Digital Experiences that Deliver Value
Subject of thought by Jeff Staley
Often we get asked, can you build us a ______ where the blank is filled in with a singular noun, such as site, app, or eCommerce implementation. And the answer to that question is, yes, we can help. We can build you that fill-in-the-blank thing you are seeking, but how we get there is important. A truly impactful digital experience that delivers customer or audience value is one that either organically (accidentally?) grew to meet needs, or has been carefully constructed and optimized with that value in mind from the start.
Obviously, success built from organic try and learn is possible, but the potential for huge missteps and damage to the brand exists. An approach that seeks to understand customer needs, defines how your experience will meet those needs, yet still retains a spirit of optimization from trial and error can increase the probability of creating a transformative customer experience that elevates your brand and builds advocacy.
So you would like to increase your odds, how should you proceed? If you do not already, it helps to think of your digital experiences as a product. Through that lens, tools and skills that are leveraged in the product space get applied to your digital product, including developing your positioning. Completing the phrase “My [digital experience] is the best for [product category] for [target markets] because [value proposition]” is just as important for your digital experience as it is for your traditional product offerings. In the same thread, undertaking a competitive analysis focused on your digital experience can help focus the team on understanding the specific value your digital offering provides. This specific value can be for your customers, your company, and your collaborators. And this value can take multiple forms, for example, for a traditional product company your digital experience might be the most effective way to communicate your product's value in depth–through product demonstrations, comparisons, testimonials, customer service, even user communities that you foster and support. Alternatively, your experience may offer a marketplace where collaborators offer customers the means to enhance the value they obtain from your product. Or maybe your digital experience is a natural extension or feature of your product (ex. Smart home products). The value of your digital experience needs to be expressed, examined, and analyzed in the current market context and compared with competitors offerings.
As the competitive context comes into focus, leveraging product management prioritization techniques will help define and prioritize those features that deliver value and provide your company a competitive advantage. This backlog of prioritized features helps your organization focus on applying resources to deliver value, as well as a construct to evaluate new features and demands as they come up. Rather than pursue the shiny new object, organizational focus can be concentrated on those true value creating features.
So back to the initial question–can you build us a ______? Yes we can, and in doing so, we will collaborate with you to consider your digital experience as a product, and leverage tools and skills so that your digital experience is maximizing customer, company and collaborator value. Your digital experience is an important extension of your brand and too valuable of an opportunity to leave up to chance!