Maximizing Trend Watching Effectiveness, Part 2

October 4, 2010

Marketers need to know why they are tracking trends, recognize fads, and not apply all trends to all people, according to consumer insights firm has compiled a list of 15 tips for marketing executives seeking to effectively spot and apply trends. Following is a summary of the last seven tips; the first eight were covered on Friday, October 1.

9. Build Your Trend Framework: To help make sense of trend findings, thoughts and examples, advises marketers to create a master list of all the trends they have spotted over the years, divided by main and sub trends, and how these trends interact with each other. Consumer trends can be grouped by the core need they newly address or unlock, but recommends a hands-on list with thorough indexing and cross-referencing for maximum value.
10. Start a Trend Group: Every marketing organization of any size should have its own Trend Group, even if that ‘group’ is just a single person. The group should serve as a virtual and physical meeting point and resource center for anyone interested in trend content. Although it can consist of one person and does not need significant funding, it must have support from at least one senior executive to truly accomplish anything. Once the group is formed and active, it can reach out to network with trend groups at other organizations.
11. Secure Senior Backing or be Doomed: Beyond securing senior backing for a Trend Group, marketers must secure senior backing for any trend they want to follow or capitalize upon. To help gain senior backing for trend-related projects, marketers should use clear, concise language, make sure the trend applies broadly, and have supporting numbers and visuals available upon request.
12. Don’t Worry about Timing: Although trends are often time-sensitive, says the impact of major trends is often over-estimated in the short term, and underestimated in the long term. Major consumer trends are about deep social and cultural change, meaning things won’t typically completely change tomorrow. Likewise, consumer generations are often set in their ways, and will thus take a long time (if at all) adopting new ways of thinking, doing, and consuming, guaranteeing that the ‘old ways’ will dominate for a long time to come.
13. Apply, Apply, Apply: recommends applying trends in four key areas: vision (influence or shape your company’s vision); new business concepts; new products, services and experiences; and marketing/advertising/PR (show consumers you “get it.”)
14. Have Some Fun: trend watching is about coming up with exciting new products and services for customers, therefore trends should be approached with a light touch rather than a stuffy, corporate one.
15. Let Others Do Some of Your Work: Marketing professionals should let professional trend watching services do some of their work, even if it’s just to help hit the ground running. Beyond signing up for professional services, free newsletters, tweets and feeds can provide valuable insights and tips.

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