Marsland was speaking at the PR-Net event in Cape Town, South Africa last week, where she also discussed social media being a risky, but useful marketing tool.
“You might come up with a lot of opinion,” Marsland commented on fact-based research availability online.
“People spend hours on Google trying to get across the right sites. There is a lack of real research,” she explained.
Having spotted this gap on the e-market, Marsland launched TREND.
Supplying free resources on advertising, media and marketing communication trends and market intelligence in South Africa, TREND. works in partnership with marklives to generate daily facts and weekly responses to trends based on factual findings.
“You just want to know what the hell is next. So you can Google trends and you can come up with tonnes… but how do you get into that market?,” she explained regarding the trend dilemma.
As from her experience as a journalist, she struggled to find trustworthy sources on the net as the need for an overview of the local industry grew.
She describes the initiative as an “opportunity [to enter the] emergence of social enterprise”.
Interviews with a variety of people and social media strategists are sources in the compilation of these trend-based articles.
The different TREND. components include TREND.Kitchen, which serves as an event calendar and TREND.Read where book reviews are posted.
Upcoming is also TREND.letters which is currently under development.
Aiming to develop digital technology interaction in the social media space, the trend movement engages directly with the public through social media.
Marsland deems this especially relevant in the era where business is becoming, and has to be, more social.
She perceives social media-based interaction is a doorway to a synergy of networking across industries.
Speaking on the role of public relations, she believes social media can generate and lead controversy and a “no more fluff” feed with measurable results.