Every year, the world’s dictionaries publish new words. 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 your 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 emerging 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-existent practices that come back in style, simply putting a new label on them.
However, even if buzzwords don’t actually describe anything new, it’s important to keep up with all these burgeoning terms. In doing so we can recognize those that are truly important, transforming strategies, and those that are just meeting-room hot air.
For July, we analyze three new buzzwords that reflect emerging marketing and social media dynamics: engagement marketing, FOBO (Fear Of Being Offline) and holistic marketing.
The idea of engagement marketing defines a particular approach to marketing based on the participation of customers who are actively involved in the companies’ processes of creation and production.
For decades, consumers have been limited to the role of passive spectators, targets of unidirectional communications that provided data to marketers only through post facto statistics. The new model described by engagement marketing, on the contrary, is based on a “dialogic relationship” between company and consumer.
The company, through various digital and physical touch points, creates a bidirectional communication channel with clients, with the aim of shaping its offer on the real expectations and opinions that the final users share. In this way, the company is no longer an impersonal entity that disseminates information in an undifferentiated manner, but rather a “person” that speaks with others. This objective can be achieved through different strategies, among which is personalization of corporate communication (we talked about it here).
With engagement marketing, moreover, the focus moves from a product economy to an experience economy. In fact, companies that implement engagement marketing strategies become enablers of experiences that provide grounds for emotive response and engagement, underlining the user experience rather than the mere value in use of products.
FOBO (Fear Of Being Offline)
You might already have heard of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out); it is the syndrome of our time. We are obsessed by the idea that other people might be doing something more interesting than what we are, and feel the need to be virtually part of other’s lives through technology, particularly social media.
Well, the FOMO term seems to already be obsolete: in fact, a neologism popped up. People started talking about FOBO (Fear Of Being Offline), an even more appropriate acronym to describe the contemporary fear of being excluded. The FOBO, widespread among young people (but more and more among older generations as well), refers to the urgent need to be perceived as always on – meaning being constantly connected to the internet, particularly social networks.
Here are some numbers: Based on a sample of youngsters between 13 and 24, spread among 13 countries, 70% confirmed that they need to be constantly online; 79% admitted to use mobile devices while watching television; 74% stated that social media are their primary method to stay up-to-date with friends and family members; while 46% even said they would feel “completely lost” without social media. In short, FOBO which could be thought of as some type of pathological condition, seems to represent a new normality.
Holistic marketing is basically the adaptation of the more general idea of holism to marketing. Holism (from the Greek “όλος”, the “wholeness”) is the theory that argues that parts of a whole are in intimate interconnection, such that they cannot exist independently of the whole. They cannot be understood without reference to the whole, which is thus regarded as greater than the sum of its parts. A typical example is the human body, which is often considered to be something more than the simple sum of cells, tissues, and organs.
Holistic marketing, specifically, refers to a company’s public image. According to this approach, even if a company is structured in several, distinct departments (e.g. sales, marketing, communication, HR) all divisions should be perceived as a whole in the eyes of the external observer, who needs to have a coherent, positive, and harmonious perception of the company, ultimately allowing the improvement of the brand image.
To give one example, an eco-friendly car company should not just produce cars with methods that protect the environment, but should also embrace the “green” philosophy entirely, and through all departments. Therefore, advertising and communications have to reflect the company’s vision of itself; cars have to be sold at the right price and for the right profit; work environments have to be environment-friendly; and the company’s personnel have to internalize the company’s green culture, in order to share it with co-workers and customers.
In other words, the bottom line is that, according to holistic marketing, everything matters. This approach substantially underlines the importance of coherence not only for marketers, but for companies in their entirety. A company that can generate trust is consistent everywhere–360 degrees–inside and outside its plants and offices.
These neologisms define where marketing is going and how we will interact with customers now and in the future. They relate to understanding customers and providing the optimal customer experience that drives continued interest in what products or services you offer.
Find out here the three marketing buzzword of the last month.
Engagement marketing (http://expoitalyadv.it/engagement-marketing-cosa-perche-importante/)
FOLO (Fear Of Being Offline) (https://www.facebook.com/iq/articles/fobo-is-the-new-fomo?ref=wpinsights_rd)
Holism (or holistic marketing) (http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/holistic-marketing.html)