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Optimise today, build for tomorrow

  • 22 July 2020 / By Steven Shaw
  • Connect

As businesses look to the future of their content processes, they often come to the conclusion they need to start again with a new platform. That might be because they’re running on an old platform or that business processes have changed and the platform hasn’t always kept up. 

Whilst a replatform is a completely valid approach, it’s not always the best route to delivering value for your business and customers. We’ve taken a slightly different approach to some of our more recent RFP and pitches with a response focused on delivering value return quicker rather than just answering the brief. 

Our approach typically builds upon two main streams of work that work in conjunction with each other: ‘Optimise’ and ‘Build’. This iterative approach delivers value to the business whilst working alongside a roadmap to achieve their overall objectives.

Understand the challenges

Our most successful engagements come when we have the opportunity to speak to our clients, whether this is face to face or, more recently, the video calls. It allows us to ask questions and get a feel for how we can form a great partnership. 

These initial discussions help us really get to the heart of briefs; the driver, overall objectives, what really matters to the business and the potential vanity changes.

Then we try to derive real value, be it improving the overall customer experience, the authoring experience, speed to market or platform speeds. These are all valid areas we can prioritise and produce a plan of attack.

Research everything

During a foundation phase we aim to carry out as much research as we can. The goal is to validate any assumptions made in the initial conversations or the brief It also helps to find opportunities.

The types of research carried out will of course depend on budgets available and what the overall business objectives are, but some good examples are:

  • Market or competitor analysis
    By looking at what others are doing, and if they are doing it well, there may be some quick wins to apply. However, it’s worth comparing with caution. The answer may not be more features, but being better at your basics. If there’s a gap in the market for a new experience or way to engage customers then we explore how this might be delivered. 
  • User experience research
    By researching your audience and user experience, we can get an insight into what’s working and what isn’t. There could be some simple interface tweaks or navigation improvements that could make a big difference to the experience. This kind of research can be based upon Google analytics data, heat mapping or other similar tools through to actually interviewing customers. 
  • Platform review
    By carrying out a platform review, we can get a real understanding of opportunity. This could be performance bottlenecks through to issues with integrations. The benefit of the platform review is getting the roadmap of targeted areas to update, tweak or change. Whilst a platform migration may still be required, it’s not a reason to abandon your current platform immediately. 

Data-Driven Optimisation

Data Driven Optimisation involves using a variety of research methods and formulating strategic roadmaps that are grounded in ROI. This leads to the understanding of where the biggest opportunities for improvement are.

DDO covers a broad range of topics, but we tend to build upon four key areas: 

  1. Analytics Strategy
    Focuses on ensuring the right data is being fed into the business and that it's being used in the right way from an optimisation point of view, fuelling the other areas of Data Driven Optimisation.

  2. Conversion Rate Optimisation
    Improving the user experience using a variety of methods from quick win releases and structured AB testing through to strategic product launches.

  3. Site performance
    Improving the load speed for each page on the website from backend to frontend. The insight and reporting dashboards provided ensure recommendations are being generated regularly.|

  4. Search Engine Optimisation
    Using data and insights relating to organic search performance vs. competitors to audit your website. Findings allow us to concentrate efforts where most advantage can be gained.

Incremental gains

Implementing changes in small incremental updates is easier to manage and the returns are gained faster. This of course aligns with the Agile methodologies where it’s easier to pivot and adapt with smaller amounts of change rather than waiting until a big-bang release.

One of the really useful aspects of the agile incremental approach is that you get to test ideas early and adapt quickly to any issues. So, if you are planning a platform migration you can take those positive learnings into that platform rather than waiting until you launch and then seeing if they worked. 

The priority of the changes you make will always be driven by the KPIs you identify as part of the DDO exercise. Plan your roadmap so that it can deliver a balanced approach to value returns, getting out smaller updates and improvements whilst you build and release a larger update concurrently. 

Optimise today, build for tomorrow

When it comes to getting the best value for your investment, we believe that the optimise today and build for tomorrow approach is the way to go. We have a number of clients who are adopting this approach with us as they have seen how it can deliver results faster, we'd be happy to work with you on your roadmap to delivers value achieve your business objectives.

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