Why are we wasting time predicting 2019 marketing trends?
I’m sure they help someone, but like most of you, I’m planning on sticking around a lot longer than just 2019. Trends, products, and even companies come and go as fast as the years change, so I want to think forward and talk about the future of marketing itself, and how to survive no matter what comes at you.
The secret is C.A.R.I.N.G.
If your company takes the time to follow and internalize C.A.R.I.N.G., it doesn’t matter if 2019 brings internal iPhones, day passes to Mars, or even if Pogs finally make a comeback, you’ll understand the fundamental shift that’s happening in the industry.
C // Customer
Love it or hate it, you work for the customer. Without them, there would be no company, so you have to learn and empathize with the people buying and using your products and services. It doesn’t matter if you sell cars, food, or even services; if you don’t know the customer and adapt and change with them, your company won’t see the next decade.
But how do we learn about them?
A // Automation
Sure it’s scary, and will be the birth of Skynet, but if you aren’t investing and learning from data and automation now, we’re rapidly approaching the point where you won’t be able to hop on.
Automation, and using algorithms to read data about your customers, can have an imposing learning curve. It takes money to buy what you need, time and more money to teach your team how to use the equipment, and then even more time and money to inevitably restructure your entire business to adapt to the new process of working. But trust me, do it. This is our future.
The benefit of data exponentially outweighs the cost, and every second you aren’t getting over the initial wall, competitors on the other end of the curve are pulling away from you faster and faster.
Invest in automation to gather everything you’ll need to know and serve your customer better.
R // Respond, Don’t React
Did I overwhelm ya with the doom and gloom? Don’t worry, this next step is just for the humans: Respond.
Now understand, I said “respond,” not “react.” Reacting is creating an output for the input, taking the data and information you receive at face value and incorrectly taking your next step. Responding is about knowing the human aspect of your customers.
What are their values? What’s their experience like? Taking the time to empathize and understand the people behind the numbers will let you understand the data, and respond to the situation.
I // Innovate with Insight
Machines crunched the data, humans read the results, and now your company has insight into your customers like never before. Use this newfound knowledge with Design Doing to ideate and create…(Drum Roll)…
N // New Products and Values
This is perhaps the hardest and scariest step for some companies, because it means change.
Sometimes the changes can be relatively simple: adapting a product, providing a new service, modifying the user’s experience. But sometimes the data and insight can reveal that larger changes are needed.
Maybe your company needs to change its tenets and core values, rebranding and changing the outward facing persona. It can seem overwhelming, but remember: you have the data to back your decisions up, so is it more of a risk to adapt or to remain stagnant?
G // Growth
Hey, look ma, I made it.
You’ve invested the time, you’ve crunched the numbers, and you’ve adapted to your ever-changing customer. It’s finally time for the benefits.
And yes, growth can be referring in an economic or company sense, but it also means a growth in the relationship you have with your customers. They will respond to your understanding and investment in them with equal vigor, creating brand loyalty and better consumers in the future.
The strength of C.A.R.I.N.G. comes from its simplicity. Perhaps it’s not specific enough for your taste in predictions, but that’s why I know it’ll work. Because no matter what trends, technologies, or cultural changes come to fruition in 2019, C.A.R.I.N.G. for your customer will keep your company flourishing through 2020, 2030, and even 2040.
How do you think you’ll use C.A.R.I.N.G. in the future? Share your thoughts with us.