 months to transition to GA4. But GA4 isn’t new — it’s been live for over two years while Universal Analytics is now 10 years old. While the July 1, 2023 deadline might be enough time for small firms to transition (and a deadline update there) — larger firms have their work cut out. Learn how to prepare and get the information you’ll need for a successful switch.

15. How to Choose the Right Data Visualization

Good visuals can tell a story that puts your marketing analysis into focus. But selecting the correct way to visualize data can mean the difference between a clear, compelling story or cognitive overload. Here are some tips and insight to help you pick the right path.

Related Article: CMSWire's Top 25 Most Popular Articles of 2021

14. Web3 and Metaverse Glossary: Every Term You Need to Know

From altcoin to stablecoin — keeping up with all the terms related to Web3 and the metaverse can be tricky. This comprehensive guide will assure you’re on top of all the current lingo and includes a detailed list of helpful articles and web guides.

13. One Size Does Not Fit All With AI and Customer Service

Can AI replicate the human touch or realize a mistake may have occurred? Our author shares his first-hand experience and contends that while technology and automation have a large part to play in the future of customer service — consumers will always need human intuition.

12. What Analytics Trends Should Marketers Expect in 2022?

Order up! This year marketers may have felt like short-order cooks slammed with customer orders. Analytics planning got complicated, and marketers had to evolve in step with the changing customer journey. As the year started, a confluence of various tech and environment trends only added to the frenzy. Now, take a look back to see what trends panned out — and what didn’t.

11. We Know Chatbots Are Falling Short, But Why?

In January we reported on the universal disappointment over chatbots. Only 22% of consumers had a positive impression of chatbots and research revealed that the No. 1 thing consumers want from chatbot experiences is the ability to escalate the interaction to a human. Read the three reasons why chatbots fail — and why marketers should rethink their chatbot game.

Learning Opportunities

10. How Will Web3 Improve the Customer Experience?

With the promise of putting the power back into the hands of individuals, Web3 is on the horizon and with it comes big changes like improved data privacy, increased digital trust and innovations in customer loyalty. Learn all the ways Web3 will enhance the CX experience.

9. Why Tech Stocks Are Crashing and Burning

In May we reported on the bludgeoning tech stocks were taking with Amazon, Apple, Meta and Microsoft all taking massive hits. Learn how it happened with a detailed analysis of the mitigating factors that led to it.

8. What Is Mastodon, the Red-Hot Open Source Twitter Rival

With Twitter mired in chaos and controversy, some users are jumping ship. Mastodon, a decentralized, open-source social media platform, wants to be the lifeboat. It’s one among several Twitter “alternatives making the news. Learn what it is, why it’s different and how to sign up.

7. How Is Web3 Decentralized?

While the underlying architecture of Web3 has yet to be finalized, its decentralized nature is a core part of its proposed architecture. In this article, explore what a decentralized web means, how it's being used and what it could look like in the future.

6. 4 Ways the Metaverse Can Enhance the Customer Experience

Digital twins, avatar skins, digital clothing, virtual real estate, virtual nightclubs, shopping centers, digital artwork — in the metaverse, not even the sky is the limit, as the possibilities are virtually limitless. The metaverse has the potential to completely alter the way ecommerce brands approach marketing strategies — and already has for many brands. Learn more about all the opportunities that await to empower customers to traverse the virtual and physical worlds when connecting with the business of their choice.

5. How Does Adobe's $20B Acquisition of Figma Impact UX Designers?

On Sept. 15, Adobe announced a deal to buy the design platform Figma for $20 billion —What does this mean for Adobe users? For Figma users? Company officials say it will accelerate Adobe’s vision for collaborative creativity — but what changes are on the horizon and how do UX designers really feel?

4. Do Your Brand's Values Align With Those of Gen Z?

By 2026, Gen Z will be the largest generation at around 82 million people. These are people who are passionate about equality, the environment and other social justice issues. So, what are the core brand values that attract Gen Z — and how can brands highlight their commitment to societal challenges such as diversity, environmentalism, sustainability, climate change and world hunger through a corporate social responsibility (CSR) statement?

3. What Is a Call Center? A Detailed Guide

For a detailed primer on all facets of a call center — here’s your handy guide. Learn why to have one, how they work, the various types there are, the technology used, the difference between a call center and a contact center and much more.

2. How to Pick a Mastodon Server

Mastodon is the open-source, decentralized social media platform everyone is talking about — especially since Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover. But Mastodon runs on servers, also called "instances," that are individual communities, each with its own rules and culture. Selecting the wrong server can impact the entire experience. Learn more about the servers available and how to pick the right one for your specific needs.

1. Meta's Metaverse: The Future of Digital Experience Marketing?

In late 2021, Facebook announced its change to Meta — and soon, the term “metaverse” was everywhere. People began buying property in the metaverse, creating personal avatars to traverse it, and businesses started embracing the idea of marketing in the virtual world. There’s a lot to learn about the future of digital marketing within the metaverse — and the potential that’s ahead.