Marketers are facing a major problem. Post-virus, how will markets change? What are the trends?
Trends are a simple way to plot the future. More video meetings, more online courses, more home cooking—it’s where the world is headed. Conferences, restaurants, travel? Forget it.
Consultants love trends. Trends are easy to spot, easy to plot. First, draw the curve—then extend it.
If you had 100 EUR or USD for a future investment, where would you put it? In a video conferencing firm? A hotel? If you’re guided by trends, the answer is clear. Not the hotel.
But trends can be terribly misleading. Trends tell you what’s happening, not why it’s happening.
Drivers are a deeper way to look at the future. What are people’s fundamental needs? How are they changing?
Take physical meetings. The trend is: “less”. But why? Humans are social. Travel is inspiring. But it’s hard to meet when the office is closed, flights are cancelled, distancing is on.
The question is: are the today’s restrictions just changing what people do, or also what they value? Once all choices return, will people still prefer the Zoom call?
We’re in the midst of the world’s largest trial program. Millions of people are forced to do new things: cooking at home, wearing masks, seeing the kids. Companies are trying new products, different suppliers, and the full stack home office (hint: a great potential cost saving).
A trial can get you hooked. That’s why marketers are giving you free cookies.
The real post-trial question is: what’s going to stick? What’s so good, it’s going to become a long-term driver?
Trends are not drivers. Drivers are not trends.
TryThis >> Watch the trends; figure out the drivers.