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The business buzzword update

The business buzzword update

Posted 09th April, 2019 by Michael

Everyone’s heard of business buzzword bingo. You can play it in meetings, on conference calls and even during conversations by the water cooler. How it works is you listen out for buzzwords in the conversations you’re having with your team and when you’ve noted four or five of them, you call bingo.

Look out for words like ‘mood music’, ‘touching base’ and ‘kick the tyres’.

Of course, buzzword bingo is not to be taken seriously. It’s just a way of satirising corporate culture.

However, not all buzzwords are to be made a joke of. Away from boardroom jargon, some buzzwords can play a serious role. Take note of the right ones and they can help you innovate and even expand as a business.

In this post, we’ll look at a few phrases and terms that you should be hearing much more of in 2019, and deep dive (bingo) into what they might mean for small to medium businesses.

WEconomy

It was Richard Branson’s daughter Holly that was partly responsible for bringing the term WEconomy into the world. It’s the title of a book she co-authored in summer 2018 with Marc and Craig Kielburger, founders of www.we.org.

The concept suggests that businesses should not think of themselves in silos but as part of the wider world. It advocates that business owners should consider the environment and factors such as social welfare in the interest of the greater good.

Of course, this idea may seem pie in the sky for startups and small businesses who are doing everything it takes to simply stay afloat. However, it doesn’t have to be.

Increasingly, even small businesses are identifying ways in which they can give back. Take the independent yoga clothing company Free Spirit. Still a toddler as far as years-old are concerned, the brand donates five per cent of sales to the HOPE Foundation, which supports children living in poverty.

Take this approach and you should reap the rewards, too. As mentioned in previous tsoHost blogs it’s thought that a third of consumers in the UK now actively choose to buy from brands they see as doing environmental or social good.

Blue ocean strategy

The term blue ocean strategy was coined way back in 2015 when author W Chan Kim released his book Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant. However, the wisdom in this book is being touted by marketing experts as essential for success in 2019.

A blue ocean strategy is best understood as the opposite of a red ocean strategy. A red ocean is one that’s full of blood and sharks, all fighting against each other and tearing each other to pieces. Think of the sharks as your competitors. In a blue ocean, there are no sharks, there is very little competition.

So, what does this mean for everyday business? Well, as content marketing expert Neil Patel suggests, you should zig while everyone else zags. In other words, try to grow your business through less competitive channels. Easier said than done? Actually, no.

While Google is saturated with competition – there are more than 1,805,260,010 websites on the web all vying for the search giant’s attention – other channels are still somewhat overlooked.

In 2019, consider marketing through YouTube, which is less competitive than Google. Also, think about using LinkedIn and invest in videos while the majority of your competition is still ploughing all their efforts into blogs or SEO alone.

Conversational marketing

Drift is the pioneer of conversational marketing. Essentially, the concept is all about engaging with customers in real time as opposed to eking out the company/customer connection process by asking clients to fill in contact forms or emails etc.

Of course, Drift offers a platform – with both free and paid-for packages – that help businesses connect with customers in the ‘now’. However, you don’t need to sign up to Drift’s products to be able to get onboard with conversational marketing.

The idea, plain and simple, is that you need to tweak your customer service thinking to engage with customers when they want to engage with you, instead of the other way around. Drift makes it easy, but you can do the same with other chatbot services or through the likes of Facebook messenger and so on.

Story-selling

At the start of the year marketing expert, Travis Chambers wrote an article for the Think with Google blog with the headline ‘Forget storytelling. 2019 will be the year of story-selling’.

Let’s just back up a little bit, to the definition of storytelling. In our blog ‘Storytelling for SMEs’ earlier in the year we explained: “Storytelling is using a narrative to connect your brand to customers, with a focus on linking what you stand for to the values you share with your customers.”

We went on to explain the benefits of storytelling for brands and offer insights on how small businesses could harness the power of the technique themselves.

However, as more and more people cotton on to the benefits of the practice, we’re heading for a story-shock moment – a time when companies’ creation of stories outnumbers consumers’ desire to consume them.

So in 2019, Travis Chambers suggests that we’ll need to make our stories work harder. We can do this by ensuring that customers know throughout their imbibing of the story where they can go to buy the product once they’ve finished listening, viewing or reading. Use links in articles, subtitles in videos, and watermarks in images, but always ensure the sell is subtle.

Categories: Tips, Blogging, Marketing, Small Businesses

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