Every year, the world’s dictionaries publish new words. Last year alone, the Oxford Dictionary added over 1500 entries in its latest update. In the marketing world, the diffusion of neologisms is even more frenetic. Every year, dozens of new, bizarre words come to our ears. For October, we analyze three new buzzwords that reflect emerging marketing and social media dynamics: Micro-moments, Ephemeral content, and Smart Data.
As every marketer knows, intercepting customers at the right moment, precisely when they need the brand, has always been a tricky challenge. In fact, it’s true today more than ever. We’re constantly hyper-exposed to all kinds of content, from ads to e-mail messages, from social media posts to instant messaging services.
A plethora of displayed notifications constantly requires our attention. For marketers, obtaining a little piece of that attention is arguably the most important goal, and new resources and strategies are needed to face the new, constantly-busy average consumer.
One of the latest approaches is so-called Micro-Moments Marketing. To put it simply, micro-moments are instants in which consumers realize a need, or desire — and hopefully you act on it.
A recent Google study has found that there are four main types of micro-moments: I-want-to-know moments, which are when people are looking for information online; I-want-to-go moments, which is when users are looking for nearby physical resources (e.g. the closest pharmacy); I-want-to-buy moments, which are quite self-explanatory; and, finally, I-want-to-do moments, which refers to the need to find a resource that allow us to perform a specific activity (e.g. a ‘how to’ video on YouTube that teaches you how to cook pancakes).
In the light of this new scenario, being ready for customers when and where they need it is pivotal. It’s up to marketing professionals to intervene with clear, concise, compelling messages that can grab attention at the right time and at the right place. It’s all a matter of (micro) moments.
Panta rhei, once said Heraclitus. The nature of life is not permanence, but flux. This concept – which is at the very foundation of the world we live in – has been gradually translated into the social media language as well.
Platforms such as Snapchat base their whole offer on ephemeral content. Communications that, once transmitted, disappear for good after a set time period. Snapchat has a great popularity especially among the youngsters, and it’s not by chance. On Facebook, where posts are conceived to last, we can find users of all ages. And users’ profiles are called ‘diary’ — that speaks volume on the importance of content permanence. (And yes, there are also Facebook Stories. But did someone ever use them?)
On the downside, as content lasts, it also becomes “trackable”, even after several years of its publication. Even if all of us are not the next POTUS – with hordes of journalists investigating our past – we could all feel the embarrassment of being tagged in a picture that shows an outfit from our teenage years. With ephemeral content, this risk is simply not there. With Snapchat, or with the successful imitation of the Instagram Stories, messages come and go. They’re not made, or intended, to last. What seemed to be a weakness, turned out to be a surprising strength. Posts that disappear create more curiosity, giving a more compelling sense of exclusivity and urgency.
Brands are, of course, quickly jumping into ephemeral content to exploit its potential, and create a more intimate relationship with customers (we spoke about customer intimacy here). If this way of communicating is here to stay, it remains to be seen.
We have been talking about self-driving cars for some decades now. But this futuristic scenario suddenly seems to be really behind the corner. But how will it be possible? In short, while we’ll contemplate the outside nature from our window (or, more likely, while we’ll keep our eyes on our smartphones), our car will be able to constantly analyze an enormous amount of data (big data), thanks to the algorithms in its operating system. By interpreting numbers, these smart cars are able to turn big data into smart data – and to decide whether to turn, slow down, accelerate, and so forth. In other words, smart data are raw data that have been interpreted and transformed into useful information.
And the value of this interpretation doesn’t limit itself to self-driving cars. On the contrary, this new frontier is already reshaping many sectors, including marketing and communications.
Smart data are in fact potentially retrievable from any trackable digital source, such as e-mail campaigns, e-commerce websites, and even video platforms, taken that they are hosted on a ‘smart’ platform. To give one example: if a company limits itself to sharing videos through YouTube, the only available data at its disposal will be basic information, such as views and number of likes / dislikes.
On the contrary, professional platforms conceived for business – Doxee’s Personalized Videos, for instance – allow extraction of more complex, precise, and appropriate data. For example, how long a video has been watched, how and what the users interacted with, when and if the user skipped back or forward, and so on. In other words, big data are everywhere. Whether you will be able to turn them into useful, smart data for your company, depends on the resources you decide to use.
Find out here the three marketing buzzword of September.