Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, organizations have had to innovate to find new ways to connect with customers, build their brand, and deliver an exemplary customer and digital experience. But are these trends here to stay in 2021?
Gartner experts recently weighed-in on the trends they see shaping 2021 as a continuation of the unique direction seen this past year from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, at the recent Gartner Digital Experience Symposium.
- Digital Foundations
In the coming year, infrastructure and operations (I&O) will be leading innovation. Christopher Mixter, Gartner’s Research & Advisory Vice President, explained that innovations in cost intelligence, workforce transformation, platform ops, and marketing will be notable upcoming capabilities. With cost intelligence, individuals will be able to “balance cost management with new investment and show the enterprise how to free up ‘capital’ in the form of time, creativity, and cash to re-invest in I&O,” he explained. Platform ops will rely on a “people-centric approach to digital foundations,” where there will be a heavier concentration on the customer.
- Engaging Content
Paige O’Neill, Sitecore’s CMO, commented that “whether it’s digital or physical, meeting these moments (for customers) is going to be the expectation as we go forward. We’re just not going to go back to where we were before.” Digital experience starts with successfully engaging the customer. In 2021, it will be important for organizations to develop a concrete understanding of customer needs at every step of their journey.
According to Gartner’s Jason McNellis, marking analytics will be a priority investment in the coming year. McNellis shared that “having one or two types of marketing decisions significantly influenced by analytics results in 40 percent financial overperformance, while three or more marketing decisions influenced by analytics results in a 50 percent financial overperformance.”
As we head into 2021, brands should build upon the digital foundations that enabled them to thrive even with the negative impact of the pandemic. Through engaging content and optimized analytics, brands will be successful. By focusing on these three items, brands will be well placed to deliver success in the coming year.