Ep011: Rohit Bhargava On Connecting Non-Obvious Trends to Predict The Future

By December 6, 2016Podcast

On this episode, Dr.G is joined by Rohit Bhargava – a highly sought after influential marketing guru, best selling author, globetrotting keynote speaker, entrepreneur, and non-obvious trend curator.

Rohit takes us on a behind-the-scenes look into his signature methods for spotting non-obvious trends, and what that means for future businesses. He shares with us the importance of storytelling in building sustainable brands and how most marketing agencies have failed to deliver on this promise.  His unorthodox approach has attracted the attention of millions of people around the world who scramble to get a glimpse of what he has to say. When Rohit speaks, leaders don’t just listen, they follow and act. Through his personal stories, Rohit takes us back on a journey into his childhood and the key influences that have inspired him to go against the grain, and follow his curiosity into a world of creative expression. All this and more on today’s episode. Now, That’s Unusual.

 About Rohit Bhargava

Rohit Bhargava is a “trend curator,” best-selling author and sought-after keynote speaker. His signature “Non-Obvious Trend Report” has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and on NPR. Bhargava is a two-time TEDx speaker as well as Adjunct Professor of Global Marketing at Georgetown University.

Bhargava began his career in marketing with Leo Burnett in Sydney, Australia. He went on to become Senior Vice President of Global Strategy and Planning with Ogilvy before founding Influential Marketing Group, a brand marketing consultancy that helps brands improve their communications strategy.

Key Interview Takeaways

A true trend is something happening right now that is changing our behavior. Bhargava developed his first non-obvious trend report as a reaction to trend lists that simply listed things that exist (i.e.: the rise of the internet, 3D printing), and he defines a non-obvious trend as “the accelerating present.”

Intersection thinking allows us to make connections among industries. Bhargava seeks to link unexpected elements of diverse subject matter by asking fascinating questions, i.e.: How can vending machines inspire world peace?

Get inspired to think differently by reading a variety of genres. Bhargava argues that reading fiction and poetry can inspire visionary thinking. Don’t restrict yourself solely to non-fiction or business publications!

Trends cross boundaries. Rarely are trends limited to a single area like health care or retail. Thus Bhargava classifies trends into the following broad categories:

  • Marketing and social media
  • Culture and consumer behavior
  • Media and education
  • Technology and design
  • Economics and entrepreneurship

A current macro trend is signature statements that embrace the human side of business. One example of this is CVS’s willingness to take a revenue hit by removing tobacco products from their shelves because it was the right thing to do.

To have value, trend predictions should be based on something that’s happening now – and is likely to happen with more frequency (the accelerating present). Bhargava identifies trends that are actionable, and companies can start using them right now.

One element of the agency world that is broken is the area of fostering and training future experts. Bhargava sees a disconnect in that employees with titles like Junior Strategist are not mentored or fostered to lead. Clients want experts rather than subordinates who have never been trained to be great.

Things that can drive your business forward are worth paying for. In the process of developing Influential Marketing Group, Bhargava learned that an amazing designer or great PR representation is worth the investment.

Learn More About Rohit Bhargava



Rohit Bhargava Books

Non-Obvious series by Rohit Bhargava

Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman

Small Data: The Tiny Clues That Uncover Huge Trends by Martin Lindstrom

The Ten, Make That Nine, Habits of Very Organized People. Make That Ten.: The Tweets of Steve Martin by Steve Martin

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