Evolution is part of nature. It happens so seamlessly and so gradually that it often takes a long time to recognise the change.
While evolution has most certainly always taken place in business, it’s fair to say that tech has experienced evolution at a pace that is so much quicker than anything else we’ve ever seen…it’s scary.
Just think about it. It was only 20 odd years ago that anyone started even using the term ‘Smartphone’ and less than a decade since the first iPhone hit the market (which is probably the real iconic landmark point in time).
Add to this that it was only the early 90’s that saw the average consumer own their own PC and the internet begin to take shape and suddenly today, we carry more power in our pocket with more data capability than any one thought possible 30 years ago.
We see this first hand with the website development. Not only is the tech evolving so rapidly but the mechanisms of consuming the content is shifting rapidly too. It’s a never ending cycle of new followed by new, followed by more new!
It’s why I’ve come to the conclusion that ‘websites’ will be dead very soon. Well, not dead but so evolved you won’t even know that they’re not websites anymore…but they won’t be.
The demands upon a ‘website’ are so much more today than what we were developing even 5 years ago. Users require different styles of engagement, are in different places and mind sets, and communication requires a whole different shift in thinking.
While many dive directly for the technical solutions, I’m not convinced this is 100% of the answer. Not everything is about SEO and analytics. They’re super helpful and all part of the picture but we should never forget about the strategy behind why the vehicle exists in the first place.
If we’re not asking why we’re communicating and what we’re looking to do as part of the engagement, then it’s just a tech fest and we see too much of that. The other side is glorified online brochures with clickable links. But there is something else.
We’ve always called it ‘Online Engagement’. It’s about balancing all the components of marketing into this ever evolving medium. Strong strategy, crafted design (not a template), engaging content (not just SEO copy either), custom photography, sales funnels, clever development techniques and many small hooks which look to grab visitors throughout their journey.
At the end of the day, this means having a robust budget and employing professionals rather than adopting a DIY approach. Content Management Systems (CMS) have lured most into a false sense of security when it comes to, especially content. A CMS should be used to speed up the content migration process rather than a way for general users to manage their website.
Business owners can’t expect to keep abreast of such rapid change. It’s hard enough when you’re embedded in the industry. This evolution must lead to a revolution in people’s thinking about how their online presence should be managed.