Every year, the world’s dictionaries publish new words. In the last year alone, the Oxford Dictionary added over 1500 entries in its latest update. Among the neologisms, “hangry” (feelings of anger or irritability as a result of hunger), “YOLO” (an abbreviation for ‘You Only Live Once’), and “pocket dial” (to accidentally call someone while the phone is in the pocket).
In the marketing world, the diffusion of neologisms is even more frenetic. Every year, dozens of new bizarre words come to our ears. Sometimes they describe new technologies, or new marketing approaches. But, other times, the new marketing buzzwords are just flashes in the pan that disappear shortly after their diffusion. In some cases, neologisms do not bring any real novelty, as they just describe pre-existing practices that come back in style, simply putting a new label on them.
Even if oftentimes buzzwords don’t actually describe anything new, it’s important to keep up with all the new terms. This allows us to recognize those that represent new important ideas, and those that are just “meeting-room hot air.”
For June, we analyze three new buzzwords: snackable content, customer intimacy, and conversational marketing.
The idea of snackable content refers to the modalities through which users enjoy digital content. With the increasing information overload and the consequent attention span fall among users, the consumption of online content looks more and more like a series of quick snacks, more than a fixed number of scheduled meals.
Snackable contents are conceived to catch the users’ attention in every situation: in the doctor’s waiting room, in the subway, and in any other transition moment in which we are switching from one activity to the next. Short videos are a great example of snackable content.
Clearly, a fundamental prerogative of this type of content is its capacity to adapt to mobile devices. To be snackable, every piece of content must be characterized by lightness. In time scraps, users seek to entertain themselves with short content that can make them escape from boredom.
Most snackable content online is user-generated – think of videos made by our friends and posted on social media. However, enterprises are making increasing use of this type of content for commercial purposes. Doxee, for instance, allows companies to easily generate light content created ad hoc for each specific user. For instance, Doxee Personalized Videos transform traditional communications (such as paper bills and documentation, which are far from snackable) into light, entertaining, mobile-friendly content.
Despite it’s re-emergence into the world of CX, the term customer intimacy partially overlaps with other rather consolidated concepts, such as the classic customer orientation. Customer intimacy can be described as an approach that gives particular importance to the company’s closeness to the final user. This strategy can take various forms: It can refer to exceptional customer service (e.g. Amazon) to effective loyalty programs (e.g. American Express), or to tailored personalized content designed for and delivered to specific users (as is the case with Doxee interactive offerings).
The Harvard Business Review states that customer intimacy “means segmenting and targeting markets precisely and then tailoring offerings to match exactly the demands of those niches”. Whether it is by creating personalized products (both physical or digital) or by promptly responding to customers’ special requests, companies that intend to pursue customer intimacy must commit themselves to constant improvement of their products and services and meeting their customers’ specific needs. In strategic terms, this approach – which is based on meticulous care of the customer – tends to focus on solid, short-term investment, with the goal of creating a strong customer loyalty for the future.
The concept of conversational marketing shares its background with the idea of customer intimacy. Just like the latter, conversational marketing is essentially a customer-centered approach but, in its specific way, it gives special importance to paying attention to the customers’ feedback. In communication terms, a company that implements a proper conversational marketing will perceive every communication act as bidirectional, just like any face-to-face interaction.
Following this principle, every message causes a reaction (even mere indifference, at times) which represents a precious piece of information for marketers. Unlike unidirectional communication models (e.g. traditional mass e-mail marketing), conversational marketing focuses on users’ feedback by using analytic tools.
Obviously, the platforms in which the users’ reactions play a pivotal role are social networks where, following every post, users interact with publicly visible messages (likes, comments, reviews) or invisible ones (which can be monitored through the “insights”).
However, social media channels are not the only platform that enables bidirectional communications. Today, feedback coming from potentially any digital platform – websites, display advertising, or even the old newsletters – can be monitored through specific analytic tools (think of the ones provided by MailChimp, for instance). The new frontier for the collection of users’ data are personalized videos, like the ones provided by Doxee. In addition to providing a high degree of personalization, Doxee Personalized Videos return high-quality detailed data from every customer, allowing marketers to keep track of any reaction and mouse movement of their audience.
Clearly, the mere monitoring of data is pointless if not followed by a careful interpretation of data and a (possible) prompt correction of the communication strategy. Just like in an in-person conversation – in which every message determines the following ones – conversational marketing is built on the assumption that every communications is an occasion to better comprehend your customers, and to improve your strategy in an ever ending trial-and-error process.
Neologisms reflect changes in our society, including the way we work, play and communicate. They are one more testament to how new technologies and channels are altering the way businesses market their offerings to consumers, and how we react to them. But regardless of the words we use to convey new ideas, strategies and tactics, in the end what matters most is how we acquire, cultivate and show we care for our customers — the most important “buzzword” of them all.