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Ignite growth through optimisation

Our Episerver Most Valued Professional (EMVP) Paul Gruffydd was proud to be asked to speak at Optimizely’s ‘Unlocking Digital Potential’ event. This is an exciting time to be a partner of Optimizely as they transition from Episerver having been named a Leader in both the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Experience Platforms 2021 and Forrester’s Wave: Agile Content Management Systems, Q1 2021.

Paul sat on a panel about ‘Driving results to ignite growth’ and here are some of the key takeaways from the discussion that he thinks brands should be looking at in this area.

Setting the right goals is fundamental

This is true in any project and isn’t just about financial targets. Too sharp a focus on revenue-based metrics often comes at the expense of the bigger picture. Instead, goals should be outcome and people-focused. How can you demonstrate value to the customer which is ultimately going to drive loyalty? Think beyond standard metrics - consider all factors that influence the process, for example load times and performance. Research shows a direct correlation between speed and customer perception.

Explore your digital potential 

Digital potential is about how we can make the most of interconnected technology to enhance, rather than replace, how we interact with all of our customers. Ultimately, that digital potential comes from people, empowered by the right data, tooling and skills. Technology can take data, identify patterns and use that to drive known behaviours. However, left unchecked there’s a risk Artificial Intelligence (AI) based technology drives behaviour towards the normal. It really takes human creativity to push beyond that, take that data, understand its context and use it in novel and innovative ways that truly benefit the customer.

The importance of a learning culture

It’s quite easy to fall into the trap of assuming we know our customers and understand what they’re looking for. But it isn’t as easy as we think. We approach the situation with in-depth insider knowledge about our platforms, products and services which our customers simply won’t have. That biases our assumptions. There’s also a risk of finding data which appears to support our assertion, disregarding the data which disagrees. To overcome these biases, first we need to accept that we might be wrong and that workstreams based on an incorrect assumption may need to be revisited or even discarded. That’s why a culture of experimentation needs to be firmly embedded within a team, with testing across all stages, allowing you to fail fast and with a much lower risk.

How Covid has made a difference

A lot has been made of Covid as a driver for digital transformation but it’s been more of an accelerator for the kind of changes we were already seeing. What’s evident is that the pandemic has reinforced the importance of a first-class digital presence. Longer term, big bang projects with their associated extensive briefing, Statement of Work’s (SoW) and sign-off processes have made way for a more iterative agile approach with programmes of work delivering data-driven improvements. That’s a much better and a much more sustainable way of working.

Optimisation matters a lot

If you’re not going forwards you’re going backwards. An ongoing process of continual improvement is a vital key to growth. That’s why Kin + Carta has developed a Data Driven Optimisation service that allows for improvements every day in digital experiences and negates the need for a massive reinvestment in technology every few years. Services like Optimizely make implementing these regular changes so much simpler. Don’t consider digital transformation as a project to be completed and ticked off a list. As clichéd as it may sound, it’s a journey, not a destination. To remain relevant, foundations need to be iteratively built on by a team empowered to make data driven decisions, the results of which are constantly evaluated to ensure that value is being delivered at every stage.

The pandemic really accelerated the drive towards digital and with this increase in digital activity comes an increase in the amount of data collected. Any digital strategy needs to consider how to build out capabilities around using that data effectively.

Paul Gruffydd - Technical Director, Kin + Carta

Ultimately for us, a future of growth lies in being able to know your customers from their previous interactions, predict their future needs and validate those predictions on a continual basis through experimentation. By coupling that machine driven insight with human creativity we can drive customer loyalty using experience as a differentiator.

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