Just the way the word sounds helps get across its meaning.
It’s a smooth current of a word that carries itself for as long as the speaker wants.
Conceptually, we recognize it as something that suggests one is in the zone, performing well, and magically accomplishing things while making it look easy and natural. Commonly heard in reference to sports psychology, “flow” per Wikipedia is a term that denotes single-minded immersion, and positive emotional engagement and energy. Wikipedia suggests that “to be caught in the ennui of depression or the agitation of anxiety is to be barred from flow.” Jordan with the ball, The Great One with the puck, Senna behind the wheel, Satriani with his axe – all are legendary examples of pure flow. Poetry in motion.
While the concept of flow is not new, life today necessitates its understanding and application as a coping and success strategy. Achieving flow amidst, and through, the chaos and noise of daily chatter and barriers is a liberating objective.
So, too, is that true for contemporary marketing strategy. Marketing should not be a disruption. Brands should not agitate.
Instead, as marketers, we should aspire to creating flow conditions for customers. Traditional marketing principles by their very design are “anti-flow.” A launch campaign, with sustain tactics, and then ultimately an end date. Post tracking studies. Intercept marketing. Tactical upsell-programs. Surge media buys.
Is that how customers think about brands? In fits and starts? As temporal entities?
They most certainly do not for the most iconic and successful brands.
Enduring equity requires a brand be continuously engaging and moving its customers along a journey – being “alive” with its customers, fans and followers.
Successful brands, be it by design or serendipity, help create conditions for customer “flow.” A smooth current of experiences, opportunities, dialogue and offerings that seamlessly connect and carry the customer ever-deeper into the relationship – from the first purchase onwards.
Where are you taking your customers today?
Welcome to the world of “flow” as applied to marketing.
We must take a longer view to customer relationships across the lifetime spectrum – how are we helping make it emotionally effortless for customers to participate, engage, consume, and recommend a brand and its products. Ensuring each and every intuitive and natural moment “flows” to the next.
That is certainly something that can’t be captured in a traditional media blocking chart.