Are you planning to create or to continue to maintain your present business website? Well, we suggest you put that decision on hold for a moment and ponder these significant realities first.
Websites Are Dead...
Not really, but websites are now becoming less impactful than they use to, and declining fast. So our recommendation is that you stop building or maintaining your standard-type business websites for these significant facts:
- Old-style Websites are becoming less important, less impactful and of limited utility, as the digital revolution matches on relentlessly
- In this digital era, a website is just one of many means of connecting with your audience online (digital channels). There are many other channels to worry about if you want to continue to remain relevant to your potential customers.
- To add to this complexity, many more exotic touchpoints are just over the horizon ready to burst into the scene: Conversational interfaces (voice assistance), Chatbots, AIs, VR/ARs, IoTs, etc.
- Your potential customers are adopting these new technologies at a very fast rate.
- Because the lives of almost every potential customers your business might need are now largely digital, every business is being forced in some way to become digital to remain relevant.
- So if you are not deliberately digitizing your business the right way, your yesterdays technologies would fail to impress these digital-savvy audience. Instead you would be driving them to your competitors who understands the new rules of the game better than you.
These days it is not enough to just have a website and expect to see any significant result. You must do better than that. Do this instead...
Start Building Digital Platforms or Digital Experience Platforms!
While websites are not really dead, far from it, the nature and fundamental roles of websites have changed dramatically. If you are not aware of the difference and continue to build and maintain your yesterday-style websites, the world is fast leaving you behind without your knowing it. Most importantly, you are missing out on the enormous benefits that the modern-type websites brings.
While your old-type websites are fast declining in value to your business or organization, the modern websites are enormously beneficial. Put another way, modern websites, more properly called Digital Platforms or Digital Experience Platforms, are of strategic importance. They could be foundational to your whole entire business or organization.
So How Does a Digital Experience Platform Different from a Regular Website?
Digital Experience Platform
|Usually a marketing initiative||Multi-functional, enterprise-wide initiative: marketing, sales, products/services, customer services, etc|
|Web browser based (single channel support)||Multi-channel support: Web, mobile, social, IoT, Argumented / Virtual Reality devices, conversational interfaces, chatbots, wearables, devices yet to be invented or imagined|
|Disconnected experience from other connected channels||Unified experience across all connected channels|
|Mostly business centric||Deliberately customer-centric|
|Very easy and simple to create these day||Complex to implement. might require a multi-year plan to complete|
|Simple and tactical in intent||Complex, but very strategic in intent|
|Potential outcomes: marginal or incremental results at best||Potential outcomes: exponential results. Think in the scale of 10X, 100X, 1,000X, etc|
|No significant differentiation across different organizations||Specific to each organization. Custom-built according to a particular digital strategy and vision|
|Every audience gets the same experience||All experiences are personalized according to each individual context|
|Administrative back-ends are tied permanently to the website front-end||Decoupled architecture for flexible delivery across different channels and devices: websites, mobile apps, single-page applications (Angular, React, Ember, etc), conversational interfaces, chatbots, etc|
Moving From Website to a Successful Digital Experience Platform
So what does it take to go from just having a website (or not having one at all) to creating a successful digital platform or digital experience platform for your business or organization?
There are two ways you can digitize your business:
- The simplest way is to introduce technology solutions that help you improve the business operations you are already executing. Usually this will yield marginal or incremental results at best.
- The more complex but recommended approach is to rethink and to rebuild your entire business around digital technology (digital transformation). This has the potential of yielding exponential results: Think 10X, 100X, 1,000X, or more.
The former approach is what you do when you just set up a website to help communicate your messages online. The later is what you do when you want to create a business that is designed for the digital age, a true digital business.
Even though the later approach is very complex to achieve, the good news is that you don’t have to do it all at once. In fact the recommended approach is to start small and build it up gradually as resources, time and effort allows, while seeing significant results with each step taken.
Even though you are encouraged to digitally transform your business step by step, digital initiative-by-digital initiative, everything you do must be backed by an extensive initial planning. We recommend the following planning stages:
- Digital capacity assessment: To get a sense of what you need to do, you must know the current state of your digital capabilities and competence.
- Research and analysis: Who are your customers? What is their digital behaviors, expectations and preferences? Who are your competitors, and what are they up to digitally? What are the trends and best practices within your industry right now?
- Digital vision creation: Now that you know your current digital competency, your customers, competitors and industry better: how would you want your business to operate and take maximum advantage of this? What position do you want your business to occupy within your digital marketplace?
- Digital strategy development: What step by step roadmap must you follow to achieve this digital vision? What digital initiatives must you implement, in what order and when? What are the expected outcome, from each step, and ultimately?
Done properly, your digital strategy usually dictates that you start with a foundational digital platform, upon which every other digital initiatives will be built. Note that a website would be one of these initiatives. Others could web applications, mobile, social, eCommerce, etc.
The Challenges of a Digital Experience Platform
A digital experience platform comes with a set of challenges. So you may want to consider the following before you take that route:
It demands you continuous and active involvement for optimal success. From ideation to implementation to operations: you must track, measure, analyze and optimize constantly. It is definitely not fire and forget, like your old-style website.
- It is complex to create successfully, but thankfully you don't have to do it yourself. You would need the partnership of an experienced and competent digital services provider like Icelark to fill that gap.
The Icelark Digital Experience Platform Solution
Always evolving with the trends, we have move from building simple websites to building foundational digital experience platforms for business, organizations and government clients (see Our Works).
This digital platform is foundational because it is the central infrastructure around which your whole digital business systems revolves. All other digital channels your digital business require revolves around and are dependent on it. These digital channels may include websites, native mobile apps, mobile web applications, social, search, email, etc, or even new ones yet to be invented.
This digital platform is not created in isolation, but is the result of a deliberate digital strategy backed by a clear digital vision. Each digital platform solution is unique to each clients particular business model and strategy.
The uniqueness and flexibility of each solution we build empowers our clients to create innovative solutions that are not easily duplicated by competitors.
- A foundational digital platform with integrated website front-end
- Built on top of the open-source platform: Drupal
- Services-oriented, API-first
- Mobile ready and responsive
- Multi-channel experience (multi-device) support
- Content marketing ready
- Multimedia asset management support: Video, photos, audio, PDFs, slideshow, Facebook widget, webforms, etc
- Multilingual support
- Personalization and contextualization capable
- Advanced editorial and authoring experience
- Third-party integrations capable: CRM, email, marketing automation, etc
- Coupled and decoupled architecture
- Content modeling and content strategy
- Data and analytics integration
- Secure and robust
- Flexible, extensible and scalable
It is a platform that empowers you to attract the right audience for your business, by enabling you to deliver the right messages and services, digitally, to the right people at the right moment across the right device/channel in the right format and in the right context.
Ready to have your digital experience platform built right? Give us a call (+234 817 608 4053), let’s talk and see what is possible with your business or organization, digitally.