Learn what the expression “the novel economy” means. Discover how the pandemic has changed the economy, and whether 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 in our everyday lives.

Some of them are the new normal, the next normal, the post-pandemic world, etc.

However, there is a concept that still hasn’t become so spread as the other ones. Notwithstanding, I’m certain that in 2021 we’ll all speak about it.

That concept is “the novel economy”.

In this post, I’ll write about the new economy.

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

  • Definition of the term;
  • Three phases of the novel economy;
  • Economic changes caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

In the second part of the post, though, I’ll centre my attention on the consequences that those changes may cause in the field of copywriting.

Are you curious to find out 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.

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While you read this post, you might start looking for the Marketing of Oz. If so, the Cowardly Lion from the film “The Wizard of Oz” will be accompanying you to help you find it. Discover what the Marketing of Oz is and explore all the posts that belong to the category “Copywriting”.

What the term “novel economy” means

The term “novel economy” encompasses the changes that have occurred in the field of economics due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Those changes arose suddenly and occurred quickly.

Furthermore, a great part of the world population has already experienced their negative consequences.

If you’re interested in discovering how the coronavirus influenced the ads and commercials during the quarantine period, please visit the post “Storytelling in the time of the coronavirus: 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 a well-known digital analyst, futurist speaker, and business innovation evangelist, Brian Solis.

Solis is also one of the most eminent Salesforce employees.

The keys to understanding the new economy

For businesses to understand how the novel economy works, Solis claims that it’s essential for them to be fully aware of the following three facts:

  • The novel economy is born out of the circumstances that the world is facing for the first time. Those circumstances have radically changed the course of the economy. Therefore, not only businesses but also individuals need to take their time to comprehend and accept the changes.
  • We don’t yet understand all the changes and trends within the novel economy. Therefore, evaluations and pieces of advice given by experts, even the most prominent 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, as Solis indicates, take place in three phases.

Which the three phases of the novel economy are

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:

  • Surviving;
  • Living;
  • Thriving.

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 in March 2020.

This phase was characterised by how rapidly businesses responded to the economic crisis that followed.

In the majority of cases, their reaction consisted of two actions:

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

Speaking of the first phase, the imperative is to survive.

The ways to survive were the following ones:

  • Development of mobile applications;
  • 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 live 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 continuation of business activities in the form of:

  • Security systems, built as an answer to a possible outbreak of a similar crisis (digital-first strategy);
  • Improved work conditions in changed environment (remote working and virtual teams);
  • An infrastructure 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 that, despite the pandemic, it’s possible to achieve results in the new circumstances.

Therefore, the focus shifts from survival and continuation to results and success.

In the third phase, the imperative is to thrive.

The ways to make thriving possible are:

What changes the novel economy brings

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

Solis coined the term “generation N” or “generation Novel” to denote the consumers who, during the quarantine period, began to use digital devices in their daily activities.

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

More information about Generation N:

What technology trends the novel economy enhances

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 novel economy amplifies the role that technology plays in carrying out a growing number of activities.

In a word, it enhances the digital transformation:

  • 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 and prosper in the next period. 

In those 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 lately on the rise, the number of companies switching to this type of business.

In other words, electronic commerce is becoming increasingly important for businesses from different fields.

As a consequence, competition in e-commerce is increasing, so does the need to position both products and product categories on search engines.

How a copywriter can 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, restrictions, and limited freedom of movement, consumers have drastically decreased — or even stopped — practising some of their previous buying habits.

For example, buying in physical stores and visiting the sales.

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

However, these changes have paved the way for a marketing type that doesn’t require consumers to leave their houses.

It’s email marketing.

How a copywriter can 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 each and every brand is to provide its users with a positive experience, regardless of if it’s offline or online.

However, accelerated digitalisation, brought on by the pandemic, has led to the need for a better digital user experience.

One way to achieve it is by investing in UX writing.

How a copywriter can contribute to improving the user experience

A copywriter can contribute to improving the digital user experience by crafting UX copy.

UX copy or microcopy makes navigation within the user interface straightforward, intuitive, and wherever possible, one-way.

Copywriters who craft UX copy are called UX writers, UX copywriters or content designers.

New year, new economy

Now that we’ve seen some aspects of the novel economy, I remind you that this term was invented in 2020.

However, since I’m positive it will determine the year thats about to start, I wanted to begin my 2021 by publishing this post about the new economy.

So, 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 just need 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 other consequences of the novel economy?

My name is Stasa Durdic, and I work as a copywriter. If you would like to know more about me, please read my story or visit my LinkedIn profile. On the other hand, in case you want to get in touch with me, I’ll be happy to offer you my help with copywriting.

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

Categories: Copywriting


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