A few days ago, my colleague, the always very sharp and interesting Vijayanta Gupta, published an article on the need to create fluid experiences in online retailing.
In this article, Vijayanta explains that we are now in the golden age of the consumer, a golden age dominated by what the consumer wants. To win, brands must offer fluid experiences that are adapted to consumption behaviours, combining multiple touchpoints and facilitating the passage from one channel to another.
Interactions: The end of fixed sequences
This article reminds me of a discussion I had recently with the creative director of a major communications agency, when he explained to me the transformation of his job and talked about creating “fluid content.”
What did he mean by that?
He meant that it is no longer possible for a brand to see the interactions with its audience as fixed sequences, with a beginning, a middle, and an end.
Brands can no longer build a marketing or communication operation based solely on media buying, as some still do. Rather, they need to rely on a brand content approach: the content needs to be interesting and stir curiosity first. The brand must then position itself, by taking advantage of the interest generated, on this return on attention.
The notion of fluid content
What does it mean to rely on fluid content? And, first, what is fluid content?
Fluid content means that it is no longer about producing long videos or writing articles that should be consumed one after the other, in an order defined by the agency and the brand. Rather, it is more a question of producing multiple short pieces of content, rather funny (to engage and create proximity), that will be published both on proprietary platforms (branded sites) and on social networks, where the audiences are.
This content is said to be fluid because it’s consumable without a specific order, depending on users’ wishes. They will obviously be pushed during specific moments, but users won’t need to see them in a specific order or see them all to understand the message. In fact, it is a delinearisation of the marketing campaign, where the sequence is less important than the presence.
By consuming part of this content on social networks, part on media sites, and another part on branded sites, users will be immersed in a variety of content, which will generate interactions among Internet users first (such as shares and comments), then with the brand. The latter won’t arrive until long after, relying on the connivance created around the content.
This where we find the fluidity: in the capacity to push content on multiple platforms, in allowing everyone to appropriate it, in a multichannel approach that does not cut content according to the media but instead according to users’ interests.
Two essential elements for fluid contents
This fluidity also comes from two complementary and essential elements:
- The data: One must be able to measure the performance of each piece of content, the consumption spaces, and the interactions generated. This helps give creative people more ideas for producing new content, which will be published over time, depending on the insights coming from these data.
- Time: The idea is to stop focusing on short campaigns, and instead focus on approaches oriented toward branding, which take time. These approaches are less about campaigns than about positioning, visibility, commitment, and building relationships.
So, are you ready for fluid content? Ready to forget the classic commercial approach with multiple formats? Ready to position digital as the focal point of your new advertising approach? In any case, your customers are! Do not make them wait.
If you did want to learn more about fluid content and experience, do join us at our Adobe Summit EMEA, we would love to see you there.