Differentiating a brand’s services and products from those of competitors is the primary concern of marketers in any industry. Monitoring trends in real time and anticipating which changes will happen in the market is incredibly crucial for being able to remain at the forefront of competition.
However, analysis of market trends should extend beyond the actions of competitors – brands must be able to detect new consumer habits, behaviors, and lifestyles. Must also analyze their potential impact on the overall industry market and the brand’s products. Such data enables brands to collect feedback regarding existing products, develop new products, and efficiently segment their service offerings to target different audiences.
Analyzing online conversations is a valuable method for understanding emerging market trends relevant to a brand’s products and services, public perception and the specific expectations. However, analyzing online conversations alone is not enough: brands must connect with specialized media researchers, opinion leaders, market experts and journalists to understand pre-existing trends and discover emerging trends.
This type of analysis involves several steps: analyzing potentially large volumes of data, knowing where relevant conversations are occurring, and determining the insights within conversational trends.
The Goals of Trend Analysis
The first step in trends research should always be defining your goals. For example, a brand’s goals might involve gaining insights on the target audience, discovering macro trends in its industry, collect feedback on products and services or research consumer behavior. Once these goals have been defined, it is important to select tools which will allow the brand to detect and process relevant data.
Detect and Monitor Major Trends
An excellent method for discovering sources to monitor and new topics of interests is analyzing the evolution of social media conversation on industry-related concepts. Ideally, research should begin with general concepts before analysis is refined to keywords which are consistently used over a relatively extended period. Finally, relevant ideas can be segmented into clusters of similar topics for a more straightforward collection of data most relevant to the study’s interest.
Here are some commonly used methods for monitoring trends:
• Specify 3 to 4 primary topics to monitor
• Analyze widely used hashtags and their volume of use regarding key concepts – both spontaneous and brand-created hashtags should be monitored
• Analyze Google searches to identify trends related to current events trends in keywords. Google’s search suggestions also provide valuable information on user reviews and consumer trends
• Identify key events within the industry on emerging trends and monitor commonly used language to identify macro concepts
• Monitor industries outside of the brand’s sector to detect potential overlapping trends
The Benefits of Monitoring and Analysis
When you monitor and analyze marketing campaigns such as newsletters, pay-per-click advertising, emails, etc., you have the chance to dig in and examine how things are actually performing. If the levels of success are low, you should drill down and figure out what the problem is. At that point, you can decide whether you should reinvest in improving your current campaign or stop it and focus on new ones.
When a campaign is going particularly fine, you can “follow the bright spots” and learn from them to ensure your future campaigns are just as successful.
And now we are going to talk about the additional 4 benefits that monitoring and analyzing your marketing efforts have besides pinpointing highs and lows among your marketing strategy.
1. Know What Your Customers Have to Say
Your customers who are also the members of your target audience are the base on which the success of your business is built. You have to know which marketing techniques are efficient in their eyes, and tracking the fall and rise of your business operations reports that information.
When you find a particular slogan, advertisement or other marketing technique that sticks with them, build it up. You can inject it into your social media posts or incorporate it into promotional items. Measuring your customers’ reactions helps you create a branding image which can last a lifetime.
On the other hand, when the reactions to a specific campaign are negative, or when you can’t generate profit based on one of them, you are not only learning that the campaign is unsuccessful, but you are also getting a taste of what they do not like.
2. Improve the Techniques
Whenever you find a strategy that works well, you may be tempted just to let it be. You assume that it has already generated a high level of success, so you do not need to improve it. However, the competitive landscape and your customers are not going to remain the same forever, and neither should your message. For example, consider a product that targets individuals in their 20s. Even though you want to keep that audience, you also want to retain these customers when they move into the next periods of their lives. Updating the product, as well as the marketing campaigns that go along with it, can make these people lifelong customers.
3. Have a Stronger Financial Approach
When you are monitoring and then analyzing your campaign, you will start to see how the money you invest in either leads to a loss or generates profit. This benefit or consequence is measurable and tangible. And the ability to do so may adequately lead to a high level of success on your end. When you determine the components that make your company strong, you can invest more money in them and put away the techniques which drain your company out of a profit.
4. Build a Strong Online Reputation
Besides ensuring that your finances are stable, you also want to be sure you have a reliable digital reputation. By analyzing how individuals are reacting to your marketing campaigns on review boards and social media outlets, you can gain a sense of what your online reputation is and why. Once you know where you stand, you can work to either repair the problem or tweak strategies to garner even better reviews.
Running an efficient marketing strategy across all channels is something every brand strives for. Still, if you are not equipt with the proper tools that let you efficiently monitor and analyze your marketing performance, then this may never be possible.