What’s hot right now

25 July 2019

Amy Brimble

Keeping things fresh in the world of creativity and technology is a big part of what we do at Stitch HQ. The creative team are responsible for keeping a finger on the pulse, always looking for ways to enhance our client offering, but sometimes it can be difficult to identify what’s really worth our attention. How do we sort out the “Wow look at that!” from the things that can bring genuine value to the work we do for our clients?

To help us work that out, Amy has pulled together three of the summer’s hottest trends that we all think could make a hugely positive impact on the effectiveness of our communications offerings and as a result really enhance the employee experience.

Personalised Video

­What is it?

Brands now use video more than ever before as a major marketing tool. It has absolutely dominated social and according to a report from HubSpot Research, more than 50% of consumers would rather see videos from brands than anything else. Now a new spin on video has well and truly landed in the consumer world and we’re really keen to make it work in our world too. It’s personalised video and we just know we’re going to see more of it. It’s a winning combo, mixing the power of video with that of personalisation.

Personalisation in email form is a hugely successful tool. I’m sure I’m not the only one who gets sucked in to emails from their favourite retailer by simply starting the email with ‘Hello Amy’. I find myself clicking on that shopping basket faster than you can say “50% off summer jumpsuits”. In fact, according to HubSpot, personalised calls to action convert 202% better than default calls to action.

How can we use it?

For us this means taking video to the next level. More than ever, people want to be seen as individuals, and we really see personalised video as a way of reaching out to individuals and giving them a unique personal experience.

So what would we personalise I hear you cry? Well as an example, say we created an animation to promote a Sharesave plan for a particular client. The audience seeing the video would range from those who have already joined, those who are thinking about joining and those who don’t know anything about it. So the first thing we would look at is the messaging to support the video, so it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. The message is more targeted. We could focus on how long employees have left in the plan and how much their savings have grown; this could be represented by a seed for those new joiners or a more established tree for those midway in the plan. You could take this even further and shape your video to fit different geographies, lifestyles or personal preferences. Most of us by now have received a personalised video on Facebook dedicated to celebrating our friendships.

There are so many options for us to explore and talk to our clients about too (it’s seems to be causing quite a stir so far), so let us know if you’d like to chat personalised video!

Augmented Reality

What is it?

The wonderful world of augmented reality has been a burning topic for me of late. I’ve seen so many clever ways of using it, it’s led to me having a few sleepless nights and some rather peculiar ideas about ways we can incorporate it into our world. But after reigning it back a little (or a lot) I fully believe that augmented reality could be a wonderful addition to an integrated campaign, one that employees would find immensely exciting and it would add so much to the overall experience.

I found a really fun example of augmented reality by a company called Zappar who partnered with Sony Music to get Little Mix fans ‘backstage’. For their Salute tour, Little Mix released a specially designed Access All Areas pass which included a Zapcode. When the Zapcode was scanned using a mobile it brought the pass to life on your phone and unlocked an exclusive video of the girls, giving access to a bunch of Little Mix goodies and giving you the option to listen to a never-before-heard track. You could even join the band by posing for a picture with the girls. For me the most exciting thing by far is that you could learn the dance moves! I’m definitely destined to be the 5th member!!

How can we use it?

We’ve already started to explore this cool technology with some of our clients. I can really see this working as a way for employees to get extra features from something like a poster, which for some clients is still a highly effective channel. So they could scan the poster using their phones and unlock a new world which gives them access to talking head videos, new content which can be downloaded to their phones, a calendar of events and have some fun with social assets and games plus much more.

The possibilities for AR really are limitless so let’s get together and think about how it could work for you!

Chatbots

What are they?

Chatbots bring an exciting new way for businesses to communicate with the world and their customers by using Artificial Intelligence (AI). I’m sure we’ve all experienced a chatbot at some point over the last few years. It could have been for assistance purposes, like getting stuck with your online banking and then a little pop up chat box appears asking ‘Is there something I can help you with?’ I have a feeling I’m not the only one who wants to reply with ‘Why aren’t you bl**dy working?!’ Although at times frustrating, they can also provide a quick answer to a burning question without having to search through endless FAQs. Chatbots can be a more direct way of getting something done without having to rely on an actual person.

The truth is in this ever evolving technological world, robots rule. Chatbots have proven to be more cost effective, time savvy and more accurate than humans. Although we may feel we miss human interaction when communicating with businesses, we live in a time where people actually prefer to communicate via messaging apps and social media. According to Khari Johnson, who writes for VentureBeat, a survey of 6,000 people was carried out from nine countries and found that 66% of consumers have used a chat app to communicate with a business. Chatbots are simply a way of keeping up with the trends and what people want.

From devices in our homes, such as Google Home and Amazon Echo, to mobile apps like Cortana, AI has already made its way into our daily lives. Chatbots are evolving fast and it’s predicted that by 2020 people might well have more conversations with chatbots than their spouse!

On a more serious note, Chatbots can provide valuable support in other ways, like helping individuals with early-stage Alzheimer’s remember who they are by giving them information on relatives, appointments and other everyday tasks.

How can we use it?

As consumers are so in-touch with this way of communicating (and here at Stitch we strongly believe that employees should be treated in the same way as a consumer) then I definitely see chatbots playing a big role in our world.

Thinking about how it could help both the employee AND our clients; it could be the perfect way for employees to get an instant reply to their burning questions. Also, I imagine a large percentage of employees don’t participate because there is something they don’t understand, so they either don’t have time to call or feel embarrassed discussing it. I imagine our lovely clients would really appreciate the amount of time a chatbot could save them, it’d be like having their own personal assistant to help with questions and requests!

What do you think of our predictions? What new tech has got you thinking? Get in touch to chat about how we could use new technology to build a better communications solution for you and your employees.