Happy New Year to all! I have taken an extended leave from the blog, but am anxious to get going again.
With the new year comes lots and lots of predictions across every subject you can imagine. This year is destined to be tough for marketers as the economy most likely has a very slow recovery and consumers are ever so cautious. Because of this trend I doubt we will see much exciting happen in the form of new revolutionary ideas, at least from the big companies. Incrementalism will reign this year!
I do see three broad trends that have started to take shape and most likely are here for the foreseeable future and likely define the areas of innovation and creativity in 2009.
Micro and the resurgence of niche: This is all about the long tail and those small players that can carve out profitable niches be being different. Small players will thrive if they can crack the code on the next two trends.
Experience and engagement: As the old way of “push” marketing continues to degrade and turn off consumers, two-way communication and create a dialogue with your audience will be a necessity. I think this year the best of the best in this category will go way beyond social media tools to achieve this and actually provide Ritz Carlton type of personal service.
Consumers have more power: Customers are more educated that in the past and can now see through the veneer of differentiation whether on the cereal aisle or in large capital expenditures. What is key is for marketers and sales people to change the way they market and sell to ensure this trend is respected, understood. If it is ignored, cusotmers will not treat you kindly!