Featured Author

Courtney Heslin

Sales & Marketing Specialist

Gilbane Building Company

  • Member, SMPS-NY
  • Professional Development Committee

At the Trendspotting & it’s Role in Strategy Event speakers, Scott Butcher, Vice President/CMO for JDB Engineering, Inc. and Bill Long, LEED AP, FSMPS, CPSM, Associate Vice President for P. Agnes discussed the process and advantages of trendspotting and offered a starting point on how to develop successful strategies beyond our standard templates.



Research – Trend Identification – Data Collection

The program started with an overview of finding trends and understanding the target audience of available publications. It became clear that proper research can help guide business plans. Bill and Scott offered recommendations on materials that provide insight into client current and potential “hot buttons”. Identifying drivers and outside influencers, and how they can affect our clients allow us to plan better. We can develop marketing initiates geared toward the “hot button” and conduct research toward solutions. Additionally, Bill and Scott discussed analyzing market data past and present to help predict future trends in our industry. After identifying key trends and conducting research we can utilize tools to helps interpret the information.


Understanding and developing trends found in our research is key. Tools such as: PEST, SWOT, STEEP, FIVE FORCES, PESTLE, SCENARIO PLANNING help us further develop our research. The presentation quickly turned into a working session where the group took the trend of marketing automation and conducted a live STEEP analysis. The group discussed factors that impact our business such as government policies, technologies and demographics. Using these tools allows for clear communication and concrete evidence to provide back to key stakeholders.

  • Prioritization
  • Recommendations
  • Communications

By using tools to interpret the key drivers uncovered we can develop environmental scanning reports to help convey the information to our colleagues and further develop marketing plans.