2020 brought us an unexpected set of challenges both on business and personal levels, forcing businesses to make rapid changes across all industries. Now that we’re a third of the way into 2021, we can see interesting new trends that savvy companies are already racing to master.
In his March 24, 2021 interview with respected marketing website The Drum, Scott Brinker, Vice President of Platform Ecosystem at HubSpot, went over both pain points and new trends to pay attention to.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, both businesses and consumers were forced to engage digitally much more than ever before. Also, remote work became the rule rather than a nicety, requiring a shift in work processes and supporting technologies. These major changes resulted in companies having to learn what digital channels worked best and whether their technology stacks enabled them to collaborate efficiently.
Companies that scale typically decentralize their marketing organizations and become disconnected, according to Scott. Then they often make the effort to centralize but tend to overshoot, slowing down their growth. The key to the struggle between the two approaches is to figure out what should be centralized and what should be decentralized and setting up the right systems and processes.
There are so many converging technologies today that it seems hard to avoid digital experience becoming too complex. However, Scott says, “reducing complexity is the very purpose of trying to get all these things connected in a single platform.” It’s important for companies to use a platform that serves as a common foundation and that’s extensible with capabilities that are specific to the business or strategy.
People often struggle with poor integration between tools in their tech stack. This is happening less today as more technologies have native integration out of the box. “I’m optimistic we’re moving in the right direction,” says Scott.
Considering the tremendous growth of virtual meetings and online communities in 2020, companies will need to juggle in-person events as well. According to Scott, “there is much opportunity for creativity, and I expect a lot of great innovation to happen in this direction.”
To help them be more effective internally, businesses will need to invest in internal communications and team collaboration software as part of their tech stacks. “Expect to see innovation regarding project management and learning management systems, especially while we remain dispersed geographically,” says Scott.
Scott points out three trends that businesses should look into this year: data quality, changing channels, and the no-code movement. As far as data is concerned, its quality affects machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities. He predicts business intelligence improvements and “more emphasis on data freshness and quality.”
Channels like chatbots, messaging platforms, and voice assistants (such as Alexa and Siri) continue to change. Similarly, customers’ expectations of these channels will keep growing.
Scott declares himself a big fan of the no-code movement, which enables business users to do a lot of tasks that would previously have required filing a ticket and waiting for IT to resolve. For instance, HubSpot’s automation engine has evolved, empowering users with its simple and easy-to-use interface. “I expect to see more evolution in this direction,” says Scott.
As the RevOps industry continues to grow, I’ll keep an eye on the trends that Scott has helpfully pointed out.