The rate of change in the business world is in a permanent state of acceleration. Business will always change, and it will always be changing faster than ever before. So, if you’re not looking ahead, you’re doomed to crash.

These are a few articles I’ve read recently that look to the future – the trends that are shaping the way we have to act now in order to stay successful (and alive) later. Share interesting articles with me on Twitter at @erinclaire and @Bazaarvoice, so that I can share them here.

Marketing’s Next Five Years: How to Get From Here to There
by Matthew Creamer for AdvertisingAge

Terrific predictions that every marketer should be thinking about now. Mobile will be (and for many, already is) a consumers’ most important device – and being relevant on this constant consumer companion won’t be an option. Big data will come to television, and through smart TV targeting consumers with relevant, personalized messages will be possible. Old metrics like reach, impressions, and eyeballs will give way to trackable outcomes and engagement. Agency and marketer focus will shift away from ad-centric ideas lost in the noise to creating delightful, memorable, talkable experiences. There are many more predictions in the article. Read it and ask yourself – are you ready for the future?

Get Customer-Centric: Smart Customers To Target And Other Retailers: ‘Quit Whining’
by Michael Hinshaw for CMO.com

…About showrooming. Great read on how the retail industry needs to solve the “showrooming” crisis – by realizing that it’s not a crisis, it’s an opportunity. Mobile lets shoppers touch, try on, and play with products in a store, then find others’ opinions, different options, and the best deal for themselves online. Is it any surprise that they’re looking out for themselves? Fighting the tide of consumer preference didn’t work for the music industry, it isn’t working for the media industry, and it won’t work for retail. Your consumer wants to shop the way they want to shop – so become the best at selling the way they want to buy. I like the idea of retailers opening stores that encourage showrooming: stocking just a few of each product, with the aim of helping customers in the smaller store order online. It always comes back down to the same simple truth: know what your consumers really value and deliver it to them better than anybody else.

Why You Don’t Need to Fear – and May Even Want to Embrace – the F Word: Failure
by Natalie Zmuda for AdvertisingAge

I love this. “It’s okay to fail once, but not to fail twice at the same thing.” Wendy Clark, SVP Integrated Communications for Coca-Cola, has some great quotes here. “For a long time, it’s been acceptable to make a career on neutral outcomes. No one ever got fired for being middle of the road… in this environment, with so much conversation, neutral is the enemy. I’d rather fail than have no impact.” John McCarvel (CEO for Crocs), Morgan Flatley (VP Marketing for Gatorade), and others explain why failure is a competitive advantage and neutral is the enemy.

Volvo Starts Its Engine on Pinterest Campaign
by Lisa Lacy for ClickZ

So many brand social campaigns focus on chatter for the sake of chatter. Branded status updates and tweets ask meaningless questions of their fans that don’t relate to the brand, in sad attempts to get fans talking. Volvo’s new Pinterest campaign, on the other hand, demonstrates that the auto maker recognizes that conversation is not engagement. They’re asking consumers to create Pinboards of their ideal road trip – the destinations, shops, sites, music, etc. that would define their perfect drive. The campaign connect the brand to the passion involved in a road trip – and the information they gather on consumers desired destinations, music, etc. can inform future marketing campaigns. Don’t just get consumers talking – get them to share information that is relevant to your brand and helps you learn more about them.

 

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