The Post-Digital Era: A Scary Monster or a Friendly Gnome?

By Kirsten Oelrich 4 min read

There’s a mysterious buzz among digital marketers. Everyone’s talking about a strange new phenomenon. It’s never been heard before and nobody knows what it looks like. It’s called post-digital.

For the last decade, marketers were busy chasing their shiny toy – digital, hoping that more targeted content in more places would produce better results. Huge budgets were approved, and executive buy-ins were secured. Many things changed. Shopping catalogues became e-commerce recommendations, TV commercials made their way to YouTube, and celebrity endorsements mutated into influencer marketing. However, in the big picture, things didn’t quite turn out the way they were expected to. More traffic didn’t result in higher conversions and marketers are now moving to a more effective strategy.

How different will things be in this new, post-digital era? First, the good news. The post-digital era offers tremendous opportunities for enterprises. The power of cloud and artificial intelligence will continue to advance and when combined with technologies such as quantum computing and extended reality, they will reshape not only how businesses operate, but also the relationships between businesses and consumers.

Here’s what the post-digital world looks like. Companies will orchestrate their digital experiences for a new world—one that is customized to fit every moment in a consumer’s life. Products and services will be customized, businesses will cater to the individual in every dimension of their lives, and shape the very realities they live in. While the pre-digital age was about products generally doing one thing well – whether that was a DVD player, a TV, a magazine, the post-digital age is about an environment where everything will work – consumers will move seamlessly between devices, personalization will be real, and data will be secure.

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This new shift will be a turning point for businesses across industries. How will your organization get ready for the post-digital world? We looked at a recent report and unearthed some interesting insights. According to the report, innovation for organizations in the post-digital era involves figuring out how to shape the world around people and pick the right time to offer their products and services. When asked to rank which technology will have the greatest impact on their organization over the next three years, 41 percent of executives ranked Artificial Intelligence at the top. Here are a few more interesting insights:

Moving from personalized experiences to experience-based relationships

Enterprises are focusing on turning transactional customer engagements into ongoing relationships. The idea is to move beyond personalized offerings to individualized experiences and create a one-to-one relationship brand-customer relationship where technology plays a big role. As we enter the post-digital era, the big opportunity for enterprises is to become each individual customer’s trusted partner. Companies can achieve this by understanding the technology people use and how they use it, creating the insights needed to integrate seamlessly into the person’s life. Technology-driven interactions are creating an expanding technology identity for every consumer. This living foundation of knowledge will be key to understanding the next generation of consumers and for delivering rich, individualized, experience-based relationships.

Enabling the modern workforce to thrive with technology

As the line between employees and technology blurs, a new divide is emerging. The workforce is evolving at a rapid pace, incorporating new technology-driven abilities and skills to deliver value for the company while the enterprise itself is still optimized for the workforce of the past, leaving a disconnect that reaches throughout the organization. Companies have inadvertently created a new digital divide between themselves and the workforce that has helped them to grow. Companies must support a new way of working in the post-digital age. The bottom line is that companies must adapt the technology strategies that successfully created this next-generation worker to empower them even further. Through AI, extended reality (XR) and sentiment analysis, companies can propel their workforce forward, blazing a trail for the company’s continued growth. How will your technology strategy empower them to get you there?

Understanding security threats and building reliable defences

Leading businesses recognize that security must play a key role in their efforts as they collaborate with entire ecosystems to deliver best-in-class products, services and experiences. Today’s ecosystem-dependent business world amplifies exponentially the impact of cyberattacks: incidents that cripple one enterprise can grow rapidly and expand to threaten a company’s ecosystem, industry, and beyond. While enterprises have been building vast interconnected ecosystems, only 29 percent of business and IT executives report that they know that their ecosystem partners are working diligently, like they are, to be compliant and resilient with regard to security. The weakest links can be exploited by attackers—both criminal and state actors alike—to calamitous effect.

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Identifying key customer moments and capturing ‘in-moment’ opportunities

Technology is creating a world of highly customized and on-demand experiences, and companies must reinvent their organizations to find and capture those opportunities. That means viewing each opportunity as if it’s an individual market—a momentary market. Six in seven executives said that the integration of customization and real-time delivery is the next big wave of competitive advantage. Mastering momentary markets will be critical for businesses to differentiate themselves and give organizations a foothold for their next big opportunity. But it’s a combination of art and science; the art lies in picking the right opportunities to be effective. And the science is in building a company that can create context-aware, customized products and services on demand.

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TA Digital is the only global boutique agency that delivers the “best of both worlds” to clients seeking to achieve organizational success through digital transformation. Unlike smaller, regional agencies that lack the ability to scale or large organizations that succumb to a quantity-over-quality approach, we offer resource diversity while also providing meticulous attention to the details that enable strategic success.

Over the past 20 years, TA Digital has positioned clients to achieve digital maturity by focusing on data, customer-centricity and exponential return on investment; by melding exceptional user experience and data-driven methodologies with artificial intelligence and machine learning, we enable digital transformations that intelligently build upon the strategies we set into motion. We are known as a global leader that assists marketing and technology executives in understanding the digital ecosystem while identifying cultural and operational gaps within their business – ultimately ushering organizations toward a more mature model and profitable digital landscape.

Recognized in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2019, and 2020 Inc. 5000 list as one of the most successful technology companies in the United States, TA Digital is pleased also to share high-level strategic partnerships with world class digital experience platform companies like Adobe, SAP and Salesforce and possess global partnerships with industry leaders such as Sitecore, Episerver, Elastic Path, BigCommerce, AWS, Azure and Coveo.

Kirsten Oelrich

Written By

Kirsten Oelrich