Great digital experiences weren’t always the results-driving machines they are today.
15 years ago, when gas was a buck and a quarter and there were “only” about 30 million websites (today there are about a billion), the catalyst for “going digital” was achieving a baseline parity with your market peers. Back then the applications were “me too;” electronic brochures, not terribly interesting, and not terribly difficult to create.
In the overall commercial budget, digital fought for the middle seat in the station wagon, crammed next to its more established siblings of print and TV. The results were at best informative and amusing, but mostly not all that engaging, profitable, or measurable.
Fast forward to today, where we know that great customer experiences “win”, driving customer loyalty, competitive advantage, and profitability. Great digital customer experiences are anything but “me too,” successfully balancing customer insights, interaction design, story writing, and technology execution, thrusting digital to the coveted shotgun seat ahead of its sibling channels.
As companies and brands spend more money on digital, executives will ask, “Are our investments working? Why are we spending all this money? How do we optimize it?”
The answers are a resounding “Yes,” a definite “Because it works,” and, well, “let me tell you.”
As the world has found increasingly creative ways to bring digital experiences to life, the relative cost has trended up with the added sophistication. The campaigns are more nuanced. The data is unending and more telling. The integrations to internal systems are more complex. The technology is more powerful. The content is more Hollywood. And in healthcare, the compliance burden rises in lockstep.
In the face of the rising sophistication and costs, we have learned the importance of incorporating insights into everything we do. Here are some approaches we have subscribed to that can be applied to help you shift to a results-driven mindset.
1. Ratchet up your focus on making sure investments create positive results.
Your approach to every project should literally start and end with the business-impacting-performance results in mind. Showcasing positive results should be a non-negotiable building block or more calculated experiment; “bet” that must be monitored and then adjusted as appropriate. At either end of this spectrum of table stakes to “all-in,” you must start with effective scrutiny of the ideas up front and adequate planning for measurement down the road.
When you discuss and concept a program, force yourself to think critically about what this investment – this experiment – will achieve. 4 pillars of value to consider with digital:
-Improve customer satisfaction
Ultimately, if you can’t nail down how to measure a project and the potential impact it could have, you should be questioning whether the project makes sense. If you don’t know what the probable business impact could be, why invest in the project? These are sometimes tough decisions, but they should be made before you commit to spending the money.
2. Require measurement.
Too frequently we intend to measure success, but when budgets become tight, the first thing we consider dropping is the measurement process, which will provide us with the insights we need to understand the value of a project. At Vodori, we’ve shifted all of our projects to automatically include metrics and insights. This is not a separate add-on that a client purchases or can decline, it is included in every project we do and at the heart of everything we do. Obtaining insights from everything we do allows us to not only help our clients understand the value of the project and how it impacts their business, but it also demonstrates the value that Vodori is bringing to the client. Win-win.
3. Ascribe a target value objective for every project.
Bake into your methodology and document templates a target objective. At an appropriate interval post-launch, report back on the performance of the initiative and do so regularly as the project continues. This perspective helps inform subsequent experiments and reinforces the value of what you are doing to inform future decisions. Regular reporting on your project’s performance can also help appropriately inform internal and external stakeholders. We’ve tried intervals of monthly, quarterly, and semi-annually here at Vodori. Determine what interval works best for you or the project and stick to it.
As an insights driven digital marketing firm serving life science customers, our mission is to help our clients do what they do best (improve the lives of people the world over) by simplifying the crazy complex communications between them and their stakeholders. And equally important, help them shift to a results-driven mindset and partner to create great digital experiences that put them in the driver’s seat to “win” with their customers.
Our goal is to continue to optimize our measurement process as we gain additional insights. To us, it’s the best way to showcase the value we deliver as we partner with our clients.
If you’d like to learn more about our passion for delivering insights, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.