At the end of February we held an event in London centred on digital impact. This included six talks on different digital trends and technologies, with keynote lectures from our partners at Contentful and Commercetools. Below, we dive into the key takeaways from an insightful and successful day.
CX is big and only getting bigger
Customer Experience – the overall combination of a customer’s interactions with your brand – is one of the industry’s hottest topics, impacting the structure of back-end systems to front-end look and feel.
Profound’s Commercial Director, John Pearson, explained why CX is so important during the event.
As the world is now made up of people that have grown up with digital technologies, these ‘digital natives’ demand better Customer Experiences. However, it is mainly niche disruptors that are taking advantage of these raised expectations, with start-ups and corporate incubators leading the charge.
While many other businesses have often paid lip service to CX, they now need to turn this talk into action. How are they going to do this? With customer research,
continued CX Director, Barry Osborne.
The audience wanted to know more, asking “what type of research is best?” Barry’s response:
all insight is valuable, but my personal advice would be through small research groups. That way you can really get to the crux of the issue and understand which touchpoints and experiences are causing your customers bother, and why.
This was followed by another key question: “is old customer research still useful?”. Barry’s answer:
all customer research is valuable, and sometimes brands already have the necessary insight at their disposal without realising.
But the use of older customer research needs to be considered within a wider context. The most important thing is changing your approach to CX and making it an intentional part of your business strategy. You can start with old data, and then work towards new data as and when your budget increases.
Headless lets you eat the elephant one bite at a time
Headless CMS was another of the event’s main draws, with our Director of Digital, Tim McMillen, providing a well-received lecture about this revolutionary approach. If you’re still getting to grips with headless, this video will help to explain.
Tim’s advocation of headless centred on integration and faster time-to-value. In contrast to a traditional monolithic approach, headless allows you to build your digital estate exactly as you want. Or, in Tim’s words,
by eating the elephant one bite at a time
As a result, brands can digitally mature while achieving value. Then, after seeing the proven ROI of a headless solution, you have momentum to request further investment in your digital estate.
The fast eating the slow
Commercetools Head of Marketing, Andreas Rudl, struck a chord with attendees when describing the paradigm shift in the current market:
it’s no longer the big eating the small, it’s the fast eating the slow.
The market is characterised by an increase in competition, an increase in customer expectations, and an increase in technological standards – the way to satisfy all three trends is with speed.
Brands today must be agile and receptive to meet these changes – if they don’t, they’ve already lost pace. By using APIs to decouple the front-end and the back-end, the headless approach allows your business to be receptive to these market changes and react in order of priority. This speed will define the next decade.
In response to this, one member of the audience asked Contentful’s Rouven Wessling, “we’ve heard a lot about the benefits of headless today, but actually now we want to hear more about its teething problems. How do you get your workforce on board with this solution?”
Rouven responded, emphasising the importance of the users:
the easiest way is by getting your employees to use the platform and familiarise themselves with the interface before you’ve committed. Your employees are the users, so they need to see whether they like the solution before you can even think about making a decision.
Tim rounded off the day by saying:
the beauty about this new type of approach is there are loads of solutions on the market that all have slightly different offerings. The best way to find out which is the best for your business is to try before you buy. As part of the software-as-a-service proposition, trials are easy to set up and can help your team really understand a solution before it is implemented.
Lectures and speakers
- ‘A brief introduction to Profound’ – John Pearson, Commercial Director, Profound.
- ‘What’s in store in 2020 for CX?’ – Barry Osborne, CX Director, Profound.
- ‘What is headless?’ – Tim McMillen, Director of Digital, Profound.
- ‘Introducing Contentful’ – Rouven Wessling, Contentful.
- ‘Introducing Commercetools’ – Dirk Weckerlei & Andreas Rudl, Commercetools.
- ‘Living with headless as a marketer’ – Rhiannon Hanger, Client Success Director, Profound.