Nowadays, trends affecting enterprise communication, both internal and external, seem to be a popular topic. That’s hardly surprising given that these trends truly have the power to shape not only companies but entire industries. Actually, if you own a business, you should definitely stay on top of the emerging trends - especially since outdated practices, lack of information exchange among employees, and poor communication with customers can all do a lot of harm to your enterprise.
However, especially in the field of communication, many new trends seem to develop on a regular basis and one buzzword chases the other. Some trends are nothing more than that - simple keywords with little relevance. In order to find out which trends are actually worth pursuing, we took a close look at the latest developments. Do they really sound like a bomb or are they nothing but bullshit?
Enterprise-Communication Trends 2019 – Band or Bullshit?
"Alexa. Play BBC Radio 1." With language assistants such as Amazon Alexa and Chatbots for customer service, artificial intelligence has found its way into modern society. You will find quite a number of fields of application, not least within customer care, because unlike humans, virtual customer service chatbots are not only available 24/7, but also able to serve several people at the same time. According to a survey by Ubisend, the immediate answer is the main reason for contacting companies via chatbots for 69% of respondents.
They had their start as a tuned search engine but the artificial intelligence will continue to develop, continue to learn to understand the people and to interpret what has been said..
BANG! We can understand Theodore Twombly from the movie Her a little bit better now. It is hardly surprising that Alexa is the „woman“ who received the most wedding proposals world wide. Although privacy issues still need to be addressed, people are excited about the opportunities offered by chatbots and language assistants.
Personalisation is a big trend in e-commerce nowadays, but it’s definitely a game changer in the field of enterprise communication as well. Thanks to the increasing popularity of big data and machine learning, every person can see a (slightly) different content on the website - all based on demographics, search history, previous orders, and other preferences. It’s probably the most visible in data streaming and entertainment services, such as Netflix or Spotify - literally, every dashboard is different. Apparently, even Jeff Bezos loves this ‘trick’. Customers of the e-commerce giant Amazon will clearly recognize that. Personalization is a trend that will likely grow in popularity.
Bang, mainly because more personalization means less spam and less effort and well, who doesn’t like it if their own wishes are right in the thick of things? On the other hand, personalisation raises serious questions about privacy and sharing personal data with corporations.
The need for monitoring
On average, companies spend 12% of their annual revenue on marketing and communications. No wonder that monitoring these efforts is a crucial part of the communications strategy. Actually, every campaign needs to be preceded by market research and competitor analysis. The next step should be defining the communications channels (paid/organic/social media/referral/etc/), metrics that need to be measured (e.g. email openings, the number of followers on social media, page views, bounce rate, etc.), and finally measuring the campaigns using tools like Google Analytics.
Bang! „Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.” (John Wanamaker, marketing pioneer) Luckily, nowadays marketers have tools that allow for monitoring their efforts and focusing on the strategies that work best.
Speaking of data - the importance of security simply can’t be stressed enough. With so many issues with privacy and data security nowadays (take the Cambridge Analytica scandal as an example), it matters more than ever how enterprises deal with sensitive information, both of their customers and employees. Fortunately, the right software (and hardware, as a matter of fact) can help increase security.
BANG, definitely! Of course, companies do not want to lose productivity as a result of increased data security. To avoid that, they should invest primarily in the right tools. Stackfield, being a comprehensive collaboration tool, improves team collaboration and communication while delivering a high level of security standards.
Also, the numerous discussions about different generations, their impact on the world of work, and how Generation X, Y, Z, etc. differ from other generations, can be seen as a trend. Generally speaking, young generations are able or willing to revolutionize the way we work and interact with each other. In particular, millennials have been the subject of heated discussions among marketing professionals, sociologists and analysts for some time. Is the discussion so important?
Bullshit. Although it’s true that every generation has its own characteristics that differentiate it from another, the differences are not that huge. In fact, some researchers and thinkers suggest that never-ending discussions about how different, e.g. millennials are, only cause harmful tensions and workplaces.
Internet of Things
IoT has been on everyone’s lips for quite some time. No wonder - the opportunities provided by connected devices can truly be astonishing. As a result, companies tend to apply IoT in practice, and often treat these solutions as new communication channels, and rightly so, given their potential.
Bang! Obviously, just like language assistants, also ‘mother IoT’ is a trend that will not only astonish but have an impact on society (both privately and professionally). The IoT is becoming increasingly important and it will continue to spread throughout the company. It will give a voice to everything we own and thus it will also significantly affect communication of any kind.
The rise of video
Everything seems to be moving to video. Since the moving image is a highly engaging type of content, it can easily be used to communicate the company's message, among other things. Not to mention that video calls have been used by enterprises for many years now, to enhance communication between employees, especially when they work remotely.
Neither Bang nor Bullshit, due to the fact that the video is really nothing new and that it has been hyped enough for now. The video has played an important role in communication - no question. It should not be seen as the latest trend, though.
Storytelling and content strategy
Content is king. According to Content Marketing Institute, content marketing, which is ‘a form of marketing focused on creating, publishing, and distributing content for a targeted audience online’ brings 3 times more leads than paid ads. It’s important to know that there are 2 significant trends that shape it: numbers and storytelling. What people are interested in is not a juxtaposition of facts. Content can only carry somebody along by telling a storie. Data provides the stories with a reliable marker. A good content strategy is therefore based on a mixture of creativity and factuality (through numbers, statistics, surveys, etc.) paired with a good distribution strategy.
Bang. Storytelling is said to be as old as human languages. Since the very beginning they cast a spell over us and they probably always will. People have used stories to share vital lessons about how to survive, and in the 21st century, they’re still a powerful way to connect, convince, and trigger an emotional response. If you make use of this, you’re on the right path.
The usage of social media
What kind of a listing would this be if "social media" was missing. Social networks have revolutionized the way companies communicate with customers and other companies. In early 2018, Facebook had 2.32 billion monthly active users. No wonder there are 80 million pages run by small and medium-sized companies: businesses need to be where their audience is. The times when Facebook and Co. were used as pure virtual advertising pillars are gone. Live videos / storytelling, customer service, product distribution, job market, dating sites - social networks can offer almost anything. Yes, social media is also very popular in the area of HR (Human Resources) - after all, it is THE place of self-expression. Linked-in, Instagram and Facebook are used by companies for employer branding purposes or to gain an impression of potential employees. In some cases, companies watch out for new employees directly on the platforms. Xing and LindedIn focus on the job market exclusively. P>
Let's say BANG with BULLSHIT character. Social media is simply an indispensable part of life. We can like that or not, but it is essential for companies. Privacy scandals and a lack of privacy remain negative factors. Yet, it is a matter of fact that also social media is not a new trend; the many different ways in which social media can be used are the true trends. Therefore, social media will continue to be a big issue in communication, but in some years maybe in quite a different way than today.
Dispersed Teams/Collaboration tools
The fact that the world of work is changing is largely due to the distance between the individual team members. The reason?: Remote work, home office, international cooperations and freelancing have become the norm. The question of how to organize communication and cooperation in such cases leads to trends that should provide work flexibility. That a long distance requires better communication is out of the question. Collaboration tools bring individual team players together again and ensure smooth workflows and communication in real time.
BANG! Collaboration tools help teams to share files, communicate with ease, and improve collaboration in general. This, in turn, increases the productivity of a team, something that every business should strive for. Team members or business partners collaborating across locations or even across time zones has become an integral part of today's workplace. P>
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