Business and Marketing Trends: From the early 2000’s to Now + Why All Trends are Still Relevant If you think back 10 years, what do you remember? It was 2007 and I was a senior in high school. Needless to say, I was not paying attention to business and marketing trends at the time. However, I can point out to you the fundamentals that pertain to business that have changed drastically; the way we communicate, the way we make decisions (or more so factors we consider while making decisions), how we market ourselves/how we connect with people and technology. What if I told you the way these things were thought about and used 10 years ago could still be relevant today? Let’s look more in depth and weigh the pros and cons of the changes we have seen.

Communication + Technology

I have lumped these in to the same category because they somewhat go hand in hand. A decade ago, smart phones, tablets and software such as Skype did exist, however mostly for social purposes. As this type of technology has advanced drastically and quickly, they have allowed us to communicate with anyone at anytime without having to be present. Hello video conferences and text/instant messaging! Here are some pros and cons: Pros: Better customer service; the ability to work remotely allows more flexibility in work schedules; better integration and connectivity between co-workers and clients; instant communication Cons: Decreased downtime and poor work life balance (resulting in lower productivity rates); lack of a personal connection; decreased reliability and accountability; decreased interaction and brainstorming The way technology is today versus a decade ago can both be relevant and used for positive changes in the work place as long as they are both used within moderation. Because we are able to be connected via technology 100% of the time, we work more and therefore get burned out quicker resulting in lower productivity rates. That’s not even mentioning the temptation of using technology for social purposes (checking social media, playing games, etc) that also decrease our productivity rate. Lack of personal connection and face to face meetings can also mean less brainstorming and interaction between team members and clients which could result in lower approval rates from our clients and projects that are good versus great quality. Balancing our use of technology such as video conferences and instant messaging for communication and going old school with meetings and phone calls can assure you are getting the best of both worlds. It’s up to every individual to check out for a bit from the technology that surrounds us to have a good work life balance which is crucial to success.We need to take advantage of the flexibility technology has given us while using it wisely.

The Way We Make Decisions

The factors we use in decision making have not really changed much: information, finances, instinct and risk factors are some of the major ones. However, what has changed is the order in which we consider these factors and the weight we put on each one. Years ago, before the economic crash, the risk factor wasn’t as thoroughly through about. We relied on our experience, education and gut instinct more heavily than data and finances to make business decisions. Today, partially because of the economic crash AND the growing greed factor (particularly in the United States) finances or the bottom line and data are the first two factors considered. Theres no doubt about it that we have more access to data and information through software and technology than we did ten years ago. The pros and cons of then versus now vary. Ten years ago, when we took more risks, we created more trends and stood out from the crowd. Today, because we are so much more cautious we tend to follow trends more often then not which means we get lost in the competition. Money is important no matter how you spin it, however, you must take risks to reap reward. This doesn’t mean it has to be a blind risk-enter our access to data and information. A thoroughly researched decision can mean one of two things: a successful, data based decision OR a successful, data based decision that doesn’t work out due to lack of risk and creativity. Today’s society has made us scared to take risks and to use our instincts. As Sri Sharma, founder of a paid search agency states, “data is only insight, not an answer.” Take what you want from this, but if we could find a balance between taking risks, trusting our instincts as we did ten years ago and using data we have access to today and being smart with our money, not greedy, we could see a large increase in success.

Marketing Strategies

The biggest changes in marketing strategies today versus 10 years ago are digital versus “offline.” We have went from mostly print (magazines, newspapers, billboards, etc) to large amounts of digital (social media + social media ads, mobile apps and advertisements, etc). Unlike the other topics, all of these are still relevant contrary to what most people believe. They are both still relevant because they all serve a purpose and a market. Having a good mix of offline, or print, and digital marketing strategies will allow a business to reach the largest market. This will vary depending on the exact market, but generally speaking the wider the variety, the better. A few offline strategies that are becoming more rare that still work in the digital age are handing out business cards, getting involved with your community by donating or speaking at conferences/events, trade shows and sponsoring events. These are all still relevant because they are all a form of social networking. The difference in this type of social networking versus social media social networking is the personal touch it ads, which is something we lack today but still is proven to make a large impact. Business, marketing and design trends are our business. Simpatico follows them intently so we can continue to create successful projects and full campaigns for our clients. Are your current designs and strategies outdated? Check out our graphic design, marketing and web design services and contact us today to update your brand and strategies! Sources: