How to Identify and Capitalize on a Marketing Trend

Opportunity is everywhere. But while some advertisers have their finger on the pulse of market trends, others come to the game late. Or even worse: remain forever clueless.

Take for instance emojis, currently a hot marketing tool. Some companies were using emojis long before they ever became mainstream with advertising. What did those companies know that others didn’t?

They knew how to capitalize on a marketing trend.

Here, companies anticipated the change (emojis replacing verbose text), saw the change coming (Millennials using emojis), and distinguished short-lived fad from long-term trend (emojis are here to stay).

Learn how to capitalize on marketing trends by employing these skills:

1. Anticipate Trends Before They Happen

You don’t need to be psychic to predict a marketing trend, but you do need to be in tune with the marketplace. Get in sync by:

Paying Attention to Patterns. Not too long ago savvy advertisers saw consumers moving away from desktops and gravitating toward smartphones. So, they adjusted their ad campaigns for mobile. Now mobile growth is off the charts and advertisers are reaping the rewards.

Solving Customer Problems. The solution to a customer’s problem could be the next big marketing trend. Recently, Neiman Marcus solved a conundrum that had been plaguing its customers: the struggle to describe a specific product.

Using the retailer’s “Snap.Find.Shop” app, customers simply take a picture, upload it, and receive a selection of items identical or similar that they can purchase.

Snap.Find.Shop App
Source: Neiman Marcus Blog

Here, Neiman Marcus fulfilled its customers’ needs and capitalized on a burgeoning purchasing trend: visual search.

2. Be Able to Spot a Current Trend

So, how do you know when a trend is, well, trending? Knowing your audience will make it easier to spot current market trends.

For instance, candy company Jolly Rancher appears to be targeting Millennials in their Snapchat social campaign “Keep on Sucking.” Jolly Rancher encourages Millennials to have a Jolly Rancher to make life a little less sucky (along with using the Jolly Rancher filter of course).

Considering Snapchat generates 6 billion video views a day, this is a brilliant move on Jolly Rancher’s part. Here, Jolly Rancher spotted a current trend – Snapchat usage among its target audience – and employed a marketing campaign to capitalize on it.

Jolly Rancher Snapchat
Source: Digiday

3. Determine Whether It’s Passing or Long-term

One day you’re in, and the next day you’re out. Unfortunately, marketing trends can be fickle. Therefore it’s important to discern whether to invest for the long-haul or the short-term.

Consider fashion house Chanel, who recently made the plunge into YouTube by creating its own fashion channel. It’s safe to say since YouTube has been around for quite sometime, this is a long-term capitalization for Chanel.

Chanel YouTube Channel
Source: YouTube

However, if you’re the aforementioned Jolly Rancher, you may only invest in the short-term with Snapchat until you see if the hip messaging app is here to stay.

Remember to always weigh the pros and cons. And keep in mind that a short-term investment can always turn into a long-term one, just adjust your budget as needed.

Capitalizing on marketing trends isn’t rocket science. Simply follow this simple three-step formula — anticipating, spotting, and determining longevity — and you’ll be on top of market trends in no time.