Why so many digital experiences fail to deliver

Martha, our Director of Digital Activation, gives her expert take on how to avoid digital transformation disasters

A recent client meeting got me thinking. Why do some new digital experiences fail to deliver commercial benefits?

This particular client has been on the digital transformation journey for a while. They’ve invested heavily in their programme and are sure they have the right tech capabilities. And yet benefits in terms of adoption, cost savings and revenue are just not coming through.

My years at the coalface of digital transformation planning and execution, allow me to identify five common problems and five solutions…

  1. Compromised business cases
    • It’s very hard to make accurate forecasts on the financial return from something which doesn’t yet exist. We make it even harder for ourselves if we fall into either of these traps:
      • potential benefits are overegged (tempting when you’re under pressure to deliver a high net present value)
      • costing assumptions are divorced from those about benefits (can happen when the first is done bottom up and the latter top down, or when multiple stakeholders are involved)
    • Solution: independent forecasting based on clear, consistent user stories backed by statistical modelling and benchmarks – plus strict ownership of case, with relentless documentation (dull but essential!)
  1. Research not fit for purpose
    • Typically, research underdelivers in one or more of these ways: it doesn’t go deep enough, isn’t actionable enough, or is not used often enough. The best foundational research delves beyond people’s post-rationalised answers and gets to the subconscious, emotional drivers of behaviour. Insights are then coupled with collaborative ideation to build action plans which product teams own. Lastly, the research is used iteratively throughout development to define, refine and validate new digital experiences. Too often too many of these elements are missing
    • Solution: talk to us about Kokoro’s innovative, impactful approaches such as biometrics and our game-changing 5Drivers model of consumer emotions. We’re confident we’ll make your research budget go further and deeper!
  1. All eggs in one basket
    • I really admire product and creative people who have an instinctive vision of how their digital journeys should function. However, time and again I’ve witnessed seemingly great ideas fall short. This is often because there are a ton of factors to consider and the odds are stacked against even very good ideas delivering first time
    • Solution: the best way to beat the odds is to play the numbers game. Start with multiple executions, whittle these down and refine through rounds of fast-turnaround user research and A/B testing – de-risking your benefits forecast with likely success rates in mind. Get in touch to find out how our genius for arriving at the best idea has won the loyalty of so many big brands
  1. MVP is too M (or not V enough)
    • Minimal Viable Products are a familiar part of the Agile delivery model, but sometimes what gets launched is just too minimal! A particular risk with technically complex solutions is requirements get sacrificed in order to meet a release deadline. Then, before you know it, you’re launching with only the most basic features and a sub-par user experience. You’ll optimise this post-launch, but will those unforgiving younger users give you a second try?
    • Solution: put points 2 and 3 (above) in place and ensure product owners are steeped in users’ needs – and willing to go to bat for them
  1. Benefits attribution plan is MIA
    • Too often, product teams ask analysts to quantify the benefits of something they’ve launched only to find that meaningful measurement isn’t possible. This can happen when they’ve not planned any controlled way to gauge impact – leaving the analyst unable to disentangle the effects of the new experience from all the other factors that affect performance (seasonality, marketing activity, pricing, competitor campaigns etc.)
    • Solution: engage analysts early to plan a measurement approach that balances the need for accuracy with pragmatism (e.g. controlled release, A/B testing, lookalike analysis, post vs pre period etc.)

Get in touch for more on how Kokoro can help you make a success of your digital transformation.

Martha Knight_849x634
Excited to be partnering with Nationwide!
Have you fallen into the ‘easy trap’?

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