Trend essay #1: Trend interpretation for marketers

How to bring the marketer back into the strategic saddle? This requires deepening of the most important socio-cultural trends. The first episode in a series of six trend-defining essays by TrendsActive appeared in marketing magazine Adformatie: three dominant trend types and their relevance for marketers.

Understanding the context
What is the most important trend that we must follow? Over the past ten years, we have asked this question to thousands of marketers during conferences, workshops and on heath days. About 90% of the answers contain a technology or a certain product or market trend. For example AI, robotisation, IoT, craft beer, electric bicycles, subscription-based e-commerce, the sharing economy and so on. If you keep asking why these trends occur now, it will remain silent. This means that there is no understanding of the context in which changes take place.

Changing environment
If you ask the question to a CEO, you will get a completely different answer. Rather, a CEO gives a perspective on the changing environment, a little less tangible, a little more holistic. It shows that the board is looking for other answers and other trends to be able to take the right decisions. And that is precisely the reason why marketers can not be heard in the boardroom, let alone that they may and can take a leading role in directing the future of the organisation. The influence of the marketing function is unfortunately getting smaller (Frambach, 2018). And that of the CFO and CIO seems to be getting bigger. With a series of substantive contributions about trends, we hope to bring marketers back into the strategic saddle and increase their influence.

What are the opportunities?
Today’s winners are organisations that know how to adapt to changes in time. Call it Darwinism, label it as transformation or articulate it as disruptive innovation, what every company needs is an idea of ​​how to deal with the future. But how to know where opportunities lie? That is where trends come in. Trends provide insight into the future. But what are the right trends to follow? Which trends provide a certain degree of predictability? Where can you find the right insights for your future path? In this article we highlight the three most common trends and describe the pros and cons.

Read further? Download the pdf (Dutch only). Read Adformatie on paper or online in the coming months for the next essays in the series. Do you have questions regarding this article? Then contact Kees at TrendsActive.

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