Wednesday, January 13, 2010

2010 Expectations

A little late, but it's always fun to join the 2010 expectations bandwagon. Here are some for marketing topics. A new year presents opportunities for new goals, new themes, new ideas, new hopes and new expectations. Of course, any of these could be done any time of the year. But like Christmas and all other holidays, it's a catalyst or gimmack for a happy new year! So, here goes...

Shorter articles will gain more interest unless you are writing journals or academic thesis. Look at how well Twitter is surpassing Blogs. People expect to know things faster and make their own conclusions which is usually more fun. This also applies for advertising messages. If you don't succeed in capturing attention within 3 seconds, the rest don't matter. Again, make it different and make it clear what you are selling.

More me-too products will continue to compete in the market because of saturation of form and function in technology and product developments across various industries. Hybrids for cars, more functions crammed into mobilephones, and thinner laptops with longer lasting batteries, less power-hungry processors, etc are only small, incremental developments. Even new breakthrough product development need to compete with faster emerging me-too. Finding new ways for people to dispose of their old products will be the better strategy to improve new product diffusion of innovation.

Waste will continue. On one hand we look for ways to reduce certain waste (less paper, bio-degradable), but on the other hand crappy products continue to over-flood the market and create more waste. The vicious cycle includes competing for floor space during new product introduction, more advertisement and promotion efforts to sustain growth and fight off competitors, and finally how to dispose of end of life products with new advertisements and promotions. How to consolidate and collaborate effectively will ensure an exponentially greater waste-reduction effort. Also, how to use the same product for different purpose like the WD40 example. Unfortunately, it's easier said than do-able. Imagine using your mobilephone as paperweight?

By making things more "available", we are creating waste. Look at the airline, automotive and housing industries - by making it easily available for everyone to have, we have created excess of everything from the supply chain to the end products. In contrast, limited editions sell for higher profit margin, last longer (because of the prestige association), and reduces supply chain waste (limited order planning). Unfortunately, in economic sense, it's less attractive because volume sells better, but you'll definitely have less waste.

Doomsday themes continue to sell. Doomsday messages including financial crashes, commodity shortages will continue to dominate online search and make interesting headlines. Tag your promotion campaign on these themes to get attention.

Post financial crisis management theories. A lot of previously well-known strategies will be outdated or lose some credibility after the 2007 world financial crisis. Most of the companies featured as "Good to Great" didn't perform or remain as resilient as they should have been. Were the management strategies wrong? No, it's just a different ball-game which only goes to show that we need to be highly adaptable to survive. The iceberg IS melting, Expect more new theories on how to survive the next crash, but to stay ahead of the pack, change the ball-game totally to your advantage.

Stay tuned for more...

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