Innovative Companies Do This
At echurch and Pushpay, we believe a trademark of innovative companies is that they focus their attention outward as opposed to inward. Innovators are constantly looking around to learn from others who are seeing things they’re not seeing and doing things they’re not doing.
For us, that means constantly “checking the pulse” of the broader tech community to gain a deeper understanding of the trends and tools that will be impacting our users in the years ahead.
The Standard for Excellence
We know our users are not comparing us to our competitors. They’re comparing us to the other mobile tools they use every day: Instagram, Spotify, Amazon, and Facebook. These companies are redefining what a “delightful” user experience looks like. They have set the standard for excellence, and—as we strive to pursue excellence in all we do—they are the example that we follow.
This is the topic that our very own Kent Woodyard (Pushpay’s Strategic Account Manager) discussed with Brady Shearer a few weeks back when Brady hosted Kent on the Pro Church Tools Podcast.
Three Trends Reshaping Silicon Valley and Main Street
Rather than focus on “church tech trends to pay attention to,” Kent and Brady turned their attention outward. They talked about three trends that are reshaping not just Silicon Valley but Main Street as well. All three are underutilized by most churches today, but all three will have huge implications for churches in the decade ahead. You can listen to their full conversation here.
In the meantime, here are the trends:
- Machine Learning: Think about what companies like Amazon and Netflix do to curate the content they display based on your past activities. This allows their platforms to “learn” which types of content you will enjoy the most. They highlight that content to ensure you always have a relevant and engaging experience. Churches could be doing the same to surface highly-specific content based on a member’s age, marital status, neighborhood, attendance history, giving habits, etc
- Open System Architecture (APIs): No one company has all the answers or all the tools. That is why the biggest tech companies in the world rely heavily on API integrations with other platforms. Google’s Nest thermostat integrates seamlessly with Amazon’s Alexa. You can hail an Uber using Facebook Messenger. Church technology vendors could do a much better job of working together to better serve shared customers. Cross-platform integrations make life easier for admins and pave the way for more engaging, relevant experiences for your church’s members.
- Artificial Intelligence and Big Data: This is all about connecting the dots between the data you have about your congregation (in your ChMS) and tools you use to engage with your congregation (i.e. apps, social, marketing automation, and giving tools). When data systems work in tandem with engagement tools, the result is a user experience that is powerful and personal. Notifications and communications are actionable, relevant, and convenient. Strategic decisions are informed by hard facts. In short, your church’s tech infrastructure will actually serve it’s purpose: drawing individuals deeper into the life of your community.