Trend watching has become a part-time job since I entered the world of social media marketing. As a client manager, it’s crucial to be on top of your game when marketing a particular industry. Trend watching has become a disciplined portion of business management and a popular topic within the media industry and among social media experts. Businesses can benefit from trend watching, too.
Entering into a growing market trend can be costly if the trend has yet to enter public mindfulness. My experiential engagement in trend watching is just about as time consuming as managing social media for businesses, but in the long run, it keeps the agencies’ clients in the know when applied to their marketing. The best time to enter the market is when the trend is entering the public’s awareness so educating a market is not as costly. The current trends that I share were selected for market awareness and probable profitability for business.
The youth market, or “the Y generation,” is a powerful force to be reckoned with. This power is why a small-town girl named Miley Ray Cyrus, can go from child star to the most searched name on the Internet practically overnight. Another example is on-screen entertainment. It seems like yesterday when the movie craze was “Twilight.” This launched trends with Kristen and Rob hysteria, converse shoes to a Y generation obsession with vampires. How many vampire series can we have on television? With the power and accessibility to technology and information, the Y generation knows how to utilize these tools best. Or, perhaps it’s because they have so much more time on their hands? Whatever the reason may be, they are a powerful force in business and are highly influential with purchases.
A good trend spotting technique is to take a gander at your local magazine rack at the grocery store. Observe the thickness of the publications on display. You’ll find that weddings, beauty, health and fitness magazines are much larger than the computer magazines. These industries have grown because Americas have become obsessed with themselves, hence the new word of 2013, “selfie.” I wonder what the word will be in 2014? Well, your guess is as good as mine!
We don’t always have to look far to find out what’s trending. This task can be accomplished in some of our own homes. All I have to do is hunt down my 13-year-old who is usually vegetating in her room on some electronic device. When I ask her what she’s doing, the response is usually Snap Chatting with friends or looking for an outfit online that she can duplicate for school the next day. She keeps me up to speed on the new social media practices, fashion trends and upcoming devices. It’s amazing how useful this information becomes when applied to business.
Environmental issues have been trending for years. More than 74 percent of American adults believe in the global warming theory. More than 73 percent of Americans want the United States and other countries to limit their carbon monoxide and greenhouse gas emissions. This has created a struggle for some large companies, like automakers creating desirable electric cars as they try to capitalize on the green initiatives. However, some smaller companies have benefited by marketing this trend. For example, some small businesses are profiting from installing energy efficient shipping doors for corporate shipping operations. Small taxi companies are going green by buying energy efficient cars and increasing business by showing their support of the environment. The environmental trend will be supported by businesses reducing energy consumption with new forms of energy-saving products. The care of our planet is still a great societal concern and will continue to trend for years to come. Countries like Canada that support the Kyoto Environmental Accord will be a place to watch for the environmental and societal impact.
Some of the largest business trends to keep an eye on for 2014 include: Data, Manufacturing, Office Space, Management, Beauty, Health, International Online Marketing, Food, Beverages, Customer Service, Shipping, Vending Machines and Lending.
I leave you with this one thought. In business and in life, I’ve found there is always something to be learned or considered. Sometimes, my cup runneth over, leaving me overwhelmed with too much data. However, the true moment that I revel in is when I can apply my newfound knowledge to my practice – and it works. QCBN
Donna has been a client manager at Helken & Horn Advertising Agency since 2009. Donna is well recognized for her work in the community and her proficiency has made her an asset to all businesses under her guidance. Learn more about online marketing by contacting Donna at Dwconsulting1@gmail.com or call Helken & Horn Advertising Agency at 928-776-0234.