Adapting to survive – our lessons learned from 2020

What a year – 2020 was a year that no one could have predicted. While we were braced for Brexit uncertainty, being hit by a global pandemic caught many of us by surprise, but by pulling together and adapting quickly, COVID-19 gave us the opportunity to thrive.


As businesses all over the world slammed the brakes on projects and put budgets on hold, we used the time to check in with each other; think, act and fail fast, and learn how to adapt to the new normal. At Emark, we foster an environment of transparency and respect, every person is important and valued. I believe in every member of my team, which means I believe in Emark.


We’re privileged to play a pivotal role in our customers’ success. We help companies become more efficient, streamline operations, and go digital. Every project is unique, and so is our approach. People are wary of change, but those who embraced it and proactively accelerated innovation during the pandemic are miles ahead of the competition now.


It’s easy to get stuck in believing there’s only one way of doing things, but that thinking can slow you down. We lead by example. We showed our customers that we can work from anywhere, and they could too. After some initial reluctance, companies who put their faith in digitalisation are doing things that weren’t on their roadmap for years, but you can’t be relevant in the future if you’re not relevant now.


Take CarNext for example. With consumers stuck at home, online shopping boomed. But how do you shop online for a new car? We created a digital showroom, where consumers could book a virtual tour of any car with the sales team. Not only that, they could choose to collect their car in person or have it delivered to their door. In a time when many people were afraid to use public transport, going the extra mile to show consumers that CarNext understood their concerns was a key differentiator.

Emerging trends for 2021

So, what did we learn about consumer behaviour in 2021? Personalisation was always going to be a big trend, but with many of us nostalgic for a time when local baristas knew our name and order, and we could have a chat with a familiar face at the corner shop, hyper-personalisation will be key to giving consumers a world-class experience. Show your consumers that you really know them.


Think targetted marketing campaigns with the consumer’s name, but also products that complement past purchases or match items they’ve browsed recently, but not added to their cart. While about 50% of organisations are working towards hyper-personalisation, 70% of consumers now expect it.


Hyper-personalisation relies on getting smart with your data and segmenting leads to send smaller groups more relevant content. Helping companies to do that at scale is what we do best. AI is a powerful tool to gather and analyse data, so we’re expecting to see big investments here and rapid innovation.


Machines are also getting smarter, and we’re excited to see the opportunities 5G will open up. This could be the year for serious developments in driverless cars, which will change the way we travel in the future.


At Emark, we’ll be using the next 12 months to broaden our technology offering and recruit more consultants so we can continue to deliver innovative, world-leading solutions to our customers. If this year has taught us anything, it’s that you have to invest in people, processes and technology. People are your most valuable asset. The next big thing in digital starts off as a great idea – make sure you’re ready to hear it and have the tools in place to bring it to life.