So Long 2020, Hello 2021

From New York to York Street

2020 was a year like no other, a year we’ll never forget

2021 looks to be promising much of the same – uncertainty, border closures, face masks and hand sanitiser, it’s fair to say that some of the changes we saw in 2020 are becoming a new way of life. The reality of this is currently being felt by those of us in Western Australia this week. To all our clients and friends in Perth and surrounds, we wish you safety and health in these challenging times.

A global pandemic – the catalyst for a digital revolution

2020 saw many businesses having to pivot to address the ever changing situation – whether it was to enable remote working, online learning or supporting a wave of demand for digital sales and service.

For some this was an evolution of existing practises but for many this was a huge change, exposing gaps in digital capabilities and offerings.

A McKinsey Global Survey of executives found that companies have accelerated the digitisation of their customer and supply-chain interactions and of their internal operations by three to four years. And the share of digital or digitally enabled products in their portfolios has accelerated by a shocking seven years.

So what can we expect on the digital horizon in 2021?

With a lot of recent changes embedded as the ‘new norm’, we’re starting to see many of our clients focus on reimagining their offerings as confidence gradually grows.  Some clients are starting to see the net positive impact of their 2020 investment in digital technologies, which otherwise may have been spread over a number of years.

Our predictions for the near term

Tracking social media interactions

Have you heard of a Social CRM? It may well make its way to the top of your 2021 wish list.

To stay relevant, you must be able to connect with your customers where they are, and your customers are on social media. Social media is the lynchpin of many agile digital marketing strategies and so the need to integrate your social media channels into your CRM has never been more pressing.

Social CRMs allow you to facilitate seamless customer engagement, while also helping you better anticipate your customers’ needs and providing you with a wealth of actionable insight on the sentiment of your brand, products, and services.

SEO – the search for Position Zero

Position Zero (P0) is the first Google search result that appears above organic SEO listings. P0 encourages the ‘no-click search’ – the instant answer to your questions without the user working too hard.

No longer is the Holy Grail getting your business to the top of the SERP. Building brand awareness is becoming increasingly important with more than 50% of Google searches resulting in no further click throughs. Ensuring your business is fully optimised to appear in the search engine results page (SERP) in a meaningful way.

But wait, don’t pull your investment in SEO just yet – it is still incredibly important to continue work in this space as still half of all searches do result in a click-through, and you want to be that website.

Get it right and you’ll cater for users of all attention spans!

The Cloud reigns supreme

Even if you didn’t have a Cloud transformation program scheduled at the beginning of 2020, chances are it’s at the top of your to-do list for 2021.
In order to support and service the needs of a workplace demanding flexibility, consolidation and scalability all whilst cutting operating costs, the Cloud, for many, is a foregone conclusion.

Cloud transformation and consolidation projects will lead a lot of business’ IT agendas in 2021 and beyond, to the extent that it’s widely reported that the cloud computing industry will grow from USD 371.4 billion in 2020 to USD 832.1 billion in the next 5 years.

AI, ML and RPA – abbreviations that will become commonplace in 2021

No it’s not just random letters – we’re talking about Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Robotic Process Automation.

The pandemic saw a massive shift in the level of investment in automated solutions for operations and repetitive tasks. Although this was underway prior to 2020, the acceleration of this shift has been truly mind-blowing and will reshape the workplace forever.

In an environment where resilience and agility are king, the businesses that can best increase and safeguard their operational efficiencies will be most likely to survive these uncertain times.

Other trends to keep an eye out for:

  • Evolved chatbots incorporating conversational marketing
  • Personalisation and interactive content
  • Video Marketing

The continued rise of the micro-influencers

On a side note, did you know that all these hours we’ve spent staring at our own reflections whilst on Zoom and Teams calls has led to a 300% increase in inquiries for nose jobs in Australia in 2020 due to what the Australasian Academy of Dento-Facial Aesthetics is calling ‘Zoom-Face-Envy’.

Team movements

And finally, just as we welcome Sarah back from maternity leave, we farewell Cat who will be departing the team (for a short while) in early February as she prepares to become a mum for the first time later in the month. We wish her every happiness at this exciting time.

Our ever-growing team also welcomed new talent with the appointment of Sean Buchanan, a full stack developer, and Amy Carmichael, as a digital and marketing strategist.

From our team to yours – wishing you a safe, healthy and happy 2021.

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