Accelerating production — the modern digital marketing challenge

‘Digital’ has provided many large, well-established organisations with challenges as well as opportunities. It’s no secret that organisations aim to innovate, but they often struggle because they are lumbered with legacy technology. The tech that they invested in years ago no longer solves modern-day innovation challenges, which have moved on significantly.

Legacy tech particularly holds back large enterprises, where habits are hard to break, or ‘unlearn’. New businesses on the other hand typically have fewer established structures, processes and technologies. It’s here that the young can teach the old.

If well-established organisations can take a step back and unlearn their legacy digital business structures, they can make the steps to become digitally fit in an ever-transforming environment. But first, it’s important to understand how large and small business treat innovation differently.

The evolution of business engines

Large organisations have come to perform like ‘operating engines’ that churn in a market, focusing on distinct customer problems. The role of innovation is limited to continuous improvement of performance, whilst minimising risk through evolutionary means.

One of the biggest problems holding large organisations back is risk — risk of lower revenue, higher costs and regulatory, compliance or security concerns. These risks can ultimately result in failure. And large organisations don’t embrace failure well. The ironic thing is that, not taking risk and embracing new technologies, can also result in failure through inability to adapt. This is where businesses become disrupted.

focus on customer problems that few people yet understand

Start-ups, however, perform like ‘innovation engines’. They focus on customer problems that few people yet understand. The role of innovation is to recognise the ground-breaking efforts that can signify a game changer and lead to new business models. Start-ups embrace failure. They learn from it and move on.

What most large organisations need to do is to broaden their focus on the current customer needs, and look at new ways to implement new technology or business models that will meet customers’ unspecified needs. For example, software that can deliver personalised content can come into play. Through this, customers are targeted more specifically.

They are offered a service that is tailored to them, potentially giving them something they weren’t aware they even needed. Personalisation is an evolving customer requirement and we are likely to see new requirements as technology advances.

The future’s fast

Regardless of how businesses treat innovation, all can agree that speed is vital to making it happen.

Large businesses, however, are currently not happy with their level of speed. Acquia’s research in its Beyond the hype report shows that organisations want to move faster in terms of digital progression.

A central part of that digital progression is simply a fast, effective website. But 53% of digital leaders believe that their organisation should be able to design, build and publish new websites more quickly. The majority of organisations tackle the problem by using dynamic web pages, where a website’s content changes every time a page is loaded.

The most common of these are database driven, meaning that users have a web page that grabs information from a database, which has been connected through programming, and inserts that information into the web page each time it is loaded. If the information in the database is changed, so does the web page when it is next loaded.

This is a fantastic way for organisations to keep up with consumers, quickly updating content with minimal disruption. But it still doesn’t mean an organisation is digitally fit — just healthy and plodding along like other organisations that are lacking the drive to create a journey for their customers.

If organisations want to be truly up to scratch then they need to invest time and money into a ‘site factory’. A site factory is a reliable platform that minimises risk and provides the opportunity for businesses to focus and innovate on specific areas that matter to them in terms of metrics and what the customer wants.

Becoming digitally fit

Essentially a site factory is a multi-site platform that delivers and governs many digital experience websites on a global scale. It can support standard processes for building, provisioning and maintaining multiple websites, as well as providing a digital platform team visibility, trust and control for operating many websites.

a site factory is a multi-site platform that delivers and governs many digital experience websites on a global scale

A site factory — also now commonly referred to as a digital factory — is an efficient system that speeds up process, saves digital teams time and organisations money in the long term. But as always, this system is evolving. Customers also want faster, more responsive, more personal digital experiences.

All this is possible with a site factory. It gives digital teams the ability to create the core of what the organisation wants on its websites, and once this is established, those digital teams can then produce a new site faster and easier, because of the existing foundations in place. A site factory also gives organisations the ability to share content, autonomise the website, track personas and start pushing up the conversion rate at a faster pace — speeding up processes and creating room for innovation.

While large organisations struggle with problems from yesteryear, digitally fit organisations innovate. Digitally fit organisations tackle obstacles head on, and they have the drive to speed up and stay ahead of the game, meaning that they will ultimately outlive those who lack inspiration. Out with the old and in with the new.

What is needed is a different approach to the world of digital to enable the thinking of free innovation, and this is the perfect opportunity to take principles of production to the next level.

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