Will you use the so-called digital transformation to make an impact on your corporate website? Are you preparing it for Generation Z, that is, the next generation decision makers? Their characteristics might surprise you. Here are some thoughts for you.
Many marketing managers I talk to are planning, or even in progress with, a refresh of their corporate websites. In most cases, it is about an upgrade to a modern look and feel. The shop window must be appealing. Not much happens to the content offering, structure, the way it is presented, or to the level of service offered to website visitors.
I would say that most websites are very linear, almost like linear TV, where someone else has decided what you should see and when. Many times, the information you are looking for is well hidden, deep down in the website structure. Click by click, you pass pages with mostly irrelevant images that sometimes are supposed to convey feelings. In my case, this feeling is usually stress, since I have a task to solve and it takes too long time.
Look at the trending websites of today and give it a thought. Are they helping you to solve your problem? Are they adapted to the way future decision makers expect to work? Are they adapted to smartphones? Are they reflecting the outside world or your internal world? You should ask all these questions and many more before changing.
The next generation decision makers are Generation Z. There is no clear definition of age but some researchers claim that the Z-people are born in the years 1995-2000 until 2019. The real common denominator is their behaviour. A few characteristics according to anthropologist Katarina Graffman, are:
If we regard the characteristics as future website user traits and combine these with digital transformation and a technology trend like cloud solutions, we might get a requirement specification containing at least the following:
In short, it is about serving multiple streams of interactive information simultaneously. What will be served in terms of functions and content is not only a publisher’s decision but equally based on user decisions. It is like an online game, but without the element of competition. Is your organisation prepared for this?
Now, this is just food for thought. You could stretch the thinking even further and say that the self-contained type of website must disappear and content will float freely on the internet. Pieces of content will be combined into useful information based on user request. This might be a little bit ‘out there’ and in the far future. But, to start with you can look at your website with the outside eyes and ask yourself; how do we make life easier for our friends out there?
What do you think?