The start of the year is inevitably a time to discuss grand predictions, it has become the time of the guessing games regarding the trends that are expected to set the pace for upcoming months… ‘clearly this will be the year for mobile marketing…’, ‘over the coming year expect generation Y and baby boomers to walk away from traditional media…’, ‘hyper-connected TV will substitute…’, ‘PR 3.0 (whatever that means) will change the way agencies work…’, and so on and so forth, the great forecasts we hear about every year in Mexico and that actually are quite slow to take hold.
Though I believe it is very important to stay abreast of how things are supposed to evolve over the coming months, I feel strongly that it is even more important to actively participate in exploring new communication alternatives, rather than waiting for them to become obvious, and that as brands or companies we end up feeling like ‘we simply have to do this’. From my perspective it is better to try, test, and fail –or succeed— than to wonder if an idea might’ve worked if we’d just dared try it out. The budget assigned to innovation needs to become a basic element in the marketing mix of any company aspiring to report a ‘good year’.
In fact, we can go ahead and list examples of several companies who were tuned into the trends and who bet on implementing them right away, and in so doing, became the actual trendsetters. One such case is Macy’s and their augmented reality holiday campaign, or Starbucks with their Mystarbucksidea, or American Express and their incursion into Foursquare.
In Mexico, and from my point of view, as a market we tend to be defined by measures that are ‘safe’ and ‘known’. We like to work with whatever the theories have shown to yield real results. It is for this reason that this year, and from my position, I intend to focus on making things happen, convincing those who have the final-say on budgets, to go ahead and evaluate, factor in some risk, become the success story, bottom line: to ride the wave of the trends.
In fact, this year, if we want our brand or our company to stay a leader, or to reach the top position in the market, our most important trends should point to innovating, testing initiatives, and measuring their results.