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6 Communication Trends You Cannot Ignore

6 Communication Trends You Cannot Ignore

Technology has aided the evolution of business communication at a mind-boggling rate. What wasn’t even conceived a few years ago is the norm today. Communication mechanisms continue to evolve, eking out trends that will dictate communication modes and methodologies every so often.

Here are a few communication trends that are here to stay in 2017 (and perhaps beyond). These trends are catching on because they capitalise on the human need for emotional connection in an age of digital overload.

The Future In Voice

The age of the IoT moved our focus from things themselves to the services enabled from connecting multiple things. The improvements in IoT are triggering massive improvements in another area – Speech Recognition. While the general perception is that communication will advance with Touch technology, the potential of Voice is still untapped.

Speech recognition technologies enable not just interaction between things but also between humans and things. In the past 18 months, commercial speech recognition technologies have seen a dramatic 30 percent improvement, largely aided by deep learning approaches.

Deep learning tools become more accurate for tasks such as speech recognition and voice analysis, as more and more voice data becomes available. This “virtuous cycle of AI” is best leveraged and powered by cloud-telephony companies that have access to the various voice interfaces used by the people. The more data is gathered, the better the algorithms work- thus refining the deep learning systems.

Interactive Media

With the onslaught of information, an average user is subjected to throughout the day, the only way to stand out and stay sticky is to make your user a part of the experience. According to this study, millennials spend 18 hours a day consuming data. With such enormous amounts of time spent online, it’s only natural that they expect to relate to it in a special, more personal way. Interactive content helps the user participate in the content delivery experience and is here to stay.

Here’s a terrific interactive infographic by BBC that provides personalised results based on the user’s birthdate and height – a page that is on fast its way to garnering 1 Mn views.

Wearable Communication

In the era of communications and device proliferation, it becomes really important to be able to present a way for the user to relate to the world around them. Researchers are exploring ways to use wearable technology to help users explore their physical worlds. Wearable technology that combines social networking, entertainment, and healthcare helps the user understand himself while exploring his relationship with the world.

The Apple Watch is a good example where this gamification of data is used for increased social participation and dissemination of information. Snapchat’s spectacle fits the bill too.

Live Streaming

The internet has democratised communication in more ways than we can imagine. It is possible to communicate with someone you have never met, enjoy a place you have never been to. In short, the internet makes it possible to vicarious experiences to people and the more authentic and real it is, the better. Live streaming allows you to bring your own experiences to your audience with the click of a button, with no additional cost of making or editing a video.  It also allows users to interact with product creators and marketers in real-time, breaking barriers to communication and kickstarting conversations around the product.

As an example, General Motors live-streamed the rollout of the Chevy Volt EV at the Consumer Electronics Show.

Experian uses live video and the hashtag #creditchat to give away tips about student loans, debt, credit scores.

Live streaming is being hailed as the foremost trends of the year, because it weaves in internet intimacy in a unique manner.

Storytelling

Having ads pop into the faces of users can disrupt user experience and prove detrimental to your product. It will take less than 2 seconds for an angry customer to block you out with an ad-blocker.

Because information is abundant, the only way to catch people’s attention is through storytelling.  Native advertising relies on superior storytelling to build your product into the user’s natural behaviour.

Stewart Butterfield, the CEO of Slack also predicts the rise in the use of visual elements and emojis to convey novelty and emotion in our stories, giving us the power to help people conjure up specific images that we want our brands to build. Voice communication is an equally powerful medium to help our stories connect instantly with our users.

Entire content companies like BuzzFeed have been built on the platform of native advertising and survived the Adblock-heavy digital environment.

To stand out, organisations need to recognise these emerging trends and incorporate them into their documented content strategy and review them consistently. Which of these communication trends feature in your content plan?

This article is part of “The Future of Communication” series by Exotel. Customer communication as we know is changing rapidly. This change is largely due to the evolution of customer needs and changing priorities. Just right place, right time is no longer sufficient. The right medium has also become a big necessity. The technology used to earlier play the role of a facilitator. And today, technology has created the business model in many cases. And these series aim to explore this paradigm shift.

Author

Shivakumar Ganesan is the co-founder at Exotel Techcom Private Limited.

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