What’s a new year without predictions? Here, Marblehead, MA-based communications strategy firm Foghound (www.foghound.com) shares its predictions for the top trends in marketing:
1) New market concepts take precedence over new products. “Buying music online is a big new market concept, which is why iPod and iMusic are so successful. The Segway scooter, on the other hand, was a big new product idea but not a very big market concept, which is why it has never lived up to the hype. Companies that ‘get’ innovation will focus more on market concepts, which are difficult for the competition to quickly copy, and less on new products, which can be easily knocked off.”
2) “Continually gathering market insights will become more important than conventional qualitative research.”
3) Companies will create communities to generate two-way communications with consumers rather than use blogs to talk “at” readers.
4) “Point of views” will supersede messages.”Written messages have limited value unless they’re translated into engaging point-of-views that are written to be said vs. to be read. Point-of-views gently smack people in the face with ideas, opinions, and beliefs, eliciting the customer response, “That’s interesting, tell me more.” They jump-start sales conversations, industry presentations, and media interviews.”
5) A “meaning making” approach—one in which companies “help” customers make a purchase decision rather than simply pitch a product—will replace traditional advertising and promotional campaigns, expecially among merchants selling costly goods.
6) Teach, don’t tell. “Educational psychologists know that the keys to teaching students of any age are 1) make sure it’s personally relevant, 2) put it in a larger context, and 3) give it some emotion. And one more: Make it involving, a partnership more than a transaction. Teaching vs. telling implies a lasting valuable outcome, not just information. Marketers will increase trust and loyalty by taking a page from the teaching textbook.”
7) Smaller, “salon style” events will steal some business from larger conferences.
8) “Downloads of company speeches and presentations to a PC or iPod, so that users may listen at their convenience, will replace many set-time and -date Webinars.”
9) More marketers look to behavioral targeting. As Foghound puts it, “Behavioral targeting rather than demographic or even psychographic segmentation is the difference between being appreciated because you’re relevant and being a clueless pest.”
10) Companies will continue to focus more on listening to what customers want rather than delivering what the companies think they want.