By Tom Polanski
Everyone wants to know what the latest and greatest online trend is – but very few people are actually situated to grab it when it hits! How can you capitalize on marketing trends and make them work to your business advantage?
First, don’t try to forecast trends. Many business owners have lost thousands or even millions of dollars betting on what would be the “next big thing”, and the “pet rock” jackpots are few and far between. Instead, watch as new trends begin to look promising and grab onto them before they become widespread.
No matter what business you’re in, watch for trends in the fashion, property and electronics industries. Oftentimes how society reacts to these trends will shape how and what they buy.
You should also look at your target audience and notice their buying habits as well. Ask yourself the following questions:
- How much do they earn? Are they willing to pay more for better service or quality or are they hunting for the cheapest bargains? How likely are they to tell their friends about their experience with you?
- What gender are they and what is their education level? Are they single? Married? Do they have children? All of these questions can impact how well a trend is received and how far it expands.
- How do they view the Internet? Are they technologically savvy? Do they use shopping comparison and research tools or are they likely to buy the first result that comes up when they search?
When checking out current business trends, it’s a good idea to “look beneath the surface” of the trend and ask yourself – what makes it popular?
For example, the current trend of business “greenwashing” (promoting eco-friendly solutions) is making waves on the industry because companies want to show that they are responsible with their materials and are “good stewards of the Earth”.
Whether or not these companies are just paying lip service to the trend or are integrating it into their overall strategy remains to be seen – but you can bet that customers will quickly be able to tell the difference in the near future – to either the detriment or the success of the business involved.