During 2014 many organisations discussed the importance of implementing their new digital strategies. Many already knew what they wanted. Some had already put plans in place to achieve this. Some failed. For most, their pursuit for a best in class digital strategy involves providing a truly integrated experience across social, email, web, mobile, advertising and marketing. But many organisations will not get off the ground in actually delivering this truly integrated experience across their offline and online channels during 2015. 

What will happen though is a year of learning - the awareness and the need to understand how all those channels really work together to deliver ONE experience to the customer will likely drive businesses to think, plan and prepare for what they will be more likely be able to deliver during the year 2016.

Resource, money and proven experience in this area, and a conscious effort are all required to bring disparate groups to the table to learn how to collaborate across different screens, devices and channels to deliver a seamless experience to customers wherever they may be in the customer journey.

The best (or at the very least, the most likely to be successful in the future) organisations will not run these channels as silos but will look to merge the functions previously held and looked after by disparate teams into a single customer-centric focused team of experts dedicated to deliver the right experiences at the right time in the right manner regardless of location, device or channel.

One department, one focus – the Customer.

This is by no means a new notion, but we see 2015 as being the year that many businesses strive more to achieve this. And here’s a snapshot of what else is happening in the industry to make this possible:

1. Predictive personalisation

The online experience is already being personalised for different users. Technology is evolving in a way that soon everything can be based on predictive personalisation and experience. So instead of having marketers thinking about the rules involved to show specific content to specific types of users, platforms will be able to “guess” what the user wants to see ‘Minority Report’ style, by intelligently learning from the massive amount of data it’s now able to gather.

2. Post-demographic consumerism

The term ‘post-demographic consumerism’ has been coined which suggests businesses need to step away from traditional stereotypes of consumer behaviour where specific groups are targeted, and go beyond demographics to an individual level as consumers are now constructing their own identities more freely. For example, IAB statistics show that in the UK women now account for the majority of video game players and there are more gamers over 44 than under 18.* 

3. Cloud Migration

More and more businesses will move to the Cloud. Already this year we have seen the majority of our own clients take the leap to hybrid or Cloud-based solutions, with the devices in the market their users are consuming their information from being the main driver. Smartphones, tablets and now Smartwatches require data to be hosted elsewhere than in a business’s own servers/machines to allow access anywhere in the world whilst consumers are on the move.

4. Data and analytics

The rise of big data also contributed to the migration to the Cloud, but understanding and analysing this data will be even more important. We will see analytics tools really come into their own as businesses intelligence guides organisations into the future.

5. User-generated content

No digital strategy will be complete without social and user-generated content will continue to thrive. With social media now an accountable part of the marketing mix, businesses need to speak to, and more importantly, listen to what their customers have to say. Brand websites are becoming social platforms in their own right, and by giving customers the means to communicate with you directly and share their own content will not only increase dwell time but will ultimately lead to conversions. 

6. The Digital Workplace 

Your internal Digital Workplace should be fully integrated with your external online presence. As the pace of change in the world of technology quickens and there is an ever increasing demand for collaboration and a seamless cross-device experience, organisations need to satisfy their internal customers as well as their external ones. More than just an intranet, a digital workplace is defined by working in a more collaborative, engaging and productive way that enables individuals to work from any place in the world at any time to better serve their end users. 2015 will see more businesses look to climb the Digital Maturity Framework ladder to improve efficiency and productivity. 

2014 saw ClearPeople refine our ‘consultagency’ approach, fusing technical consulting skills with traditional digital marketing agency services. With 2015 around the corner, we’re excited to show how this approach will help our clients to achieve business transformation and gain competitive advantage by putting the customer experience at the heart of our solutions.

*(Marketing Week)

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