Internet marketing - microtrends in marketing, part AND
In the previous chapters, we discussed in detail the issues related to marketing research. Their goal is to precisely reach target groups by segmenting the market into individual sectors. These, in turn, allow companies to adjust the offer appropriately so that the advertisement meets with the interest of the largest group of recipients. As it turns out, in order to effectively reach customers, you do not necessarily need to focus on only a large target group. While marketing research can precisely define the market we are interested in, when creating a marketing strategy, it is also worth following the microtrends in marketing indicator.
Microtrends are a relatively recent issue - especially when it comes to internet marketing. This is due to the fact that the groups included in microtrends are relatively small, and therefore there is a risk of inappropriate selection of the strategy. In this situation, you need to know the market and the industry in which we operate. It is necessary to analyze the occurring changes and try to predict whether a temporary fashion for a product / service within a small community will soon turn into a global interest. If Company X is the first to anticipate such a scenario, even in the event of strong competition, it will benefit from this move better than Company Y with a larger budget, whose approach has proved to be more conservative. Below, we explain what microtrends are, review examples of them, and explain how to use them in your marketing planning and online campaigns.
Microtrends - definition and characteristics
Mark Penn, a political marketing specialist, who in 2007 published the book "Microtrends" on the American market, dealt with a detailed analysis of microtrends. This one was also published in the Polish language version in 2009. The idea of microtrends is based on the observation of small changes - even microscopic - which in a short time are able to enter the mass consciousness of society, and thus - gain global popularity or recognition. The problem of microtrends can be applied to many fields of science.
It is worth mentioning that the author is responsible for the success of Bill Clinton's re-election as president, which seemed unrealistic even before the elections. by high-profile scandals at that time or an attempt at impeachment, i.e. the removal of the president from office by the Senate.
As already mentioned, microtrends can be related not only to politics. They also have a significant impact on the issue under discussion, i.e. marketing - and thus - the sale of goods / services. Returning to the aforementioned book "Mikrotrenda", the author presented as an example the rapid development of the social networking site Facebook, which was only just spreading its wings at that time. Today it is a global phenomenon that is difficult to classify into a "micro" scale. And yet it is one of the best examples of the business approach to micro-trends. A hit with a product seemingly known on the market, yet so different from the competition that after a few years it becomes the podium of the most visited social networking sites in the world.
It is worth quoting here the definition created by Sam Penn:
Microtrends are a small but growing group of people who make similar choices or have similar preferences and are often overlooked by companies, politicians, marketers… And even if a group is very small, it can have a very big impact on society.
Microtrends are characterized by a niche approach to new phenomena, patterns of behavior or categories. They focus on a narrow audience, where they can be quickly forgotten, or turn into trends or even macrotrends - along with the spread of microtrend popularity.
It should be emphasized that microtrends do not have to be identified only with a group of people, although it is society that directly influences their development. Microtrends are a fleeting topic. It can be identified with a selected segment of the market for a specified period of time, and then completely disappear into the background. On the other hand, microtrends that attract the attention of an increasing number of target groups turn into trends over time, and then macro trends - here a good example is the already discussed social network Facebook, whose popularity exceeded the expectations of even the creator himself - Mark Zuckerberg.
Microtrends and internet marketing
To better illustrate the role of micro trends in internet marketing, it is worth making a comparative analysis of other varieties of trends that appear on the market.
Trends based on the Nasza Klasa service
Trends are the next phase in the development of microtrends. They operate in a specific culture or industry where they can be popular between 2-5 years. Due to the instant transfer of information, trends can accelerate their development, which will result in faster disappearance from the consciousness of individual social groups. A few years ago, a good example on our market was the NK service (formerly Nasza Klasa). In the first months of operation, the creators did not believe in future success, but word of mouth marketing and the idea of finding friends "from the school bench" turned out to be a bull's eye.
After a year, NK was one of the most popular social networking sites in Poland, and that was even before the global boom on Facebook. The website was most popular in 2006-2010, when at its best it was visited by over 12 million users per month. The rapid development of the NK website led to a change in policy and original assumptions. Initially, the portal focused on friends from school and this was the main reason why Poles - regardless of their age, gender or interests - started an unknown adventure.
From 2009, changes began, which eventually led to the loss of the leading position in this sector. There is a microblog called Śledzik and games launched from the website (some services are still paid today). In 2010, it was decided to rebrand, i.e. change the name, logo and theme. Portal "for people with class" changed into "Meeting place" losing its individual character. To make matters worse, older users had to accept the new rules, which forced them to share their personal data and the main photo for advertising purposes - this is one of the main reasons why many fans had to switch to the competition.Today, NK can still be considered in terms of the trend, although it is no longer on the lips of Internet users on a scale like Facebook - its popularity in the media has faded away, although several million users still use the service.
Macrotrends on the example of YouTube
Macrotrends - the highest stage of microtrends development, which has a huge impact on many target groups and even various aspects of life. It can be assumed that in a given culture, the term macrotrends implies a specific motive under the influence of which changes in behavior patterns and socio-cultural attitudes can be observed lasting even for several years - most often in the period of 5-15 years. With regard to internet marketing, YouTube is one of the most interesting examples of macro trends.
YouTube is a website created in February 2005 by three friends who decided to immortalize their video and share it with other internet users. Watching videos was already possible then, but it was usually a matter of downloading materials directly from specific websites. YouTube has changed the approach to video sharing with image streaming technology. Stream in this case means the ability to instantly start a movie, which is temporarily saved on the computer's hard drive with every second (and now also on TVs, smartphones, tablets or consoles). In the era of current Internet connections, this means the immediate possibility of watching a movie, without having to wait for the downloaded material.
YouTube has revolutionized not only the approach to watching movies online. Advanced tools, the use of which has been reduced to a minimum, allow Internet users to create and publish their own productions on the website every day. YouTube also introduced a new trend, which was the creation of short - a few minutes - content, which has become the opposite of any film productions. The huge number of visitors already reaches over a billion active users. This means that so much material comes out every day that the average person will never be able to see all of them. Why can YouTube be included in the macro trend category? Since 2005, i.e. for nine years, it has been the undisputed leader in its category. Every year there are more and more users and there is hardly any indication of changes in the near future. After being taken over by Google, YouTube has also become the second most popular search engine in the world, which has increased the target group by another million people.
The YouTube phenomenon is the ability to watch and share content for free. Human creativity knows no bounds. We have instructional videos, guides from various areas of life, amateur humorous recordings, clips parodying selected events, "compilations" of various films and many more. There was a possibility of issuing ratings and comments, communicating with channel authors and subscribing to your favorite channels. For many people, the website has also become a way of life, as Google allows you to earn money on your recordings in the event of a large number of visitors.
Importantly, individual materials can be positioned, and by following Google algorithms known from the search engine, our materials can be noticed by millions of recipients. Despite several attempts, competing products were not able to catch up with the prototype. It should be added that it was thanks to this website that the society's approach to Internet TV changed - today almost every modern Smart receiver has built-in functions that allow for image streaming.