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The future of customer experience has arrived

  • 12 November 2020
  • Connected Customer Experience Martech Modernisation

Recently we attended Fast Forward – Contentful’s first ever global customer conference. It was meant to take place in New York this year but, for 2020’s most obvious reason, the event went online instead. Featuring nine sessions across two virtual stages, the engaging networking, chat and virtual booth tools meant that the only thing we really missed were the pastries and coffees.

The fact that it worked so well as an online conference was fitting. Thousands of delegates came away realising that the promise has become a reality when it comes to marrying structured content to data to drive brilliant customer experiences. It was also a confirmation that the Headless CMS has now transitioned from hobbyist projects into a central position, powering content management activities across the Enterprise.

A leading provider

With a fresh $80m of funding, Contentful is one of the clear market leaders of an exciting new breed of Headless CMS providers allowing businesses to take full advantage of the content and data they have available to create digital experiences quickly and at scale.  

Speed to market and the ability to pivot are crucial qualities in these Covid times but Contentful’s rise to stardom has been years in the making.

The platform has been built from the ground up in anticipation of the widespread enablement of data across the Enterprise - through microservices and the transition to Cloud native engineering practices, allowing virtually limitless scalability and global reach.  Marketers can now access their own data, their customer data and leverage other next-generation marketing tools alongside Contentful to finally achieve the holy grail of contextualised omnichannel customer experiences.

This is no fringe product but an enterprise level platform being used by renowned brands. It has the size and resources that engender trust and Kin + Carta is delighted to be a partner. Together we can help you build and launch websites and content faster, unlocking full value and making your digital products a success.

The Contentful conference confirmed how Headless has gone way beyond the early adopter stage. It’s more mature now: safe, stable and vital for dealing with rapid change. Enterprise brands such as Ikea, Nike – and not to mention our own client The Co-operative Group – are doing some amazing things with Contentful to deliver personalised experiences and for many people it’s both the now and the future.

Martin Paton - CTO, Kin + Carta Connect.

Our virtual conference experience

Paul Biggs, Director of Product Marketing at Contentful, introduced the conference. He talked about the digital first era that now exists and how the front door to every business on the planet has become a phone, laptop or tablet. The shift to digital channels has seen some established brands disappear but others evolve quickly. What we need now are the people, processes and tech to create compelling differentiated experiences. 

This new era also requires the adoption of ‘a ‘builder’ ethos. Digital experiences are no longer the sole domain of developers but functions horizontally across companies. Everyone should be focused on creating compelling experiences for the customer and getting on and doing it, not just talking about it.

Of course we expect fine words to open a conference, but over the next few hours we saw this ‘builder’ ethos in action as one speaker after another talked about how Contentful has enabled them to accelerate their digital growth and incorporate experiences previously unavailable or unimaginable.

IKEA, for example, has created a true omnichannel set up and a brilliant experience through its Rooms Inspiration - take a look here for content that is informative, a joy to use and, above all, great at selling products. 

Digital first can now mean digital fast

The flexibility and ability to innovate means that the dreamers really have become the builders. It costs little to fail fast: you can get something set up separate to your main platform - start small, test, scale and pay only for what you use.  Weeks of procurement and complex contractual negotiations before you can even get started are consigned to the history books.

Proof of Concepts can be built in days rather than months. A/B testing can be done rapidly to see if the idea really does improve the experience. The robust APIs provided by Contentful make structured content programmable, automating it across business units and digital channels.

In short, everything is easier, fast and more connected. It’s simpler to get access to more data points, then enable them through APIs to drive innovation and react to change. The constraints have been lifted and now the brands with imagination have the tools to make experiences that truly wow users.

It was a brilliant first conference from Contentful.  Maybe next year we’ll share the coffee and pastries?

Are you excited as we are by the potential of Headless CMS? Want to explore how Contentful could turn your business into a team of builders? Get in touch and let’s start talking about how we can transform your customer experiences.

Click here to get in touch