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Digital Marketing Trends: Say Yes to Competitive Advantage

Date Created: 30/06/2021

Digital marketing can be described as an infinite process. It has an ever - changing nature and can be said to go hand in hand with the opportunities and changes offered by the introduction of new technologies. A deeply focused marketer is aware that a core part of the function and purpose of the job is to pay attention to trends.

So, what are the trends that need to be ingrained in any organization that desires to stand out from the competition? What are the trends that should be ignored? How do we stay alert to trends that are legitimately useful to our work and stay away from those that could become a distracting waste of time?

Well…

  1. Note the basics

McCarthy’s (1960) 4Ps (product, price, promotion, and place) can be as relevant a starting point for building effective marketing approaches as they were 20 years ago when someone first read about them in Kotler’s Marketing Management. The 4Ps framework still carries weight over 60 years after it was first described and explained. The question is not what are the trends this year, but how do we stay relevant in the face of a changing landscape?

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  1. Don’t trust the hype

The hype cycle presented by Gartner is worth a quick pause. The model, for those who haven’t heard of it, briefly describes the observable phases of new technology adoption – including the titular “hype” phase, when promises about new technologies build to a crescendo and expectations far exceed reality.

There’s plenty of room to criticize the model (for several reasons – e.g., the limited practical and empirical evidence, and the potentially misleading terminology), but it certainly rings true enough when it comes to making sense of the proliferation of new technology trends. Being aware of what stage technology or trend is in can help you better assess how to approach testing and embedding.

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  1. Plan for the future

An agency should be aware of and focused on the product lifecycle to strategically plan its approach to product development. A balanced portfolio of growing and mature products, and an informed look at services that are in relative decline, can lead the agency directly to success, as these practices provide room to deliver top services to clients, profitably, now and in the future.

By understanding where each service stands within an overall maturity framework, the agency can identify where it needs to consider adopting new technologies to drive innovation or productivity improvements.

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  1. Look for convergence

One of the next best things we can do in planning the innovations to be introduced, aside from the often recommended and effective approach of setting aside some budget and time to adapt, test, and learn new trends without having great expectations of the results, is to look for where trends are manifesting and converging in different contexts.

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In conclusion

The job of critical-thinking marketers - marketing trends have no inherent strategic truth - is to neither bury their heads in the sand nor let every fad throw them to the wind. Instead, they should overlay the opportunities with their own organizational goals to find value in them.

Even if a particular trend evolves into a feature that stands the test of time, it still needs to be evaluated, in terms of whether or not it will help the company achieve its goals.

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