The new nomenclature…

Simon Corbett
Simon Corbett

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Many years ago, I lead the website re-development for an automotive brand. Working for a global creative agency, we were fortunate to have the opportunity to bring in the big guns.

The big gun in this instance was a Digital User Experience Expert, all the way from San Francisco. The thing that struck me most about this guy wasn’t his accent. Or that he was the only one in the country with an iPhone. Or the fact he was oozing with cool confidence. Oddly, it was his passionate and relentless use of the word “nomenclature”.

It struck me at first because I’d never heard it before. It sounded clever. It sounded important. And he used it a lot. It sounded like a word I needed to use more. But I could never really pull it off.

Until now!

For those of you that don’t know, the simple meaning of “nomenclature” is “a system for naming things”. In the website example, it was about our navigation and menu structure. To make it easy for a user to find, sort, engage with and make sense of content.

Surely if there is one area in need of a new nomenclature it is media.

TV, Digital, OOH, Radio, Print, and so on. I continue to see this or similar archaic nomenclatures right across the media landscape. Be it Client, Agency, Publisher, Tech, Industry Press or PR. And I think it needs to change.

Perhaps the biggest challenge though is not in identifying this but coming up with the new nomenclature. (Yes, I know I’m over doing the use of this word, but please indulge me). Should we do it based on the media, the creative format, how we engage or some other variation.

It’s tricky. So, let’s make this an interactive article. Rather than the usual comments, I invite you all to share your thoughts on the best nomenclature. Maybe you’ve already cracked it. I can collate and share the best. Maybe we can create a new industry standard. We all know how easy that is!

But I won’t let myself off that easy. I’m going to say we should base it on the actual device or physical media item that we watch the content on. New and old-school all in one.

TV. Content watched on a physical TV set. Radio. Content listened to on a physical Radio set. Print. Content viewed in a physical printed media. OOH. Content seen on a physical billboard. The way we interact with each of these media is different. They each have a different role to play in any media strategy. So, it makes sense to split out.

Can we break Digital down using this method? Let’s try. PC, Smartphone, Tablet, Gaming Console. Seems to be working so far. How about the digitisation of the old media? Connected TV. Works. Digital Radio. Digital OOH. Don’t like as much, but still works.

It might seem like a small thing, but back to my earlier point, a great nomenclature makes it much easier to find, sort, engage with and make sense of content.

Which could make all of our lives a little easier.

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