On October 18, 2017, Chatham marketing undergraduate students had the excellent opportunity to attend “Trends Ahead: The Campos Outlook for 2018.” This conference, which was sponsored by American Marketing Association-Pittsburgh (AMA), took place at Alloy 26, a creative co-working space in Pittsburgh’s North Side. Campos, Inc. is a Pittsburgh-based marketing firm specializing in brand planning and customer experience. The morning began with light refreshments, facilitating an opportunity for students and business leaders to network before gathering in the lecture hall.
The talk, led by Campos’ Vice President of Research Services, Alice Greene, and Kate Murphy, Research Manager, was designed to inform those in the marketing field of upcoming trends in the industry. The yearly event discusses the work of Campos’ trends team, which “monitors a range of resources on the latest consumer and business products, marketing and advertising shifts, demographic and attitudinal changes, and news stories.” The sources are varied and include traditional media, think tank publications, advertising campaigns, social media, crowdfunding and business accelerator sites, government agency findings, public opinion polling, and more. Ultimately, this provides companies opportunities to respond to consumer desires and needs.
Six new movements were identified as likely becoming prominent within the next year: “De-scendants,” “SegmentNation,” “B2B Goes C,” “The New School,” “The Allure of Less,” and “Digs, Dogs, & Diapers.”
For Daniela Beck (BA Management Information Systems and International Business, ’20), two topics grabbed her attention. The first, “SegmentNation,” sought to point out that many companies have moved away from mass marketing, focusing instead on specialized marketing towards population niches. They provided an example of how the popular athletic retailer Nike airs different versions of the same commercial, taking into consideration the channels’ demographics, such as Latino and African American. Another segment entitled “Digs, Dogs, and Diapers,” described how millennials are now settling down and becoming parents to dogs. In fact, 20% of those within this age group move into their first home to provide their furry friend more space.
Two other sessions were attractive to Veronica Kovach (BA Marketing, ’21). In “B2B Goes C,” (“C” is consumer) they discussed how old ways of marketing are out of date, such as sales driven by phone calls. Moreover, companies need to be more proactive, as today’s consumers are 60% of the way through their decision-making process by the time they are in an actual or virtual store; marketing can introduce a customer to the product, but not convince him or her to buy it. “The New School” discussed how millennials are not attending college, instead being attracted to certificate programs to fit more specialized jobs.
“Trends Ahead: The Campos Outlook for 2018” provided Daniela and Veronica a lot of insight into how the marketing world operates:
I realized that trends have a much greater impact on the field than what I had ever imagined previously. Therefore, I learned by default that being flexible and willing to change at a moment’s notice are two essential skills for a marketer. – Daniela Beck
By going to this event, I learned how marketers not only look at how consumers buy things, but how they educate themselves and how they make decisions. While I may not be out in the field just yet, going to events like these help better my understanding of how professionals work and is always a great chance to network and meet new people. – Veronica Kovach
Chatham University’s undergraduate business programs work hard to ensure that students are exposed to professional events such as this, hosted by AMA-Pittsburgh. Professors realize the importance of practical experiences supplementing classroom learning and encourage students to take advantage of these events. Moreover, the B&E Department can offer reimbursements for students attending professional events and joining professional organizations so they can continue to network and establish connections for their future careers.
A special thank you to Daniela Beck and Veronica Kovach, as their reflections and thoughts from the Campos event were the foundation of this blog article!