An important trait possessed by many smart marketers is the desire to stay informed on what is happening in their market and in other markets they may not currently serve. They know that continually gathering information may open their minds to new ideas to help grow their business. While we generally equate information gathering to doing “marketing research,” many times great ideas do not come from engaging in heavy-duty marketing research methods, such as surveys and experiments. Rather, fairly simple information gathering efforts, such as being a daily reader of newspapers and industry websites, using Twitter to follow key business leaders and knowledge experts, and attending industry meetings and conferences, can yield beneficial ideas.
Whether ideas come via traditional marketing research or through simpler methods, marketers must decide whether or not an idea genuinely offers potential. For instance, as we noted in 2014, such decisions may rise in terms of markets that hold real long-term value compared to those that are only fads.
The real vs. fad issue is once again something to be considered in this Boston Globe story. It discusses the growing market for adult coloring books, which appears to be driven by the idea that coloring books offer therapeutic benefits, such a relieving stress. If it is a real market, then there could be a number of possible marketing opportunities if adult coloring books do indeed take off. For instance, writing instrument manufacturers may create new lines of adult-specific coloring pencils, pens and crayons. Picture frame makers may offer special frames for hanging designs. Event marketers may see opportunities for presenting how-to events and teaching sessions. But if this is just a fad, then marketers, who take the leap and offer new products for this market, may find they are jumping into a deep ditch.
Whether real or a fad, it is important to appreciate that successful marketers take risks. So, if they decide to target the adult coloring book market, marketers should feel confident they have gathered as much information as they can.