When To Follow the Latest Digital Marketing Trends

5 ways to analyze trends

We work in a constantly changing industry, with new technology and new methods popping up all the time. Ascedia has always kept one eye on the latest trends and has strategically adopted those that are most beneficial to our clients. Our digital strategy and research team is continually analyzing the latest changes to algorithms, reporting methodologies, and automation tools to decide which are here to stay and those to ignore. 

How can you decide when it's time to try something new? Here are five tips: 

1. MEASURE YOUR TOLERANCE FOR RISK.  

Deciding to jump on a trend isn’t about having 100% certainty about where the ride will take you.  While it's possible that a cutting-edge application of a new trend can send a brand skyrocketing, it’s just as possible for a large investment in unknown territory can quickly become an even larger investment when roadblocks, unforeseen delays, and difficulties arise. If your business isn’t on sure footing to cover your bases if the risk fails, you might want to reconsider holding off on pursuing the new idea. 

2. SCALE IT DOWN. 

Pursuing a new idea doesn't have to be all-or-nothing. Can you dip a toe in unknown waters? Do you have to fully invest, or can you test the concept on a smaller scale? This approach will allow you to determine if your vision for implementing this trend really resonates with your target audience. You can start by supplementing your existing strategy with something new rather than completely pivoting and giving up what you know works in pursuit of the latest fad. 

3. DO YOUR RESEARCH.  

The reality is that most trends have been tried numerous times before they take off with wide-scale popularity, effectiveness, or success. This means that when you're looking at a trend, you have to look beyond the technology and look at all of the elements that make it successful. You know that Pokémon GO app that introduced the world to geo-based augmented reality? Well, Niantic (the developer and publisher behind Pokémon GO) released a GPS-based app that used a similar approach in 2012. While Pokémon GO was touted as a commercial success because of its unique game experience, one could argue that it was actually the commercial brand appeal of Pokémon that cemented the viability of augmented reality in the marketplace. The combination of technology and a beloved brand was the real winner. 

4. KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE.  

What do you know about your audience? Are they an emerging, youthful crowd jumping from trend to trend and always up on the latest technology or are they a more mature audience that has a difficult time adapting to shifts in the marketplace and have an “if it ain’t broke” mentality? Review your buyer personas and determine whether they're likely to respond to the product or service you're considering. If the bulk of your client base won't be interested, there's your answer.  

5. WEIGH THE BUSINESS BENEFIT.

Are you interested in this for the sake of the trend, or is there a tangible business upside to the idea taking off? Can you draw a direct line from a successful use-case of this concept to your business goals? It’s surprising the number of times projects like these are undertaken with the idea that “it’s cool” or “if we build it, they will come,” but the line between trend and fad is blurry one. When in doubt it’s best to stop yourself and ask, “What added value does doing this bring to consumers?" If the answer is "a better experience that leads to increased satisfaction, improved efficiency, a stronger bottom line or greater long-term brand awareness," then it might be time to make the investment. 

Ascedia has begun work in the immersive space, helping our clients determine whether they too are ready to take on this new, "trendy" technology. While it's easy to think augmented reality and virtual reality are fun and games, it's been proven that there are real business benefits to using these technologies for training, marketing, product demos, and more. By working through the five steps outlined above, it was an obvious choice for our agency – and we can help you determine whether this trend is right for your business too. Contact us today to start brainstorming!

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