A big thanks to Pete for spending time with David and me. More from Pete on 2011 marketing trends is available at Ad Age.
What's your take on 2010-2011 trends? Join the conversation below. And if you have feedback on #mktfyi, want to suggest topics for us to cover, or have ideas for guest speakers, drop us a line at mktfyi AT gmail DOT com.
By integrating with its competitors platforms, According to Gowalla’s CEO, it aims to become a “socially-curated guidebook” instead of delivering promotional deals or using game mechanics to maintain user interest.
These might seem like obvious signs Foursquare can claim the geo-location crown. But Facebook has nearly 600 billion reasons you’d be wrong. While Facebook Places experience may be ham-fisted in comparison to Foursquare. It’s user base dwarfs Foursquare’s five million users and it creates an insurmountable delta between the two platforms. But Foursquare is iterating and innovating to stay relevant in the geo-location space.
Working with brands like Gap, Foursquare is also focused on offering more utiity by integrating into ads. Incentivizing users to create a shopping list is a smart way to complement the online to instore experience. Both of these moves are smart and underscore how quickly Foursquare, Gowalla and Brightkite are iterating to maintain relevancy and user attention.
The Geo-Location Challenge in 2011 It will be interesting to see if the luster of game mechanics can be maintained in 2011. In Drive, Daniel Pink refers to stick and carrot management. Game mechanics are an extension of the stick and carrot strategy. And the Havard Business Review is already suggesting consumers won’t want to eat their vegetables in 2011.
Discovering trend sites like PSFK, Springwise and Trendhunter (amongst others) changed my life. At my last job, it allowed me to keep an eye on the cutting edge and push through on seemingly unrelated items on my to do list.
But trends do impact your to do list in one way or another. So I stopped the yearly trend cram sessions headed into annual planning -- the business equivalent of finals. Now trends help me year round, helping me to:
1) Surprise & Delight: When I read about a trend that connects with something I’m working on, it usually helps me see that project in a new light. Or just get all the more excited knowing I’m on the right track.
2) Punctuate Projects: Getting into a process is efficient and smart. Getting into a routine can create atrophy. Trends remind me that I always need to consider “what if” and consider test and learn opportunities to drive improvements throughout the year.
3) Filter Broadly, Iterate Narrowly: Trends feel cutting-edge, in part, because they cover broad segments most people aren’t focused on at all times. But trends are an early warning system, alerting us to the need to innovate or iterate. While scanning trends in architecture, fashion, marketing, retail and culture, remember to filter between micro and macro trends and how/if they impact your target audience.
Trend Hunter approached me and other bloggers with the opportunity to preview their annual trend dive. So here are five of Trendhunter’s 20 trends they’ve singled out in their 2011 Trend Report. You can download all 20 here. To get a deeper dive, you’ll have to pay for the whole thing.
1) Democratic Selling: I’ve been buying Threadless t-shirts for a couple of years and they’ve been around for a decade. Is this a trend? As marketers focused this year on social selling models like GroupOn to encourage purchase, this trend is perhaps a needed reminder to consider new models and approaches throughout the entire product lifecycle.
P&G’s Connect & Develop uses crowd sourcing at the idea stage, Threadless for demand-triggered manufacturing. For demand-triggered discounts/purchase we’ve got GroupOn and brands as different as Dell and Uniqlo. So if you’ve got someone on the fence about crowd sourcing in the coming year, they’d better have an amazing rationale.
2) Tangible Printing: Currently in use in architecture, health and fashion industries, I think marketers should keep it in mind for broader application. Regardless of the cost, most any surface is an ad. But this is a privilege and not a right. So let’s use these new technologies responsibly.
3) Projected Publicity: Empower’s Word of Mouth and Out of Home teams are always looking at ways to interact with target audiences in a more experiential manner. Done correctly, it gives brands a reason to talk with consumers and create offline engagement. Projected Publicity is a great example of one way you can transform an event into something much different. It also reminds me of Digital Graffiti.
4) Real-Timing: It’s all about instant gratification in our over stimulated, time-starved, increasingly mobile culture. I’m seeing mobile as the link between shopper marketing and online marketing for many retail brands. Real-Timing is on consumer trend that’s driving these developments. It also makes things like Sticky Bits all the more relevant.
5) Perpetual Adaptation: A raft of TV programs, informercials and cable TV specials remind us how people are dying to be beautiful. But this trend, for me, shines light on the need for companies to build iteration into planning. Technology is changing quickly. We can’t react annually. Much as culture is reinforcing the need for people to change their look, business should be in a state of constant iteration.
There are 15 more trends waiting for you to download, including Charitable Deviance, Brand Reversion and Tweetonomics. So check them out, let me know what you think of the trends and join the discussion. What trends and trend resources like Trend Hunter do you think are worth following in 2011?
Take Facebook's tour and you'll see that Knox is right. I'll also note, while LinkedIn has been drafting off Facebook for awhile, it's interesting to see Facebook finally pay homage to LinkedIn with the way they're serving up some of the redesign. The two aren't direct competitors IMHO, for now, but they continue to push each other for our benefit.
Tumblr will be back shortly The angst on Twitter today is focused on Tumblr since it is down and now its users cannot post their angst to the very popular publishing platform. One of the reasons Tumblr is so popular is it's free and it's easy to use (that's what she said). A well-intended phrase like "We'll be back shortly" is biting them in the butt as shortly is broadly defined.
Self-Entitled Users Should Become Personally Accountable Platforms like Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter are free to use. This means they're wildly popular. Some are better poised to handle the growth than others. All of the platforms are responding to growth -- sometimes this means failing.
Twitter served up more fail whales than a Green Peace outing for awhile there. Everyone bitched and moaned -- the same people that are still using Twitter today. This too shall pass as Tumblr fixes what's broken. The best platforms will survive regardless of how much we moan and gnash our keyboards.
You Get What You Pay For In my last post I noted: "Terms of service change. Privacy settings change. Users need to take personal accountability for their privacy. How many of us do?"
We need to keep it in mind when things like this happen too. If we've got all of our marbles tied up in free services, we need to be prepared to suffer the consequences when the Internet takes its masher and scatters your marbles all over the web. They're playing for keepsies and it's up to the individual to manage their own presence whether its privacy or free services.