The bearings of data in marketing and applying the Elliot Wave theory to markets and marketing.

The capturing of data and the possibilities of slicing and dicing it, has given humanity an unprecedented handle on society’s functioning. We now have the capacity to capture data on an unprecedented scale. The what, why, where and who of most human activity is easily capturable. People can now make informed decisions across most of their activities.

This ability to take well informed decisions, has never been more for marketers. Data has given marketers the ability to measure and execute campaigns with remarkable precision. Today, almost all marketing decisions are driven by data and this very same data has also made the dynamics of markets and marketing evident.

In today’s hyper connected world, we have data to give us signals about (i) broad industry trends, (ii) overall organisational capacities and (iii) individual consumption habits. Different layers of abstraction has allowed us to capture this data at a granular level. As this gargantuan data collecting task carries on, the processing capabilities by machines for analysing this data has also been continuously evolving. Serverless architectures and quantum computing are formidable headways into the processing of big data.

In its current form, market data has already given marketers a lot of food for thought and know how on the way marketing occurs. Needless to say, we marketers have latched onto this and are having a field time with data and the Internet.

The internet is in some part a very large number of screens. These screens form the nervous system of the internet and the content its blood. Marketers have realised the importance of this quick, and digital marketing remains a predominant technology requirement in the business world today. Even companies like Accenture & TCS have now set up their own digital marketing wings and offer it as a part of their technology services stack. In this environment of data analysis some age old theories have stood the test of time and some new ones have emerged. As they say, the truth is sometimes stranger than fiction.

Data has shown us that economics and markets operate in cycles which tend to repeat within themselves. The Elliot Wave theory for capital markets expounded this with the concept of a Primary Trend, Secondary Trend and Minor Trend. The wave theory goes on to further hypothesize that the primary, secondary and minor trends of markets, occur within the trends itself. Data has gone on to prove this and show that this theory can be extrapolated from economics and markets to advertising and marketing as well.

This would mean, it is critical to look at marketing in a manner of trends/activities occurring within other trends/activities. The trends, as explained in the Elliot wave theory, can be understood by looking at the Primary Marketing Trend as the broad industry dynamic under which you operate; the Secondary Marketing Trend as the direction of business within your organisation; and the Minor Marketing Trend is your individual marketing goal. This cycle of trends should be further split into a primary, secondary and minor trend within itself.

For example within a marketing department — The Primary Goal would be its marketing goal (derived from the primary industry & secondary company trend), the Secondary Goal would be the broad strategy of your marketing plan and the Minor Goals being the tactical activities like media communications, digital promotion, BTL activities and content creation. These activities can be further split into its own primary activity, secondary activity and minor activities.

This approach helps us in connecting our marketing efforts back to the broad objective of the business function and then further back to the company. Looking at your marketing efforts in this way helps us to backward integrate and forward integrate our marketing activities.

The ‘ET Women’s Forum’ is a great example of a Minor Trend on a large marketing picture that was successful because of all the minor tactical activities that connected back to a larger goal. The ‘Burn The Raavan’ campaign which garnered deep engagement with users and left evident top of mind recall was also derived from this approach.

During the Cricket World Cup, a Primary Trend; Burger King wanted to increase its online sales, a Secondary objective. An online Tweet Cheer website, a Secondary Trend (usage of microsite based engagement) was set up to achieve this goal. The microsite and campaign was further promoted by online influencers (Minor activity/trend) to gain steam. The #CheerForYourKing campaign had garnered exceptional WoM and RoI for the brand.

A common thread among these campaigns was its development keeping in mind the broad industry dynamic, key company marketing activities and then building tactical campaigns around these findings.

Some other popular campaigns that rode industry trends with company objectives and minor tactical trends include the launch of TukTuks by Ola in Liverpool. The ride hailing app rode the industrial trend of multiple online commute options with their individual company strengths like fleet capabilities.

Another example for a dominant industry trend would be the huge following for GoT. In early 2109, India ranked 4 in countries most anticipating the final season of GoT. Durex, Fevicol and Hotstar were all quick to jump onto this wave and release a number of coming soon campaigns associated with the product and content. Even several SME’s like eateries and youth brands rode the GoT wave with digital content.

For the Indian Independence day, Bajaj Auto ran the #RideForYourIndependence campaign. It encouraged women bike riders to claim their independence through several tactical initiatives. Around the same time, the gender movement caught steam with the 6 Pack Band campaign by Brooke Bond HUL. All these campaigns rode primary trends of their time with individual marketing goals and tactics.

Most of what has been conveyed in this blog stems from age old marketing wisdom. However, looking at marketing as trends within trends offers a shift in our traditional marketing vantage points, and sometimes just looking at our challenges in a different manner gives us an added perspective. Added to that, today, data gives us an immense capacity to hypothesize and measure our marketing perspectives.

A simple way to implement the trend theory in your day to day business activities would be to create at least 3 steps forward & backward for your business activity and then see if they all are connected to your broader objectives.

Head of Ad Strategy at Dailyhunt. Proficient digital media & product marketing professional.