From the March 2005 issue of Entrepreneur

Caesar's oracle perched upon a three-legged stool and whispered, "Beware the ides of March."

Caesar retorted, "He is a dreamer," and ignored his counsel. To be your own oracle, you need to leverage credible sources to spot trends and draw your own conclusions.

Anticipating the future requires greater insight, not more information. We need to understand what is truly relevant to customers, rather than merely becoming conscious of "what's cool" or what's coming next.

If consumer insight is the key to effective trend spotting, consider these three modern-day insider resources:

  • Mark your calendars for the Innovations in Marketing Strategy conference, March 7-9 in San Francisco. Expect a who's who of marketing and visionary keynotes (from Aaker to Gladwell). For information, visit www.iirusa.com/mktgstrategy.
  • Track breaking news via HeadlineScanner.com and PR Newswire. You'll need to interpret cultural context for your customers.
  • Visit Lucian James' Agenda Inc. Live Feed. It sifts through pop culture, technology and alternative marketing, with incisive social and cultural commentary.

Kirsten Osolind is CEO and founder of re:invention inc., a Chicago-based marketing consulting company.