Why Trends are so Important in Marketing
To begin with, let’s use our time machine and head back to 2007. In particular, think about GPS technologies. Twelve years ago, Garmin and TomTom were the two biggest GPS technology producers. At the time, Garmin was only looking at what TomTom was doing when it came to its competitors and TomTom was only tracking what Garmin was doing.
As both brands were tracking other GPS navigational systems, they were sideswiped by Google who began offering free navigation via an iPhone app and on the web.
As a result, in just 4 weeks, the valuation of these companies dropped! Imagine if these navigational systems had followed the trends that were happening outside of their narrow industry, we might be using our Garmin maps app on our phones for directions today.
Understanding trends is critical for a brand to stay fresh and competitive. Keep these market research methods in mind to best follow the market.
Maybe the most important method when it comes to understanding trends is Secondary Research. Secondary research is finding research that is already available. It is a great low-cost option to study industries that your business is not currently in. For example, if you are a bus company- you may also want to follow airplane trends. This way you can have a full picture of the transportation landscape. In addition, secondary research can also keep you up-to-date regarding the latest technologies.
Certainly, if GPS technologies were following how Google was developing their GPS technology for free use, they would have seen the way the trends were going. Consistently conducting comprehensive secondary research can always give you a state of the market and allow you to look at non-direct competitors to make sure that you’re not going to be blindsided the same way these GPS companies were.
There are a lot of free secondary research tools out there such as Google Trends and JWT Intelligence.
When it comes to understanding the market and landscape, nothing beats a brand tracker. A brand tracker is a survey that is conducted over time that evaluates a company and its competitors’ performance. In addition, the survey typically includes questions to evaluate if a company’s objectives are being met. The key to brand trackers is to not only follow your direct competitors, but also looks like those who may indirectly influence sales.
Among other things, brand trackers test the awareness of brands in the market space of a product. If Garmin and TomTom were using a brand tracker, they would have had a broader understanding of the market, and any trends that they might need to understand. The key to a brand tracker is both a comprehensive list of competitors, the actions that they are taking, and their reception from the public.
In conclusion, it’s vital to use market research to understand trends. Without staying up to date, your business might be swept out from beneath you. And if you are using shoddy methods instead of comprehensive research, you may fall to the wayside as well.
Want to learn more about Market Research? Here are some blog posts to check out!
- How to Avoid Advertising Mishaps
- Virtual Reality & Qualitative Research: Fad or Here to Stay?
- 6 Things to Watch Out for When Writing a Survey
- Marketing Strategies for Generation Alpha: the Newest Generation
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