Market research is a key aspect of starting any business. You need to know whether people are interested in your product and if there is a market for it. You also need to know whether other similar products are out there and what makes yours different. After doing this initial market research, you should hopefully have a product that performs well. But you shouldn’t stop there.
The best way to maintain long-term success is to predict future market trends and adapt to them. If you can work out what your customers will want in the next 5 years, you can be the first person to give it to them. Unfortunately, without a time travel device, it’s impossible to know for sure how the consumer’s wants and needs will change. However, you can make a very good estimate and this will drive the decisions about the future of your company. These are some of the best ways to predict long-term market trends in your industry.
Use Big Data
If your business is not already collecting and using data about your customers and your industry as a whole, you are at a huge disadvantage. Knowing which products and services perform well and what the buying habits of your target customers are like can be so valuable when trying to predict trends. Comparing your own data with wider data points about the industry as a whole helps you build a full picture. There are some excellent platforms like Live Earth that can help you do exactly that. By creating simple visualizations of data, you will get a much clearer idea of how markets are moving and what direction they are heading in. You can then use this information to drive your marketing campaigns and the overall direction of your company.
Listen To Influencers
Hopefully, you already know that influencers are excellent for creating successful marketing campaigns. But have you considered how they could help you predict long-term market trends? These are people that live and breathe your industry and many of them are brand ambassadors for your competitors. So, take note of what they are saying because, more often than not, their predictions are spot on. Look at their social media accounts and look in the comment sections too because the insights of their followers can be equally as valuable.
Read Industry Publications
Industry publications are also a great source of information. Again, the people writing for these publications are absorbed in your industry and they keep track of everything that is happening. Their job is to research the industry and write about its future, so you should subscribe to as many publications as possible and take the time to read them. They can also be a good marketing opportunity for you as well, so try to build relationships with them and see if you can get any extra information before your competitors do.
If you have your finger on the pulse and you can predict long-term market trends, your business decision making will be so much more effective.