Marketing trends can be tricky for even the most experienced professional.
Where they start, how they catch on, why they go up in smoke – it may seem like there’s no rhyme or reason to it at all.
It’s clear that trends are cyclical to an extent, but it's possible to get more specific with the right tools.
For instance, relying on market research to create data-driven marketing strategies is a foolproof way to allocate your budget to the right channels.
Below, our market research company will look at where data comes into play and how it can tell us about the causes that trigger marketing trends.
How Can I Predict Marketing Trends?
The world is constantly evolving, and with that comes the introduction of new trends daily.
In one week we’ll open TikTok and see constant references to ‘the corn kid’. Seemingly the next day, everyone moved on to Topher.
Essentially, it becomes increasingly difficult to produce, create, and publish content before it is no longer relevant.
A great way to combat this top marketing challenge in 2023 is by using predictive analytics.
Predictive analytics uses several different techniques such as online surveys and machine learning to assess current and historical factors to forecast future trends.
More specifically, predictive analytics can compile customer complaints, sales numbers, and transaction information.
The numbers reveal how companies should prioritize and solve different problems.
However, if you look closer, you can see which way the winds are blowing.
If you're not collecting the right information to begin with, the predictions of digital marketing trends will be generic at best and misleading at worst.
For example, if a company is manufacturing cars for an environmentally-conscious region, online surveys and focus groups may show that the top reason people purchase electric vehicles is for lower or no fuel costs.
In this case, the future trend may have nothing to do with getting more gas-efficient vehicles on the road.
Rather understanding 'why customers buy' leads the car manufacturer to set up more charging stations in the area and focus the business model on electric cars.
Pro tip: Make it personal
Consumer behavior is based on inherent values and personalization.
Meaning, consumers will naturally gravitate toward brands they feel connected and aligned with.
In fact, 90% of leading marketers say personalization significantly contributes to business profitability.
Getting back to our example, the next logical step for those who want to reduce dependence on fossil fuels might be to transition to a vehicle that can run entirely on renewable energy.
💡 The Key Takeaway: Marketing trends can be predicted using analytics. After the necessary data is gathered, companies will understand how to better their marketing strategies.
Example of How Data Can Predict Marketing Trends
Marketing data is a compilation of how people feel and what they say (both on the record and off).
More importantly, it’s about what they do.
In our example above, a car company would have to study the sales data alongside the online survey responses to see how people in a certain area make their purchases.
So, if 99% of all respondents claim that they want excellent gas mileage but the average MPG of registered vehicles is just 13, a car company might consider hybrid vehicles rather than electric ones.
Marketers don’t need to be told that there can be a serious discrepancy between how people see themselves and how they behave in the real world.
It comes down to reading between the lines to reconcile the two realities.
💡 The Key Takeaway: To stay on top of the newest marketing trends, those in the field must stay on top of consumer dynamics.
How to Collect Data to Predict Future Digital Marketing Trends
Every company wants consumer feedback these days, making requests easy to either ignore or rush through for the incentive.
The best questions are carefully calibrated based on the person receiving the request and if they’re convenient to answer.
Using surveys to collect consumer feedback
Direct feedback also takes into account the context of the request.
For instance, intercept surveys occur while a consumer is actively engaged with the brand.
It captures their in-the-moment reaction which can be very different from the reactions they have on an online survey that asks the same questions.
Asking questions with factual answers, like how often the person uses a certain product or why they engaged with the product in the first place, can get people used to answering correctly before asking them to, say, rate their experience.
As a result, this is a way to gather insight into marketing trends in real-time.
Additionally, tools like this can deliver insight into psychological strategies that will influence consumer spending.
Our brief video on this method will teach you more.
💡 The Key Takeaway: Using various consumer feedback tools like intercept surveys can deliver key data about current marketing trends. It’s a way to obtain in-the-moment, relevant feedback about shopper preferences.
How to Interpret Data
When mining the data, there need to be certain thresholds that alert marketers to the biggest factors at play.
Therefore, there may need to be people interpreting what different answers could mean for the larger vision of the brand.
Here is an example.
For instance, if more than 7% of people are dissatisfied with a specific aspect of a company, this should trigger an automatic review of the negative interactions with the brand.
If a person was interested in using a certain product or service but decided against it, finding out what deterred them (cost, convenience, etc.) can make it easier for a company to narrow down how to proceed.
And consumer feedback is only getting more and more common. Up to 65% of customers have high expectations for service and outreach.
This type of customer data not only has a huge impact on marketing trends but the success of a business as a whole.
To really interpret the data in marketing industry trends, professionals may need to ask some tough questions, and they may need to hypothesize based on their audience demographic.
For example, if cost is the reason why a person won't buy a certain product, not everyone will admit the price tag is a problem.
Instead of saying that they can't afford it due to a tightened budget, they might claim the quality is poor or that they have no real need for the product.
💡 The Key Takeaway: Understanding the demographic of an audience will help identify key factors in marketing trends.
How to Start Marketing Trends
Companies that want to start trends have to be willing to take risks. Even when all the data points a certain way, there are few guarantees in life.
The way to start marketing trends is to have the right information at your fingertips.
This doesn't necessarily mean burying yourself in numbers, though. Mountains of data points are easy to get lost in, which is why Big Data has failed to deliver on so many of its promises.
Starting trends is about making bold moves that are consistent with your audience's needs and wants.
- Maybe you…lower your price point before a recession (and before your competitors do).
- Maybe you…accurately predict that your customers are bored with a product and change it before it impacts your revenue.
- Maybe you…add certain services or make them more flexible without customers even having to ask for the privilege.
Whatever it is that you do, listening has to be an active part of your day.
Customers will tell you what they're looking for, even if you don't ask them. Paying attention to the current trends in marketing will help you determine what strategies to pursue in the future.
If your sales numbers are flat or falling, it's a message that there's something amiss with your strategy. Instead of waiting to see what your competitors do and then copying them, you should be confident enough to take the wheel.
💡 The Key Takeaway: So, you want to launch some of the best new marketing trends? Then you have to step out of your comfort zone! Don’t be afraid to follow through with consumer advice and suggestions.
National market research can tell you what your customers are likely to do (even if they don't know it yet).
Drive Research is a national market research company that understands the science behind good data. Our team will drive straight to the heart of the issue, so you don't waste your time or money guessing the next predictive trend.
Interested in a proposal or estimate for a survey or focus group, or want to simply take a look at the rest of our services? Get in touch with us through any of the four ways below.
- Message us on our website
- Email us at [email protected]
- Call us at 888-725-DATA
- Text us at 315-303-2040
As a Content Marketing Specialist, Lark has a strong background and passion for creative, professional, and journalistic writing. She is also a self-proclaimed music freak and 90s enthusiast.
Learn more about Lark, here.