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Tracking and Using Market Trends

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Knowing your market is your first priority as a marketer, and a sure way to fail in marketing is to assume that what your customers wanted yesterday are what they will ask for today. Hot products lose their heat regularly, and keeping track of market trends and consumer priorities allows marketers to maintain their leading edge. ''By tying developing trends into your marketing strategy, you permit a more proactive approach to securing future outcomes on your terms,'' comments Norton Paley in his book The Manager's Guide to Competitive Marketing Strategies.

The following are 10 tips Paley offers to help you keep track of trends in the market.
  1. Build and maintain the habit of reading periodicals that report general market trends, such as the Wall Street Journal or Business Week.
  2. Keep and read the trade magazines and journals focused on the specific industry whose products you market. It will help you plan ahead for future trends by helping you adjust your priorities before your customers start adjusting theirs.
  3. Sign up to services on the Internet that send regular emails or newsletters to your mailbox constantly feeding you breaking news.
  4. Subscribe to marketing newsletters in your field.
  5. Arrange regular sessions, at least one a month, with professional colleagues both inside and outside your organization to discuss market trends.
  6. Be sure to attend your industry's trade association meetings.
  7. Subscribe to the services of companies who research and publish information about your industry including providing specific market research.
  8. Be in regular connection with marketing people dealing with products outside your category.
  9. Always develop a rapport with your customers and keep feeling out how they see their own prospects with your product in the future. Their concerns and appreciations are a good guide for marketing.
  10. Keep your mind, eyes, and ears open. Information is the key to survival, and though a lot can be negligible, there is nothing that can be neglected.
The secret to successful marketing is to learn the trick of merging market trends with customer needs and technology. Every marketer has to continuously assess the answers to the following questions.
  • What marketing segments could I acquire over the next three to five years?
  • What current customer functions could I meet in a more efficient manner?
  • What technologies in the market can I adapt to meet present and future customer needs?
  • What trends are shown by market behavior?
As Paley says, marketers can adopt new trends in a variety of ways, including the following.

  • Create customized products through supplier-customer alliances
  • Analyze customers' sales data from inventory control systems
  • Improve logistical systems to facilitate delivery
  • Strengthen your presence within niche markets that are neglected by competitors
  • Improve the quality of customer service and projecting the image of a responsible supplier
  • Build an open system that allows customers to interact with key personnel for facing problems
Market trends are the guides to future market demands, and managing market demand is the key to successful marketing. In the fiercely competitive market of the 21st century where products and companies bloom and fade even before the market has time to register their presence, keeping track of market trends remains the lifeline of success. Marketers who fall into the habit of taking things for granted and refrain from making that extra effort and expenditure to track market trends have a greater chance of stagnating in their careers or of being pushed out of the market altogether.
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 The Manager  consumers  newsletters  tracking  Wall Street Journal  Norton Paley  market trends  Business Week  Guide to Competitive Marketing Strategies  industry

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