Trendspotting: The Mindful Marketer 2022 Forecast with Charlene Li
Play • 39 min

PwC's study in 2021 reported that 65% of employees were in search of a new job! And over half of my clients were either promoted or changed jobs. 

You only have 3-4 months to make your mark as an innovator—so how will you prove it? We all know that making time to observe, reflect, and capitalize on key trends is ESSENTIAL, yet few of us dedicate time to it! That's why many marketers are just trying NOT TO LOSE versus trying to WIN. 

Discover trendspotting methods and future-forward organizations worth watching in this episode with Charlene Li, a good friend, author of several NY Times best-selling books, including SHOW BOOK THE DISRUPTION MINDSET and an advisor to some of the most innovative companies on the planet. 

Watch the replay on LinkedIn.

Some key episode moments include: 

✔️ Be genuinely curious; this is key to keeping up with emerging trends. Charlene Li reveals that her passion for research and exploration started in one summer in elementary school. Cultivating the interest and dissecting and understanding what the future holds is a skill that every marketing leader needs to thrive with disruption.

✔️ Decide to become a trendspotter vs. fad follower. Charlene shares that being a fast follower can be a valid strategy because there is no risk. However, following everything that already has been proven in the marketplace will not benefit you. "That means you're always going to be a step behind and never the person in front. Beating trends is where that leadership comes from. It's like you're going out there, you're making some bets about how the world will evolve, and you're putting money and investment behind it. Sometimes it'll pay off. Sometimes it won't. And as you get better, that gives you a huge competitive advantage because you're early, you're first in the market, and you understand where these customers are going to be, and you beat them there."


Listen to the replay on Stitcher.

✔️ Discover customer and culture shifts and predictions. Take, for example, how Lyft started with Zimride (carpooling). It never got traction after 2.5 years of testing in universities and corporations. Then they launched Lyft for individuals. They waited to discover their value before taking a dime of VC money. Another worthy example is Qualtrics' transition from multiple products to a single platform, a risky bet-the-company made, while their business was at an all-time high. SAP bought them for $8B. 

✔️ Understand that if you're not making any mistakes, you are not taking enough risk. Charlene shares, "As business professionals, as marketers, we tend to think about the next two quarters, and that's about it. This is so dangerous because if you constantly react to fad following versus trendspotting and make those investments that will emerge 12 to 18 months and make the big changes way out into the future; you're never going to be ready; you will always be behind the market. Sure, we are not encouraged to take these kinds of risks, and the hardest thing about this is that you may be wrong and not be rewarded. But this is what it takes to lead: create an environment where you can be right and not be right. Because if you are always right, you are not taking enough risks."

Watch the replay on LinkedIn.

✔️ Cultivate your trendspotting talents in 2022 by going to these places online. Charlene turns to TED talks to get strong perspectives from many people with almost every topic available and the Cool Hunting website where people vote on the ideas and new trends.  

✔️ Take your notes from your customer conversations or your marketing meetings with your teams. Make sure you're transcribing those meetings with any transcription tool. I like to use, a tool that helps you record in real time. 

Listen to the replay on Stitcher.


Lisa Nirell of EnergizeGrowth™ LLC helps courageous marketers and CEOs accelerate growth and get promoted faster. Download your Mindful Marketer learning bonuses at You will also join the "know ahead" list for our upcoming Life Streams.

Do something NEW in 2022—for your career and your personal growth. If you are feeling isolated, consider applying to the Marketing Growth Leaders. It's a collection of some of the country's top marketing leaders that have taken us ten years to cultivate. Learn more here.

Charlene Li is an expert on digital transformation strategy and disruptive leadership and the author of six books, including her latest, The Disruption Mindset. She is the Founder and Senior Fellow at Altimeter and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School. Visit to know more.

Copyright 2021, Lisa Nirell. All rights reserved.


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