Find out what the term “novel economy” means, how the pandemic is changing the economy, and if copywriting is affected by those changes.

The novel economy: how the “new economy” affects copywriting

During the last year, many of us started using some new expressions daily. Some of them were: the new normal, the next normal, the post-pandemic world, etc.

However, there is an expression that hasn’t yet become so spread at the other ones. Despite that, I’m certain that in 2021 we’ll all speak about it, just like we did when it came to the new normal.

The expression I’m referring to is “the novel economy”.

In this post, I’ll write about this expression and everything that the new economy represents.

To be more precise, I’ll focus on some of the aspects that build the basis for understanding the novel economy: 

  • The definition of the term;
  • The phases of the novel economy;
  • The economic changes that are taking place throughout the world due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In the second part of the post, Ill centre my attention to the consequences that the changes are leaving in the field of copywriting.

Are you curious about what the term “novel economy” means? Would you like to know more about the future of the economy and the role copywriters will play in that future?

In that case, read on and you’ll find the answers to these questions.

What does the term “novel economy” mean

The term “novel economy” covers the changes that have occurred in the field of economics due to the coronavirus pandemic. Those changes arose suddenly, occurred quickly, while the great part of the world population already feels their negative consequences.

If you’re interested in how the coronavirus influenced the ads during the quarantine period, please visit the post “Storytelling in the time of the corona: on the Little Prince’s planet”.

We are entering what I refer to as a #NovelEconomy. Novel means new and unusual and that accurately describes these times. In a business sense, Novel represents a new strain of market conditions that are not fully identified or understood. Thus, we have no pre-existing defences or experience against this level of astonishing disruption.

Get ready for the ‘Novel Economy’ and recovering from COVID-19 fallout, Vala Afshar, ZDNet

The term “novel economy” was coined last year by the well-known digital analyst, futurist speaker, and business innovation evangelist, Brian Solis. Solis is also one of the most famous names when it comes to Salesforce employees.

The keys to understanding the new economy

In order for businesses to understand how the novel economy works, it’s necessary, in Solis’s opinion, for them to be aware of the following facts:

  • The novel economy is born out of the circumstances that the world is facing for the first time. Those circumstances radically changed the course of the economy. Therefore, not just the businesses, we all need time to understand and accept the changes fully.
  • We don’t yet fully understand the changes and trends within the novel economy. Therefore, all evaluations and pieces of advice given by experts, even the most eminent ones, should be “taken with a grain of salt”.
  • The novel economy is expected to consolidate in the 18-24 month period after the coronavirus outbreak. The consolidation will take place in three phases.

Which are the three phases of the novel economy

According to Brian Solis’s predictions, the new economy “came to stay”. However, although the new economy appeared suddenly, its consolidation will continue progressively in three phases.

The phases of the new economy are marked by the imperatives placed upon the businesses:

  • To survive;
  • To alive;
  • To thrive.

The first phase: to survive

Organizations are establishing a COVID-19 task force and launching a mitigation war room to assess what’s not working, what needs to get done, and where to reset priorities. Speed is the relevant currency. Here, stakeholders can only talk about what can happen in days or weeks at most.

Get ready for the ‘Novel Economy’ and recovering from COVID-19 fallout, Vala Afshar, ZDNet

The first phase of the novel economy took place immediately after the outbreak of the pandemic. This phase was characterised by how rapidly businesses responded to the economic crisis that followed.

In a majority of situations, the reaction consisted of two actions:

  • Locating the most vulnerable parts of the business;
  • Trying to heal the negative consequences of the crisis.

In the first phase, the imperative is to survive, with the help of:

  • Mobile application development;
  • Automation of work processes;
  • Digital communication;
  • Accelerated transition to eCommerce;
  • Help provided by chatbots, etc.

The second phase: to alive

In phase 2, leadership accepts that disruption is the new normal and is the foundation on which to build upon. Beyond technology, leaders work to help people cope with finding comfort in evolving discomfort zones. If it wasn’t obvious before, becoming a digital-first business is the way forward. Here, business continuity is reflective of the new normal and becomes operationalized. r, ZDNet

Get ready for the ‘Novel Economy’ and recovering from COVID-19 fallout, Vala Afsha

The second phase of the novel economy followed the initial shock, the economic crisis, and the first reactions to the crisis’s negative consequences. Brian Solis considers that we are still in the second phase of the new economy.

In this phase, the challenge is to keep alive the activities previously established as a response to the crisis. Therefore, it’s necessary to convert the “response” into a sustainable short-term business strategy.

In the second phase, the imperative is to ensure the business continuation, with the help of:

  • Security systems built as an answer to a possible outbreak of a similar crisis (digital-first strategy);
  • Improved conditions in the new work environment (remote working and virtual teams);
  • An infrastructure is established to support the new work dynamics (data is stored online and accessed by all team members, regardless of their current location).

The third phase: to thrive

In Phase 3, organizations reacting to and building infrastructure for the Novel Economy is the new status quo. Emphasis from here on out is 1) expanding digital business capacity and expertise, 2) fueling the organization’s innovation engine for growth (operational, product, and services) 3) expanding the role of AI and automation across the enterprise to improve capacity, and 4) resilience for long-term disruption-proofing.

