Marriage vs. Impulsive Affairs in Marketing

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My name is Anna Hvinden, Managing Director of the Marketing Association in Oslo (MFO). In the incredibly fast-moving and ever-changing environment we work within, the importance of MFO and other organisations that offer guidance, inspiration and knowledge is not only useful, but necessary. Among other things, MFO aspire to be a source of inspiration and innovation – in similar ways to TrendWatching. That is the reason why I have invited TrendWatching to Norway, multiple times.

Anna Hvinden, Managing Director of the Marketing Association in Oslo (MFO)

At Norwegian Marketing Summit last year, Daryl Fielding introduced her lecture by saying that making sense of marketing is incredibly difficult. The fact that there are no right or wrong answers is what makes marketing both so exceptionally exciting and so mind-numbingly frustrating. The ever-lasting battle for the consumers’ loyalty creates complex and emotional relationships between brands and the customer – in many ways, like real life relationships, friendships and marriages.

The organisations that I admire the most are the companies that are able to reinvent themselves, have a sustainable strategy and build solid relationships with their customers over time. They are faithful and acknowledge their customers needs, they treat them with significance and respect, all similar qualities that I find in the friendships or marriages I admire. MFO celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2015. We wanted to reward the company that stood out as the most significant marketer over the past 100 years. Tine (Norwegian dairy product co-operative) won this award – and rightfully so. They are one of many Norwegian brands that have established a long-lasting mutual commitment with the Norwegian consumers and have been able to adapt and evolve within the relationship.

For a successful marketer, I think it is crucial to keep a close eye on trends and technological development. Even more important though, is how you actually implement this knowledge and what actions this triggers within you. Waves of trends and technological developments are bound to hit our shores, now maybe more rapidly than ever before. The need to stay ahead and the fear of falling behind can sometimes overshadow the focus on the fundamental values in your relationship with your customer and their basic needs.

We need knowledge about exciting trends and rising technology to trigger innovation and to keep us on our toes. It makes us better at our jobs and helps us develop in pace with the customer. But rather than giving in to a quick, impulsive affair, stay calm when the wave hits; stop, nurture the relationships you have and don’t lose focus of your values. This focus will allow you to implement the knowledge of trends and technology in a way that fits your brand and answers to your customers' needs. In my opinion, this will ultimately help build your foundation for a long, significant ‘marriage’ to your customer – one where they will keep finding you exciting, attractive and reliable.

Victoria Foster, Head of TW:IN, returns to Norway for MFO 's Norwegian Marketing Summit on March 17 2016. 

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