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Taking on Tomorrow

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The ever-evolving digital landscape, and consumers’ increasingly high expectations from brands to deliver connected digital experiences, have forever changed the way businesses present themselves and communicate with audiences. With self-isolation now a reality around the world, the ability to provide consumers with an elevated digital offering has never been more important. 

Connecting the dots between digital assets and creating a digital ecosystem

The days of individual channels are long gone. Digital services now run through the heart of every business and digital-led interactions define how brands connect with consumers. That's why companies must evolve their digital assets and the ecosystems that connect them.

For a long time, marketers have described the purchase funnel that customers follow as passing from Awareness, through Interest, Desire, Action and Advocacy. Digital has enabled that journey to be trackable, accountable and agile.

In order to keep up with the current pace of change, it’s vital that companies are delivering an ongoing evolution of internal efficiencies, product and messaging relevance, and friction-less customer experiences. These three areas connect all aspects of many organisations and are enabled through integrated digital transformation programmes.

Despite recognising the benefits of this type of transformation, many businesses feel hampered.

Moving from an older, data-driven model of short-term accountability is not simple. The biggest blocker to successfully driving transformation tends to be a blinkered focus only on short-term strategy and ROI.

What's needed is a managed evolution toward an agile transformation culture. Here, processes are automated and interconnected, experiences are personalised and designed from the user’s perspective and the end-to-end system is monitored and continually enhanced using big data and AI.

The future of UX

The digital world is moving toward being run by systems that combine big-data and AI to self-evolve. So, the biggest challenge facing businesses looking to capitalise on new technology to drive increased efficiency and sales is the need to replace static architectures and processes with integrated learning systems. This shift will be huge but will reap huge rewards, as most companies recognise…

“90% of businesses believe delivering highly personalised experiences to be a top priority” - Accenture, techvision2020 survey

Learning systems are not just about optimising processes, they are becoming more about optimising messages and even products. As customers demand ever more personal experiences, old models of segmentation are strained – systems need to learn about individuals and respond accordingly, rather than work to a standardised demographic playbook. The rewards for the winners will be huge. Consumers are already crying out for enhanced personalisation that doesn’t come at the expense of their privacy…

“67% of consumers think it’s important for companies to customise content and 42% say un-personalised content annoys them” - Adobe Research 2020.

The old segment-based model of personalisation is coming to an end. The emerging era of hyper-personalisation is set to be a race to the individual

COVID-19 Impact

Without doubt, the pandemic will have profound consequences for every person on earth. People are struggling with the level of change, mental health is under intense threat through isolation, whole sectors are on their knees and governments are frantically spending in order to get us all through it. So, what will happen when it’s all over?

From a commercial perspective, this is a long-term challenge. The business world is not going to simply ‘bounce back’. As they pick up the pieces, it’ll be highly likely they will face increased costs for some time. As a result, efficiency and process automation will be vital to rebuilding. The robotization process, that’s been talked about for some years, will be vastly accelerated. 

In addition to the drive for efficiency, many businesses will need to pivot to take advantage of new markets. This is an opportunity to implement smart targeting models and a more agile approach to marketing that maximises results and efficiency.

The business world is not going to simply bounce back

Shifts in consumers behaviour will contribute to this changing marketplace. Families will be strapped for cash, more people will continue to work remotely, some social connections will be broken, and new ones made. Consumer reliance on digital self-service will increase and businesses without a 24/7 digital offering are likely to be hit hard. 

This goes for human interactions too. Many people have embraced video-calling as a de-facto replacement for face-to-face. As virtual socialising becomes the norm so too will virtual customer service. Cultural changes like this represent challenges for some but also opportunities for those that are ready to pounce on them.

An integrated, holistic view is pivotal to success in the digital economy. By combining data, creativity, engineering and marketing, it's possible to create new models for brands to bring purpose and profit into their businesses. That's how you take on tomorrow. 

Jamie Jefferson is chief creative officer at digital transformation agency Equator.


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