Kaitlyn Chang on overdue changes in digitalization & the new normal – Accenture Interactive
Kaitlyn Chang, a real award winning advertising professional, just started working as Brand Innovation Lead at Accenture Interactive, right before the corona lock down. We talked to her about the “new normal”, long overdue digital change, home office curiosities, and nerdy habits.
Saying that 2020 is different, is an understatement. You started as Brand Innovation Lead at Accenture Interactive right before the Corona Lock Down. What would you say, how did COVID-19 affect your daily routine and your work as a digital marketer?
I’ve never worked so much from home before in my entire life, and I’m really positively surprised at how well it works. Of course, it was challenging in the beginning to get used to a completely new company, colleagues and culture while everything happened virtually. But now I have so many colleagues from all over Europe whom I’ve never met in real life yet – but feel like I’ve known them for years now. Many things became the norm since home office became the de facto normal:
– It became much easier to work on cross-border projects with colleagues from different countries.
– Background sounds like babies, partners or the doorbell ringing from home office are completely acceptable. I even heard about a call where a colleague from India had a very loud animal noise in the background – and he commented casually “oh sorry, that was an elephant.” #newnormal
– Working 100% on the cloud, meaning – a complete reduction of unnecessary emails and working on the same file together simultaneously.
– Brainstorming sessions and workshops happening online became normal
The Corona pandemic has caused a big and long overdue shuffle from analog to digital. Working in the leading digitalization agency in Austria, what are your thoughts on the “new” digitalization trend?
A pandemic itself is of course terrible. However, I think it’s undeniable to say that it has completely accelerated digitalization in Austria – which I very much welcome. For many industries, the customer journey has completely changed. E-commerce has literally blown up. The way customers are interacting with brands have become not just Digital-First but Digital-Default. Daily lives are changing, our relationships are changing, and interestingly, the way we interact and form relationships with the world are also changing. Because so much more time is spent on digital/social media rather than going out, more and more people are getting exposed to political and activist messages as well and becoming more “woke” and socially involved as a result. We as marketers and agency people have to completely rethink the way our brands are interacting with people, as Digital Default. Austria waited long enough. Now we know we can’t anymore.
In your position as Brand Innovation Lead at Accenture Interactive you support your clients in making unforgettable experiences and memories. How would you say has COVID-19 affected these experiences?
The projects we work on are not only about making single snapshot-like unforgettable experience moments – rather, Accenture Interactive looks at the entire end-to-end customer experience and thinks of ways to improve it on a holistic level. From this perspective, of course the accelerated digitalization from COVID-19 definitely affected the content of the projects we work on as well.
I’m specifically going to talk about how we’re enhancing the way customers experience the brand on the “digital shelves” – meaning, the (currently) very mundane and generic pages of online shops and e-commerce platforms.
“However, with the entire customer experience now going digital through COVID-19, the brands that will keep leading in the future will be the brands that are now beginning to inject a much deeper understanding of users and customers into every part of the end-to-end customer experience.“
Creative work is known to be accompanied by a lot of questioning and doubts. Where do you find motivation and inspiration to move forward in difficult times?
For me, it’s a bit like curiosity and moving forward is somehow ingrained in my skin. I’m that nerdy person who likes to think a lot about strange questions, find out patterns in the world and be giddy about it, be constantly inspired by other people’s amazing ideas. That trait has also sometimes led me to fall deeply, like the time five years ago when I had a severe burnout. But having come out of that dark tunnel has actually made that “forward-looking” trait even stronger in me – I now know with a certainty that difficult times don’t last forever.
Starting a new job in a completely new environment and then being hit by a pandemic also wasn’t the most fun experience ever. I know that I probably created some of that difficulty and challenge myself by deciding to change jobs and jump into the unknown. But exactly because of that reason, I’m now surrounded with completely new ideas, diversely amazing colleagues, new ways of working and interesting projects.
If you could go back in time, would you do anything differently in life?
A loud and clear NOPE. Of course there are things I’ve done that I now look back on and know exactly that it created months or years of misery afterwards in my life. But would I do it differently, no – because I’ve grown and learned the most exactly from those moments of misery, and I believe that all added up for me to become the person I am now.
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