This post is not strictly marketing or strictly libraries but I put this list together for one of my colleagues who asked me about useful websites for information on changing consumer and societal trends. This is based on the sorts of sources I used when I worked at Fonterra. The Futurist website is always an interesting place to start. Some of the others are useful for mining details from – for instance the Datamonitor reports are hugely expensive, but you can access the tables of contents, and they give an excellent idea of what’s in the report. Some others are a bit crazy, but hey if you are in the business of coming up with new ideas anything is worth considering I think!
Datamonitor – New Developments in Global Consumer Trends –
They say: This report based on a vast array of primary and secondary research provides a comprehensive snapshot of global consumer behavior. Structured around Datamonitor’s well-established mega-trends framework, it offers added clarity, new detailed insight, future trend predictions and intuitive recommendations for marketing and product development.
I say: Report from 2007. Very expensive but there is free access to a comprehensive table of contents which lists the trends included in the report.
Datamonitor – Evolution of Global Consumer Trends – Market Analysis Report
They say: There are 10 global consumer mega-trends that will determine successful NPD and marketing strategies in the next 10 years. This report, in presenting new data to reflect consumer values, attitudes and behaviors, offers a more detailed breakdown of how the mega-trends have affected consumer behaviors, how they evolved in recent years and how they are likely to evolve in the future.
I say: Report from 2005 but still relevant as the trends are predicted to cover the next 10 years. Very expensive but there is free access to a comprehensive table of contents which lists the trends included in the report.
Top 10 forecasts for 2009 and beyond from The Futurist
They say: Each year since 1985, the editors of THE FUTURIST have selected the most thought-provoking ideas and forecasts appearing in the magazine to go into our annual Outlook report. Over the years, Outlook has spotlighted the emergence of such epochal developments as the Internet, virtual reality, and the end of the Cold War
Trends 2009 from the Hartman Group
They say: At The Hartman Group, leading-edge customized research and consulting blend to understand the complexities of consumer behavior. We pride ourselves on understanding nuance. We dig deep to get at the underlying motivations and behaviors that make a difference to brands, innovation, marketing and business development.
They say: HartBeat is The Hartman Group’s FREE online newsletter, providing insight, analysis, information and strategy to give business leaders the knowledge and vision to build sustainable brands.
I say: link provides access to previous issues of the newsletter
trendwatching.com: Consumer trends and insights from around the world
Springwise | New business ideas from around the world
Knowthis.com says of Springwise: Springwise *A blog-style site devoted to spotting trends as these emerge from around the world. The site allows so-called “spotters” to submit trends, so in some cases the trends presented appear to be part of a company’s marketing campaign. But in many cases the trends are interesting, if not unique, and fun to read.
Research reports from Australian market research company McCrindle Research
I say: Many of these reports focus on generational segmentation e.g. segmenting markets by generations X, Y, Z etc. See:
Seriously cool: marketing, communication and engaging with diverse generations
From the report: This white paper provides a big-picture analysis of our changing times and generational shifts, and points to some of the drivers of the generational debate. In the process it delivers insights into both marketing strategy and the marketing and communication tactics that will result in deeper engagement with the diverse generations
Trends, Ideas and New Marketing Methods: KnowThis.com
They say: “Marketers are always experimenting with new ways to reach and satisfy customers. In this section we provide information on new ideas and methods marketers are using to gain an upper hand on their competition”
Marketing Stories and News for Marketing Trends: KnowThis.com
Google directory for business http://www.google.co.nz/Top/Business/
I say: Try a search from here on trends for more links
New Zealand demographic trends
So begin’s Alison Circle’s post on Marketing as strategy, not a poster. For me this is a critically important blog posting, as it highlights what Circle considers to be a fundamental confusion in libraries between marketing and promotion. For Circle, marketing is:
a high level strategy, not the tactics that give life to that strategy
and as such it involves:
- market research to know as much as possible about current and potential customers
- analysing customer needs – what can be met and critically what can’t be met
- identification and analysis of the competition
- a focus on the four Ps – product, price, position and promotion
For me this sort of focus is exactly what has been missing as I’ve sat through numerous conference presentations that have highlighted again and again the challenges that face libraries, but have resulted in very little or no discussion on the strategy of how we will meet these challenges. Clearly we need to promote libraries and what we do, but where is our strategy that gives us a foundation to that – that gives us a framework to focus our limited budgets and resources?
This then is what has led me to study marketing and to consider it in relation to libraries – because I suspect there aren’t enough of us in the library profession that know enough about marketing.
So here are a few questions I’ve got for starters:
- do we follow and understand the major societal and consumer trends and how they will impact on us as librarians?
- we survey our customers but do we just find out what we already know, or do we gather information that can actually help us make decisions about service delivery?
- are we really honest about what needs we can and can’t meet? Are we honest and brave enough to concede there are some needs we can’t meet and there is little point in wooing certain groups of customers?
- do we know who are competitors are and do we keep track of what they are up to?
- do we have a good idea of how we should plan for future services – specifically how will the information seeking behaviours of generation Y, Z and C evolve? Are we aware of any longitudinal studies in place to look at this?
1. Big brands do boutique
2. Taking it to the streets
3. Customization is out of beta
4. User generated content is not a four letter word
5. Let’s meet up
6. The great and powerful Mom
7. The great big conversation
8. DIY goes global
9. The rise of steampunk
10. The rise of the amateur expert home decorator
11. Traveling in hipster comfort
12. Gone Green for Good
Its a summary report, but there’s enough commentary to get a good idea of what each trend covers