After a year that caused many businesses – and entire industries – to adapt their models to the quickly changing landscape, predicting what 2021 has in store may seem like a daunting task. Appnovation’s senior leaders discuss three digital trends for brands across industries – from getting back to basics, to the importance of empathy, to the rise of headless content management.
Get Back to Basics
2020 moved almost every aspect of our lives online. Visits with loved ones, education, even grocery shopping – were all done digitally. With this change, many businesses faced a harsh reality: they couldn’t keep up with evolving customer experience expectations.
According to Scott Wassmer, General Manager, Americas, too many brands hopped on the latest trend bandwagon without having their core strategies in place. Content management, personalization, e-commerce and data-based decision making are the keys to creating consumer-driven experiences. If you nail those three things, your customer experience will be way ahead of brands who haven't built out those strategies.
For example, the things people expect when they’re shopping don’t change when the customer moves online. Personalized service, human interaction, help finding what they need – these are as important to the experience as ever.
Bolting new technologies and thinking on an unstable platform will lead to a poor user experience in more and more places. So before you worry about virtual reality, AI, or gamification, get the basics right and make sure the experience you offer isn’t a temporary fix, but a beautiful end-to-end experience built around a solid foundation.
Strategic Implementation of Technology
Several game-changing tech capabilities are on the horizon, but technology for technology’s sake never works. Think about its human purpose. If it doesn’t solve a meaningful and immediate customer need, you shouldn’t implement it.
Allison Humphries, VP Strategy, breaks down the steps any business should take before looking at new technologies:
First, have a unified strategic vision and plan seated in a deep understanding of your customer. Digital advancements cannot happen in silos, so make sure your IT, Marketing, and Sales teams are all aligned to the strategy and on-boarded at the same time.
Next, optimize what you already have. Ensure foundational elements like your data strategy are well in place; evaluate your current technology and be honest about what’s facilitating an optimal customer experience and what isn’t.
Finally, listen to your gut but make sure it’s informed. Data doesn’t eliminate the need for gut feelings around your business – what it does is inform you so you can trust your gut more confidently. Using data in tandem with instinct is what will set you apart.
Headless Content Gives Martech More Control
Headless content management will continue to be a major catalyst in the unbundling of different aspects of your consumer experience so marketing teams can customize and distribute their content more efficiently and in brand new ways, and gain more control over how they apply it.
John Mozayani, VP Technology, says everything comes back to customer experience; and how you define that experience with your content is a crucial element to differentiating yourself from the competition.
Fueled by a modern approach to web and mobile app development, implementing headless content management will accelerate the development of your services, including digital asset management, e-commerce, marketing automation, CRM, and analytics. This will create a new generation of experience innovation and orchestration tools, allowing you to quantifiably measure the effectiveness of marketing messaging, campaigns, and channels.