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A Year at Sagittarius and What's Next for 2018.
2017 was one of the agency’s greatest years to date, not only for turnover and talent acquisition, but we also saw some great new clients commission projects, extraordinary growth of the agency with offices opening in Shoreditch, London and Colombo, Sri Lanka. We also witnessed major changes across the digital industry with the growth of AI, the launch of Sitecore 9 and a greater that ever emphasis on personalisation and customer experience.
Here at Sagittarius we strive to be at the forefront of digital, challenging the norm and improving our services and knowledge, striving to consistently deliver great customer service. In the last 12 months the leadership team and built a strong multidisciplinary team to lead us into the next 12 month and continue our growth and success.
When I recently spoke to our teams across our offices, I asked them what they think is going to be ‘Big in 2018’ and I received a very mixed number of comments. Today I'm going to explore what our team really think the next big thing in digital will be and what they think will be 2018s hot topic:
Digital Transformation has quickly become both an overused and well adopted term during 2017. Lots of people talking about it – fewer though actually doing it right. I believe 2018 will be the year when companies realise it’s more than just a nice buzzword. It’s an essential programme of work for any organisation wishing to stay ahead of the curve in today’s saturated and highly competitive marketplace. As new contenders and disruptors come to the table competing for the revenue and market share, the need for change and consistent evolving of one’s business from a digital perspective will become a business imperative. Companies that are unprepared for this, or who fail to plan in a proper digital strategy will without fail or at best start to fall behind.
Brad Smith - Commercial Director
2018 will see the beginning of standardised user interfaces for augmented reality. It’s easy to forget that the iPad was laughed at when it debuted just seven years ago, but the interface was so well thought-out by Jonny Ive and his team that it became ubiquitous, especially with the least literate user group – small children. This is an interesting standard to apply, and Apple recently released their own AR Human Interface Guidelines. Do a post-Jobs Apple still have the chops to design a system so simple that a toddler can use it? If not, you can be sure that if somebody else does then they will lead the coming generation of AR devices. Where will websites factor into this? We can choose to wait and see, or throw our hat into the ring by pushing forward new tech. The risk is high, but the rewards will be enormous.
James Garford - Project Manager
2018 is the year of search maturing and finally delivering results based not just on what you've said, but the way you've said it. 'Content is King' is horrifically overused and too simplistic for the sea change we're seeing from Google et al - it's vital that brands understand that they need to be delivering the right content, in the right format, in the right way, on every device, all of the time. We've moved on from some interesting content, a few choice keywords and a few links to deliver ranking.
Intent-based search has been driving Google for a good while but we're now seeing constantly evolving SERPs delivering completely different result structures depending on the intent behind the query. The challenges and opportunities this presents in 2018, alongside the Mobile First index that again looks to provide content based on intent and habit, gives content teams and SEOs a lot to think about. The message remains the same - deliver what your audience wants, and Google will reward you. But you're going to need to delve deep into your data and exploit third-party data to be able to do that. Or ask a willing bunch of data friends to do it for you…
Kier Humphreys - Digital Marketing Account Manager
Human After All. The rise of the robots was one of the big topics of 2017 and yet despite this (or because of it?) my number one tip for digital success in 2018 is to become more human.
Speak to me. Think about the language you use and the time it will take me to read it. Allow me to search using my voice.
As a website user I’m happy to be anonymous but I need you to understand me. I want to quickly establish if you can meet my need and then I want you to do expedite that as pleasantly as possible. This is magnitudes more important than knowing my name or asking how my day is going, especially in after-sales.
I want user journeys to be as short as possible as everyone’s resolution for 2018 is to get off their smartphones and spend more time with friends and family.
And I believe in the power of chatbots to ease the workload of customer services teams, but as a user I want to know when I’m speaking to a bot and when it’s a human. Authenticity is not a new concept but it’s never been more important.
Alex Lee - Digital Producer
My personal opinion is that I think we are going to see ever increasing user of AI and machine learning in 2018. Sitecore’s recently released Cortex feature will allow marketers to make even better decisions about what content engages and converts and, and I foresee this not just being adopted within a marketing or sales environment. This technology is already being used across a huge number of industries, including healthcare, predicting heart conditions in patients before they happen and also in driverless cars.
It's an exciting time to be part of this great industry we call digital, here's to seeing what 2018 holds!
If you would like to talk to Sagittarius about your digital aspirations for 2018, please get in touch via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01233 467800, we would love to hear from you!