Marketing operates in a world of change and ambiguity. So you have to constantly monitor trends, to spot opportunities, and avoid problems. Now spending on your market, this could be one of your biggest challenges. you don’t want to be guilty of missing a key trend that puts your company out of business. Trends in your business happen in many areas. For example, consumer tastes can change. Campbell soup, for example, is looking at ways to change its legendary , long-standing chicken soup recipe because of perceived change in consumer tastes.
Trends in technology are another big source of risk and reward. Your can also be affected by rends in economic conditions, politics, regulatory, and legislative policies, as well as trends in foreign countries. There is a lot going on out there. When I analyze trends, I like to short then out this way. First I decide whether the trends will have a big impact or a small impact on my company. Then I assess whether the trend is fast moving of slow moving.
When I say fast moving, I mean it happens quickly over a matter of days of months, whereas slow-moving trends might last twenty years or more. I create a 2×2 matrix, and put names of various tends in side of it. That way my team and I get aligned around which ones we’re paying attention to. Now I wouldn’t say that you should completely ignore low impact tends, but clearly you want to focus on the big ones. Those are the ones that will get you in trouble if you ignore them.
Trends that have a big impact and are fast moving need immediate attention. So assign someone for your team to study it and make recommendations. Try to avoid a quick, knee-jerk reaction. Your might make matters worse. Get alignment from your peers and your boss before taking action. You don’t want to be guilty of what we call in marketing over driving your headlights. Now from my experience, the ones that give me the most concern are the big impact slow moving trends.
I can tell these are the silent killers, they are slow-moving, so there is no sense of urgency until bam! one day you’re staring at something that you’ve known for a long time, but you’re way behind your competitors in dealing with it. Not good, So how do you keep up with trends? you need to set up a way to monitor what’s going on out there, or what I call listening posts. For example, you might want to hire a marketing research form to watch tends in tastes and attitudes.
Also, Monitor social media channels to hear the conversations that consumers are saying about you and your competitors. One of my favorite techniques for dealing with trends is not advisory panel of experts, both form inside and outside the company. Their advice can guide you when you need it most. How do you deal with trends once you spot them? Well, you have to ask yourself a critical question. Will I let this trend change what we’re doing or will I go out and change what this trend is doing? In other words, you have to decide if you are in a market taker or a market shaper.
In reality, you’ll have to be a little of both. You can change some but not all trends. Of course, you need the resources and skills to do that. You need to decide where to focus to get the most with the resources yo have, and avoid trying to change things you can’t. For those, you’ll just need to adapt and survive. Great marketers leaders thrive in a world of ambiguity and change. Trends-spotting is what helps them stay on top.