We’ve learnt in 2020 that being future-proof is about more than staying ahead of the ever-steepening tech curve. A pandemic, an environmental crisis and a potential no-deal Brexit are influencing our future-planning. Businesses now need to be more resilient and agile than ever. Alongside these external challenges, there has been a long-term shift in industry expectations. For a website design agency to thrive beyond 2020, they will need to adapt.
To satisfy the voracious appetite for content, potential clients are now bringing more services in-house. This reduces costs and speeds up production, which means the role of the website design agency is changing. Beyond being a convenient source of creative expertise, agencies now need to deliver unique value in solving clients problems.
In this article, we share how we’re building our website design agency beyond 2020.
1. Hybrid Working – A Mixture of Home and Office Workspaces
The coronavirus pandemic has shown that worldwide emergencies can and do happen and it’s worth being prepared. Resilience is a watchword for all businesses and a key feature that potential clients will be looking for agencies to demonstrate.
Hybrid working simply means creating the conditions for work to be completed at any time, from anywhere. By providing creative workforces with the means and flexibility to work effectively from home, agencies demonstrate trust in their teams as experts and retain productivity in challenging situations.
By integrating remote working into our new normal, we can keep production going and continue meeting the needs of clients no matter what. Using online collaboration tools and workflow management software, we can create efficiencies that benefit our clients too, such as faster turn-around times.
2. Localisation – Building Trust with Those on Your Doorstep
According to The Drum, resilient agencies in 2021 are likely to build more dependable client bases by fostering strong relationships with local businesses.
Brexit and coronavirus have created quite the cocktail of uncertainty for companies. Businesses are having to contend with fluctuations in international economic relations and unpredictable long-term trends. Local business owners are now looking closer to home when it comes to outsourcing, seeking security in the familiar.
This is good news for agencies faced with the same tricky economic climate. A dependable, local client base is a firm foundation for a growing website design agency. Local communities are the strongest they have been in a generation. Word of mouth recommendations can lead to substantial regional custom. The gift of proximity means agencies may already have a grasp of the client’s current situation and the regional market they are operating within.
This strategy may not line up with traditional conceptions of thriving national business, but local businesses have always served us well. Establishing quality and trust locally promises opportunities for long-term, sustainable growth.
3. Sustainability – Reducing Carbon Emissions with Cloud-Hosting
There are multiple benefits of cloud computing which on-site storage doesn’t offer, such as speed, reliability and automatic scaling. What we talk about less often is that using cloud-hosting for our websites generates a lower environmental impact than using on-site servers.
In 2019, Microsoft Corporation conducted a study with WSP USA to determine the environmental impacts of cloud computing. They found that Microsoft cloud computing has 98% lower carbon emissions than individual data centres on a company’s property.
This is because, while the cloud does rely on physical servers, cloud computing and cloud-hosting make more efficient use of each server than on-site servers. This means there is less demand placed on the continual power supply that servers and cooling systems require.
The production, transportation and disposal of server equipment contribute a significant amount of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Cloud-hosting servers, on the other hand, have far longer lifespans thanks to more efficient use.
The shift to cloud computing massively reduces energy consumption and with it, business energy costs plummet. The study found that small enterprises that switch to cloud computing can reduce their per-user carbon footprint by up to 90%. It is an intrinsic part of the transition to paperless solutions and digital alternatives that reduce net waste.
Using sustainable technology is an increasingly important priority for all businesses and consumers. A website design agency which invests in sustainable solutions will reap financial and brand-building rewards for themselves and their clients.
4. Faster-paced Marketing
All forms of content, from television ads to TikToks, are now being produced at an unprecedented rate to meet insatiable levels of demand. Improving internal workflows and production capabilities is essential for agencies to remain a viable option compared to an in-house approach. Maintaining efficiency to keep pace with content output at all times must become the norm for agencies.
The need for fast production of marketing content is one driver behind many companies bringing content in-house. Brand guardianship will become a key offering of agencies in the next few years, providing guidelines and systems to ensure a company’s biggest asset isn’t diluted by high volumes of unfiltered content.
5. Staying Ahead of the Curve with Specialist Web Development
With an increasing number of clients opting for the in-house approach, agencies now need to offer more specialist solutions. In this way, agencies become indispensable players to specific industry problems, without having to provide every service under the sun.
Being able to offer highly technical solutions to the problems of the average business will become the norm for future-proof agencies. Examples that are swiftly becoming part of our daily life include, zero-code web development, voice-activated systems, virtual and augmented reality and artificial intelligence.
We can tell you that at KIJO, one of the avenues we have been investing heavily in is AR. We’re building website and marketing features that streamline the customer journey and bring our clients ahead of their competitors. Mastering the tools and technology required to bring AR into mainstream use has empowered our clients to incorporate it into their business’s digital presence.
#BuildTheFuture with KIJO
Our mission statement is to help businesses build a positive future with digital solutions. We’re dedicated to creating an agency that is resilient to the challenges of a fast-paced, globalised economy. We achieve this through our ‘Kulture’, a workplace ethic of laying future-focussed foundations and creating simple solutions that connect with end-users. At KIJO, we think of the future as something we each contribute towards. Our goal is to support our clients by building solutions to the challenges of the coming years.