The long arm of tech

Disruption by Tsahi Levent Levi FlickrEmpowered, technology-savvy customers are disrupting just about every industry out there and brands are not exempt. The age of the consumer has placed harsh and unfamiliar demands on brands which has forced them to make changes in how they develop, market, sell and deliver products and services.

Why? Because in this explosion of technology and in the on-demand world we live in, consumers have come to expect more, and better. Consumer expectations have never been so high. Twenty years ago you only experienced software in the workplace, now our lives are run by it – your car, your home heating and your TV are now software experiences.

Let’s take a look at your car. Mitsubishi has a new car that is equipped with wifi and it has its own apps to remotely control them. That is what consumers want. And the only way you build that is with technology through apps.

Never before has it been as important for agencies to have their finger on the technology pulse to deliver awesome user experiences.

It’s the consumerisation of IT and users, aka consumers. They want good user experiences and even better user interfaces. One of the best examples out there today in the UK is USTwo. The company has developed and released their own successful mobile games independent of any client work. And, taking that one step further, behind the services and work they do for their clients, they directly invest and support disruptive startups.

The fact is that the rate of change in technology has never been so rapid. Take the explosion in APIs. In 2005 there were 32 public APIs, today there are 11,700. API’s are now considered the building blocks of any successful digital marketing campaign.

The good news is that agencies have traditionally always been at the forefront of new tech in order to deliver new user experiences. And the even better news for agencies as they continue to keep their finger on the pulse of technology as it helps a brand reach their consumer is that software has never been so flexible – APIs are the new building blocks.

It’s never been so easy, agile, and cost effective to build services, which allows you to be more experimental and inventive. If you want to attract and retain customers — especially your best customers — you must provide an excellent user experience at each and every moment of engagement.

James Parton is director of Twilio Europe