Definition: IBM, which coined the term, says Generation C marks the age of the connected customer. These are shoppers that interact with retail brands across multiple touchpoints, such as mobile and social media, before or during their purchase.
Lara O’Reilly’s definition:
Just like car registration plates, it was only a matter of time before we reached the end of the alphabet again and started anew with our ‘generations’. This brings us to ‘Generation C’, which IBM says – in rhetoric more familiar with Marks & Spencer – is not just a demographic, it’s everyone (the C stands for ‘connected’, by the way).
For retailers, Generation C represents customers who walk down the high street wielding their mobile devices to be used as shopping engines, as well as for product research, pricing checks and directions to stores.
IBM predicts that mobile devices will drive nearly 25 per cent of retail site visits before the 2012 Christmas shopping season, with mobile-powered sales nearing 20 per cent of the total.
Marketers are almost at the mercy of Generation C, who have the power to demand superior service, competitive prices and the quick delivery of their purchases. For that reason, it’s important retailers optimise their sites for mobile devices and ensure these versions are consistent with their other channels. Integrating options such as social sharing, product recommendations based on browsing and purchase history and ‘wisdom of the crowd’ curation techniques are also likely to drive higher conversion rates and increase customer advocacy at a time when promiscuous Generation C-ers are hunting around for their next bargain.
Whether marketers want to use the term or not, there is no escaping the stronghold Generation C has and will have, on every aspect of their business. The customer journey is becoming increasingly complicated but it is up to marketers to augment those purchase decisions and signpost consumers towards their brand – not just the cheapest and most convenient option.
Transactional net promoter score (TNPS)
Definition: While a regular ‘net promoter score’ tracks customers’ overall likelihood to recommend a brand to their friends, the transactional net promoter score measures how much they like a company’s processes.
Michael Barnett’s definition:
While TNPS may seem like yet another jumble of letters, this measurement has well defined differences from the standard net promoter score because it is in real time. Customers are asked about the purchase they’ve just made at the point of the transaction. NPS is much less specific and likely to lag behind events, as a person’s overall feelings about a brand are likely to be governed by several factors and by memories of events that might have happened months earlier.
TNPS can potentially come from much bigger data sets than NPS because, rather than commissioning a survey to ask questions, companies can ask any customer for a response at the precise moment of contact. Aviva head of insight Sue Helmont tells Marketing Week that TNPS is “a phenomenal opportunity to get customer feedback – far more than standard tracking studies – and we get in excess of 100,000 responses”.
That’s from contact with over 1 million customers a year, she adds.
For brands that rarely see their customers – in insurance, customers might renew a policy once a year or even less frequently – TNPS could be an important measurement of customer experience. It’s also likely to be used increasingly when the online purchase process makes up a big part of how the brand is seen.
Taking a TNPS measurement can offer an opportunity to resolve a customer’s problem there and then, so it could even help improve the customer experience itself. It’s certainly something marketers should know about before going into their next insight meeting.
Definition: Anarconomy is the economic power of anarchic networks, which have existed for decades but now have social networks and media to fuel their action. Brands and organisations are now embracing the rules of the crowd, chaos and collaboration, according to a report by The Future Laboratory.
Mindi Chahal’s definition:
Anarchy can often ignite scenes of chaos, political and social disorder reminiscent of the 1970s punk era, but when combined with the global economic crisis, ‘anarconomy’ becomes a new way to describe opinionated, self-expressive consumers who create and share their own content about any topic, whether it is the crisis in Syria or a bad experience with a product or business.
The term has been used in a recent report into news and entertainment futures, commissioned by News International and conducted by The Future Laboratory. It describes the way in which anarchists use social and digital platforms and networks to get their views across on a wider scale.
A good example of anarconomy was seen in the London riots last year. The events that took place saw many members of the public tap into grassroots journalism and start tweeting, commenting, sending pictures and curating the story through their content. Many were more involved at the scenes than journalists – and the media took notice and used this free content in their own publications.
Tom Savigar, chief strategy officer at The Future Laboratory, says: “As consumers realise their own capabilities and power, they are increasingly shaping a world that they want, hacking into it in relation to governments, businesses and products.
“Consumers also increasingly expect the brands they engage with to respond to the new open- and crowd-sourced culture, opening up to let them get involved in content creation and commercial returns.”
Whether a brand is open or closed, they may not escape as ‘anarconomists’ have the tools and ability to share any message they want with their communities.
Definition: Jugaad innovation is a term taken from the emerging economies of the East to describe their ability to deliver innovation in a fast, frugal and flexible way. The word jugaad is Hindi and translates roughly as “improvising an effective solution using limited resources”.
Jonathan Bacon’s definition:
While jugaad innovation might sound obscure to the uninitiated, it is a broad concept that encompasses speedy ways to get projects done with hardly any money. It might include anything from the can-do attitude seen in Indian villages to get something fixed, to the giant conglomerate Tata Group seeking to produce the world’s cheapest car.
Jugaad is becoming increasingly relevant for companies around the world that are looking to grow during the recession by demonstrating frugality and adaptability. The likes of Google, Facebook, Apple, Nokia and Procter & Gamble are now all said to actively practise this way of working.
However, there are doubts about whether jugaad innovation is a guaranteed recipe for success. An analysis by The Economist magazine this year pointed out that Tata’s car was beset by problems, including technical glitches and a lack of demand among rural people, who refused to shift from truck to car.
This suggests that doing more with less isn’t always possible and that traditional, structured innovation methods, like research and development, still have a place. At the same time, the widespread praise from business leaders around the world for the book ‘Jugaad Innovation: Think frugal, be flexible, generate breakthrough growth’ demonstrates the growing popularity of ideas such as frugality and flexibility when it comes to innovation.
More successfully, Yes Bank, one of India’s leading private banks, has developed a mobile payment system that allows money transfer via mobile phones without the need for a bank account. This makes use of the country’s phone infrastructure, which reaches the remotest villages – and the fact that 870 million people have mobiles but only 600 million have a bank account.