15 Dec 2020

The Digital Highs Of This Year (That Pave The Way For 2021).

Hey, we made it. December 2020. The finish line is in sight and it’s never tasted so sweet. Before we say goodbye (and never look back), let’s take a sneak peek at the digital highs of 2020. Let’s face it - Covid forced a level of tech adoption and digital transformations unprecedented in our modern history. With great challenges, come some nuggets of gold. So here are a handful to tie off the calendar year. 

The tech train has left the station 

Full steam ahead! Digital solutions have been rigorously adopted this year - a necessity rather than a choice for many looking to stay afloat. It’s turned industries upside-down and forced the creation of new digital pathways to encourage and maintain consumer engagement. Whilst the pandemic is seen as an unwanted agitator in the market, we see it as the Digital Innovation Leader forcing critical thinking and innovation promptly. Our very own Brissy-based EventsAir were one of the first to recognise the need for a change amidst COVID-19. We're thrilled to have designed their OnAir platform which takes large-scale event management and conferencing into the digital realm. The team won the Best Technical Achievement or Innovation Award 2019/2020 at the 2020 Australian Event Awards for their forward-thinking and fast-acting solutions. 

Efficiencies for biz operations 

Digital technology streamlines operations and automates processes, giving businesses the time to refocus on revenue-generating work (aka the good stuff that brings in more dough). A prime example of this is the world’s first Virtual Design Festival back in June. Social distancing and face-to-face networking are not friends. Instead of canning the event, the organisers transitioned everything online. They were able to reach a broader audience digitally whilst reducing time and on-site resourcing typically costs during the real-world event. 

Leveraging found insights 

Businesses now have greater access to make fast, confident, data-driven decisions through their digital reach. Restaurants like Atlas Dining managed to record a profit all whilst keeping their doors closed, all through data-driven insights via Instagram. Months ago it would be a costly experience to marvel at a top chef’s table and enjoy their creations. Atlas sold meal kits accompanied by a cooking masterclass with the head chef. The restaurant initially drew upon social media to gauge consumer interest. With a loyal following they were able to gain real-time feedback from their customers. Within days an online store was published and instructional videos released. Watching master chefs in their kitchen creates an authentic, genuine experience which strengthens brand loyalty. Hell yeah, Atlas. You had lemons and made lemonade (plus some delicious-looking dishes). 

Some local love for the community 

You don’t need to remember that corporate social responsibility is a non-negotiable these days. Well, the pandemic deepened customer expectations on what and how you’re business giving back. The average sentiment this year was that local companies were doing more to combat Covid, despite larger corporations holding greater financial power and influence. This sentiment was well reflected in the community's uptake of local goods and services #golocal. William Grant & Son’s in Singapore offered Zoom bar sessions from the comfort of your couch that gave back to their local industry network. Each session featured a new location, bartending hosts and regional brand ambassadors. Attendees purchase digital cocktails which can be redeemed in person once the world reopens. William Grant & Sons then matched each purchase to support the local bartender running the event. An altruistic and unconventional form of support for an otherwise stagnant industry.

Despite a gloomy year, there were a few silver linings for 2020. They’ve paved the way for new innovative thinking and realigned consumer expectations as we head into the new normal of 2021. 

Greg is the Managing Director of Lamb Agency, a digital agency focused on creating industry-leading websites.

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