How to Identify and Capitalize on a Marketing Trend

By Melissa Duko, May 02, 2017

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, which seemed to overnight become 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. They made the right move. 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. Neiman Marcus solved a conundrum that had been plaguing its customers: the struggle to describe a specific product.

Related Post: 5 Ways to Nail Seasonality in Your Advertising

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. 


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. However, don’t assume you already know your customer. As always, do your research first.

For instance, candy company Jolly Rancher targets 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).

Related Post: 6 Trends That Will Drive Digital Marketing in 2017

Considering Snapchat generates 10 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. 


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 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. 


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.

This article was originally posted in January 2016 and has been republished with new information.

Melissa Duko

Melissa Duko

Melissa Duko is the Senior Editor and Digital Specialist for eZanga and its ad fraud management platform, Anura. She brings to her role more than a decade of journalism and editing experience. A graduate of the University of Delaware, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in English, concentration business and technical writing, minor Art History. She also has a Master of Science in professional writing for the public and private sector from Towson University. She isn’t afraid to admit that her love for Starbucks is at gold member status. (Since 2011!) More Articles by Melissa Duko