As we roll into 2009, I thought it might be a good idea to take a look at some trends for the New Year and ways you can turn these trends into profits for you. Increasingly, we find that with attention spans shrinking, trends seem to come and go a lot quicker. That’s why it’s imperative to know your market and know what the trends are that will have a long-term affect on your sales as opposed to those that are fairly short-lived. Some will be expected trends but I think you’ll find a few surprises in here as well.
1) Green: anything and everything or related to conservation. The same is true for organics and organic products and books related to these topics. Also, keep in mind that it’s not cheap to be green so the more you can teach people how to be green and save money, the more popular your book or product will be.
2) Entrepreneurs: more and more people are leaving their corporate jobs (whether willingly or through a layoff) and finding a safe haven in the entrepreneurial market. Anything related to office, home office, start-ups, inspiration for business owners, whatever it is, it’ll be in high demand. We’re seeing a huge uptick of folks starting businesses and in fact, it’s predicted to be a very fast growing market in 2009.
3) Social networking and anything related to Web 2.0: whatever you’re doing, make sure you’re doing it online. There’s a huge surge in this market and we predict an even bigger one to come. If you’re not online in a way that supports your book and gets to your consumer then you should make that your #1 priority for the New Year.
4) Outsourcing: this is a big one. As more companies lay off, outsourcing options will expand. I’ve read reports saying that companies will start outsourcing everything from HR to accounting. This is great news if you offer a service, if you do and your book ties into this position use your book as your business card. Now is the time to expand on the benefits and cost savings of going the outsourcing route.
5) Business coaching: could it be that the explosion of entrepreneurs will require more business coaches? Possibly. But trends suggest that any business related coaches will be in high demand. Coaching, while having become a bit of a clichÃ© term, is still a popular field, no matter how you define it.
6) DIY: the do it yourself culture will be out in full force in the New Year. If your book or product dials into that in any way, make sure to maximize this benefit in your marketing materials. (see #8 too)
7) Pets and anything related to pet ownership: it’s been a trend for years and it only keeps getting bigger. Anything pet-related and any other sort of tie in will be huge and only grow even more as the year wears on. Four out of ten US households have a pet (most of them a dog), so offering up products and services to that market is a sure win. Also, there are particular markets that tend to be recession proof. Pet services is one of them.
8) Home: consumers are staying home more than they ever were. If your book is on decorating, home-care, DIY renovation, real estate, and anything in between. Get out there and market it aggressively to decorating sites, home owner-related sites, the DIY market (you’ll find a lot of these folks on Facebook) and real estate sites that are directed at consumers.
9) As time wears on the idea of browsing online is going to shift and consumers will want to get to their data, product, or service fast. What does this mean for you? Well for one thing it will force those of us who are marketing online to be pinpoint accurate in our messaging. There’s little or no time for fluff and, as I mentioned earlier, surfing for the sake of surfing is no longer part of the consumer mind-set.
10) If ads are your thing, then consider this, Advertisements are going to become so desperate that you’ll start hearing a term called Shockvertising, this form of advertisement using shocking words or images to get the viewers attention. We saw this in the UK with the ad for Dexter. I’ll save you the description, it wasn’t pleasant but certainly shocking. You can only imagine I’m sure.
If all of this has left you wondering how you can be a trendspotter in your market here are a few ways you might be able to capture early trends within your marketspace:
1) Listen: listen to what your readers/consumers are asking for. If you start seeing the same request over and over again this might indicate an emerging trend.
2) Read: read publications in your market, go to conferences (these don’t always have to be in-person events, they can also be online) and get to know who your competition is in this space. Read publications, other books. The best sales person is one who is constantly learning.
3) Go online: find out what people are buzzing about on blogs, web sites, even Twitter. You’ll get a lot of real-time data to work with when you know where your audience resides and where they’re talking about what you’re selling!
As we all try to make our marketing dollars count for even more, trends and marketing to these groups is becoming even more important. Taking risks often means wasted marketing dollars. The more certain you can approach marketing, the better served your campaign will be and the quicker it will get off the ground.