Groundbreaking innovations are happening literally every day. The prospect of investing thousands, even millions of dollars, in a new website or digital experience that could be outdated as soon as its launched is a new, and sobering, reality that raises some important questions:
- With so much new technology available, where should you place your bets?
- Should we put the gas on Mobile, AI, Conversational Commerce or a litany of other technology advances?
- In a world in continuous disruption, how can we future proof our digital investments?
“I very frequently get the question: 'What's going to change in the next 10 years?' And that is a very interesting question; it's a very common one. I almost never get the question: 'What's not going to change in the next 10 years?' And I submit to you that that second question is actually the more important of the two -- because you can build a business strategy around the things that are stable in time...In our retail business, we know that customers want low prices, and I know that's going to be true 10 years from now. They want fast delivery; they want vast selection. It's impossible to imagine a future 10 years from now where a customer comes up and says, 'Jeff I love Amazon; I just wish the prices were a little higher,' [or] 'I love Amazon; I just wish you'd deliver a little more slowly.' Impossible. And so the effort we put into those things, spinning those things up, we know the energy we put into it today will still be paying off dividends for our customers 10 years from now. When you have something that you know is true, even over the long term, you can afford to put a lot of energy into it.”If you have never heard this quote before, you might want to take a moment to marinate on it. It is how Amazon has made seemingly brilliant ‘bets’ with its ever increasing array of products, services and experiences. And how, at it’s core, they’re betting on fundamental aspects of human wants and needs.At Primacy, we strive to apply this kind of thinking to our own business and our clients businesses and digital initiatives. We love new and emerging technology as much as anyone. It’s one reason our tagline is “For What’s Next.” But "What’s Next" is a contextual statement. ‘What’s Next’ should be tied to an unchanging truth...something you know is true...and will always be true. Something that drives your business. Something that customers crave. Something that is worthy of your time, talent and treasure. Here is an example of some unchanging truths in the financial services industry:These are the rocks that you can anchor business and digital strategy around. And filters to remember when imagining a digital experience (particularly a new technology): does it improve, increase or impact one of these unchanging truths?So, as you are contemplating your next digital experience redesign, roadmap or evolution and getting agita about what’s next...and where to invest...consider not just the trends and advances in technology happening around you, but the unchanging truths that you can anchor your energy, business strategy and investments against. What are the unchanging truths in your industry? How will your experience provide more ease, value, etc. to your prospects and customers?With this context, you will see more clearly and confidently into the future. If the answer to the question is in the area of conversational commerce, for example, then it best be in your plans. If not, then it is a shiny object for (perhaps) another day or for your competitor to spin their wheels with.Either way, being mindful of the unchanging truths in your business is the right way to bring order to the chaos of disruptive technology. Good luck on your digital advances and we hope with this advice you will both execute better and sleep better with confidence that your investments are futureproof.