Get ready for the ‘Novel Economy’ and recovering from COVID-19 fallout, Vala Afshar, ZDNet

The third phase of the novel economy begins with the acceptance of the following fact: Despite the pandemic, in the new economic circumstances, it’s possible to achieve results.

In this phase, the focus shifts from survival and continuation to results and success.

In the third phase, the imperative is to thrive, with the help of:

What changes does the novel economy bring

Speaking of the changes that the novel economy brings, there are two types of changes:

  • The rise of the “generation N” – when it comes to consumers;
  • The growing importance of technology – when it comes to businesses.

Generation Novel: the new consumers

Generation N is the name I gave this new growing category of consumerism because it is so different than the way that we think about traditional customers in the past. As a quick, high-level overview, when we had to shelter in place, we had no choice but to use digital, for all of our communications, for all of our shopping, for all of our news-gathering, and fake-news-gathering.

How COVID-19 and the “Novel Economy” is changing the way customers respond to businesses, Karen Roby, TechRepublic

With the term “generation N” or “generation Novel”, Solis encompassed all those categories of consumers who, during the quarantine period, began to use digital devices in their daily activities.

As a result of the pandemic, so-called Generation N turned to digital applications — web and mobile apps — to shop, talk with family and friends, obtain information, learn and adopt new pieces of knowledge, communicate with doctors, ask for help and more.

For more information about Generation N:

What technology trends does the novel economy bring

We have so many technologies to consider, from cloud to 5G to automation, (artificial intelligence) AI, (augmented reality) AR, (virtual reality) VR, all of these important technology movements.

How COVID-19 and the “Novel Economy” is changing the way customers respond to businesses, Karen Roby, TechRepublic

Speaking of businesses, the most important changes are the digital transformation and the role that technology plays in carrying out a growing number of activities:

  • Cloud computing;
  • CX digital first;
  • Data-driven decision making;
  • Artificial intelligence;
  • Dynamic user experience;
  • Robotics;
  • The rise of e-commerce.

The novel economy and copywriting

Regarding the new economy and its impact on copywriting, I highlight three areas I believe will grow in the next period. 

In these areas, copywriters will have more chances to find new job opportunities and career growth.

E-commerce copywriting

McKinsey estimates that we experienced 10 years of e-commerce acceleration in 90 days.

How COVID-19 and the “Novel Economy” is changing the way customers respond to businesses, Karen Roby, TechRepublic

Since e-commerce and online sales have been on the rise, the number of companies switching to this type of business is growing (and will continue to grow). Simultaneously, competition grows, and the need to differentiate and position products and product categories in search engines.

How can a copywriter contribute to improving e-sales performance?

When it comes to e-commerce, a copywriter’s contribution consists of crafting content for product descriptions or category summaries. This type of copywriting is called e-commerce copywriting.

Email copywriting

McKinsey also showed that 75% of customers, since shelter-in-place, have experimented with a new brand, retailer, or website, and 60% of them said that they’re going to stick with the new decisions moving forward.

How COVID-19 and the “Novel Economy” is changing the way customers respond to businesses, Karen Roby, TechRepublic

Due to quarantine experience, numerous restrictions, and limited freedom of movement, consumers have decreased or stopped practising some of their previous buying habits. For example, buying in physical stores and going to sales.

They’ve also become less exposed to certain advertising types, such as promotional offers in stores and supermarkets.

However, these changes have paved the way for a marketing type that doesn’t require consumers to leave the house. It’s email marketing.

How can a copywriter contribute to improving email marketing performance?

A copywriter’s contribution consists of crafting email content for:

UX writing

Salesforce research, shows that 84% of customers expect a good experience, and that they value a good experience as or more than a product or service that the company offers.

.How COVID-19 and the “Novel Economy” is changing the way customers respond to businesses, Karen Roby, TechRepublic

In the end, one of the main goals of every brand is to provide its users with a positive experience, regardless if it’s offline or online. However, accelerated digitalisation, brought on by the pandemic, has led to the need for a better digital experience. One way to achieve it is by UX writing.

How can a copywriter contribute to improving the user experience?

A copywriter can improve the digital user experience by crafting a UX copy. UX copy or microcopy makes navigation within the user interface straightforward, intuitive, and wherever possible, one-way.

Copywriters who craft UX copy we call UX writers, UX copywriters or content designers.

New year, new economy

Now that we’ve seen some of the aspects of “novel economy”, I remind you that this term wasn’t invented in 2021, but in 2020. However, since I’m positive it will mark this year, I wanted to begin this year on the Writing-Friendly Blog by publishing a post about the new economy.

As Brian Solis said on one occasion, the time has come to take a step toward the novel economy. We have the opportunity. Now we need the vision and inspiration.

And, of course, a copywriter on the team.

I wish you a happy and successful 2021!

A Writing-Friendly Question: Do you know of any other consequences of the novel economy?

From NO to YES, there is only one CLICK. Please share this text.

Categories: Copywriting


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