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3 Takeaways from WP Engine 2019

19 November 2019

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Agencies are no longer  the do-ers, they are the orchestrators

Only 5 years ago, the average digital agency spent approximately 80% of time working on the design and build for their clients with the remaining 20% on ongoing marketing services. This was at a time when the best user experiences of digital systems significantly outshone the competition due to good mobile experience, load speed, ease of use etc. Advertising and good SEO were a lot easier to achieve due to less competition and aggregation of content streams.

5 years later we find ourselves with over 50% of search terms on Google being ‘zero-click’, the number of web users up 49% globally and the use of mobile from 2012 to 2018 going from 88 to 203 minutes per day.  These trends have forced business, even the laggards in the industry, to get caught up with the responsive design and better-ish UX/UI.

Naturally, this has shifted the requirements of digital agencies significantly with approximately 80% of agency time now being spent on wider marketing orchestration as opposed to purely handling new design and build projects.

The battlefield now lies not in who owns the prettiest user experience, it is about who can implement a data strategy to create the most personal and tailored experience for its customers.

Throughout 2020, Umi Digital’s focus is not going to be focussed on the volume of new websites we can build, it is going to be primarily focussed on how we can orchestrate the best use of data flow for our clients to create the most relevant and personalised guest experience online. In-line with this, we are creating some exciting new marketing packages that revolve around Growth-Driven Design and Inbound Marketing methodologies.

AI will shift our focus from implementation to creativity

In exactly the same way as people were nervous about the industrial revolution taking away entire categories of job roles, there is a great deal of anxiety about what AI and automation will do to our workforce.

The truth is that AI and Automation will remove many of the traditional ‘doing’ roles in a marketing workforce. These roles will need to become more focussed on orchestrating a wider strategy and thinking more strategically about campaigns as opposed to focussing on implementation. Just as fire, stone, the wheel and machines became tools for us to master, so too will be the case with AI.

Rather than focus on what it will replace, we must focus on capabilities and potential use cases so that we can use it as a tool for our strategic goals. It is essential that we recognise what AI is but also what AI is not; the commercialisation of “AI” as a buzzword has not helped the situation and we, therefore, need to really define it along with pros, cons and use cases for our business.

Top Brands don’t reinvent the wheel when marketing

Templates, modules and pre-made blocks used to be the very antithesis of “Bespoke Design” but the truth is that the top brands are not going creating things from the ground up until they absolutely need too. Their first point of call is to use tried and tested methodologies and templates to avoid unnecessary build costs and, more importantly, allow them to react much faster to market opportunities. As a quick example, the Samsung news App is actually operated on a WordPress backend; they established that the content structure was perfectly adequate and could go to market a lot faster than building their own.

It’s always nice to own our own IP and systems but by using modules along with tried and tested tools like WordPress, we can get to market far quicker than creating bespoke solutions to everything. At Umi we create completely custom designs that are based on tried and tested modules that we can assimilate over the last 10 years of performance tracking. This keeps the cost down and also our time to market as quickly as possible. The modular nature of our websites also allows businesses to create new landing pages and layouts at the click of a button to act on marketing opportunities.

The companies that will win in this space will be the ones that can react to opportunities faster than their rivals, not those who reinvent the wheel.

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