2024 trends in the digital landscape with DEPT®’s managing director, Sander Hendriks
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DEPT® is a leading pioneering technology and marketing services company that creates end-to-end digital experiences for brands such as Google, KFC, Philips, Audi, Twitch, Patagonia, eBay, and other global brands.
We wanted to hear their thoughts about digital trends for 2024, and that’s why we talked to Sander Hendriks, managing director at DEPT®.
What a whirlwind last year was in the digital world. What left the biggest impression on both you and DEPT® when you reflect on 2023?
When I’m looking back at 2023, I can definitely agree with – What a year it was! It's not just the cool tech updates or big business moves that stick out. Instead, they’re about the overwhelming sense of a divided world. But hey, deep down, we all want the same thing: a better world. Even if we feel all over the place because of our locations or social media bubbles, we're not alone. We're more connected than ever, and that's all thanks to the digital world.
In 2023, we witnessed the explosive growth of GenAI tools. The McKinsey survey pointed out that nearly 80% of respondents claim they’ve used GenAI in or outside of work. What’s your view on using AI in business?
There’s no doubt that the meteoric rise of AI has been one of the most disruptive events of 2023. Between the evolution of generative AI tools released just last year — like Midjourney, DALL-E, and ChatGPT — and the development of new ones, the bar for AI’s capabilities within everything from immersive art, content creation to interface design just keeps getting higher and higher.
When it comes to digital products, experiences, and design, we can't ignore the ethical side, especially privacy. It's a big deal these days. Is AI going to be privacy's best buddy or its biggest headache?
I really believe that we have to fully embrace it as much as we can. So, for 2024, that will be a big push from everyone in our organization as AI technology has become a competitive advantage for our customers.
Using AI for content creation is already causing discussions about transparency and ethical usage of AI. How do you see that this will be regulated, and will the audience still trust the brands with the rise of deepfakes?
This technology's growing use in content creation has led to discussions about digital authenticity and the need for conscious media consumption. With the difficulty distinguishing between AI and human-generated content, there is a rising demand for transparency from everybody involved. This situation has prompted brands to emphasize honesty in their use of GenAI, contributing to building trust and setting standards for ethical AI usage. So, of course, this needs to be regulated, but we already see brands doing this on their own as it is needed for their audience. For a more detailed vision on this topic, we highly recommend reading this in our trend report.
How do you view digital sustainability in DEPT®?
When I talk about digital sustainability, it's all about making tech that's eco-friendly and cool. People these days really care about buying stuff that's good for the earth, which is making companies think more about being green.
Going green isn't just a nice thing to do, it's actually smart for businesses, and a lot of companies are catching on. And it's more than just what we buy and sell; it's about changing the way we think and live to keep our planet healthy.
At DEPT®, we're always focused on sustainability. We've got big projects like using Salesforce's Net Zero Cloud, which helps our customers understand their carbon footprint. On the smaller side, we're constantly tweaking our codebase (with AI) and collaborating with our cloud partners to lessen their environmental impact too.
We see from our clients that technology is no longer just a business enabler. Regardless of the industry, technology has become a competitive advantage. This pushes companies to create innovative solutions for their offerings. So, how do you see the role of digital agencies in this ecosystem in 2024?
The role of digital agencies is rapidly evolving as technology transforms. On one hand, it's becoming a common commodity, while on the other, it's emerging as a crucial enabler for businesses. As a digital agency, we are uniquely positioned to guide our clients in implementing and leveraging this technology effectively.
When it comes to technology and data, it’s time to stop asking “what’s next?” because, frankly, what’s next is already here. AI.
In 2023, a bunch of brands decided to play it safe and keep things tight budget-wise. They mostly focused on sorting out tech issues and sprucing up their products. But 2024? It's going to be about going all out with tech.
Brands really need to get back into the game of innovating and mixing in data integration. The ones who nail it are going to be the trendsetters in their industry, setting new bars in everything from how customers experience stuff to customization, what they offer, and how fast they do it.
Thanks for the questions and for being such a great partner as we tackle these changes together. Looking forward to our new projects in 2024!
Thank you, Sander. We are proud of everything we accomplished since 2008, and we are excited to see what the future holds and how we can continue to support each other's growth and success!
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