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The marketing landscape is ever-changing and dynamic. Just when marketers start to think they have their consumers all figured out, they turn around and do something completely unexpected. Therefore, spotting the next big trend can be complex, and often times, frustrating work.

In the past decades, marketing trends have changed more than the past 50 years. Here are some of the foremost marketing trends that seem to be all the rage – for now.

Diamonds are a Millennial’s Best Friend

Most Millennials value experiences over materialistic things. A majority of this group are now eschewing diamond engagement rings in favor of less expensive gemstones or even placeholder rings.

However, that doesn’t mean they are not buying diamonds at all — just not for engagements.

This is one of the most mind-boggling phenomena seen by marketers. Even though millennials would rather have exclusive experiences rather than own high-end goods, when it comes to diamonds, it seems they are still a girl’s best friend. The 2015 De Beers Annual Diamond Insight Report shows that Millennials spent over $26 billion buying diamonds, more than what any other generation spent, and account for 60% of the diamond buyers in the United States.

Videos Are the Future

Gone are the days when TV viewers were left complaining about the 10-minutes of commercials during a 20-minute sitcom. It seems Millennials and Generation Z have no patience for that. These days, businesses have only a few seconds to grab their attention.

Nowadays, the younger generation is more focused on watching short engaging videos, with Millennials watching an average of 10 to 20 hours of online videos every week. Social media channels are on board with this and since June 2018, Instagram has come up with IGTV to enrich the video watching experience by allowing users to watch videos in vertical mode without turning their phone to landscape mode.

Artificial Intelligence is Here

Although the older generation views artificial intelligence as a threat to their privacy and security, Millennials and Generation Z have welcomed AI with open arms. From asking Alexa to play Taylor Swift’s “London Boy,” to looking at Netflix’ recommended TV shows, AI is everywhere and is here to stay.

Direct-to-Customer Experiential Commerce

E-commerce fueled by direct-to-customer experience has revolutionized the shopping experience. Once, businesses were more focused on selling low-priced products endorsed by celebrities through print, TV, or outdoor media. These days, however, younger customers want a whole lot more.
Retail brands now need to directly interact with customers and give them an engaging experience, without any intermediary in between. Word-of-mouth and honest reviews by online influencers and peers now hold more water than a multi-million dollar ad campaign. The younger generation is also more focused on which brand gives them a more social media-friendly experience and whether they participate in worthy socially responsible causes.

Embracing the Inner Herbivore

Alongside the organic revolution, Millennials and Gen Z are now turning vegan. The plant-based food phenomenon has turned from a temporary fad to a mainstay phenomenon, brought about by growing environmental concerns and anti-meat campaigns, and the younger generation is being drawn towards it in hordes.

Retro Revolution

Brands are now increasing tapping into millennial nostalgia. A 2013 UCSC and Cornell study showed that the younger generation not just forms emotional attachments to the music they listened to as adolescents but also to music their parents listened to when they were young. From the lightning-quick selling-out of Nintendo’s 2016 NES Classic to the popularity of Netflix’s 1980s themed “Stranger Things,” the retro revolution is offering a variety of nostalgic and deeply personal opportunities for marketers to tap into.

These days, if a brand needs to be successful, it needs to be extremely adaptable to change. Cultural shifts, technological advancements and consumer behavior are changing every second and brands need to be on their toes so that they are not left behind.

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