Product Management and Optimisation

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Context

Product Management, based on Actionable Customer Insight

We know that data itself has no value. It is the actionable insights, drawn from the data (to support decision-making) that make data valuable.

In summary actionable insight can be used to:

  • Spark innovation (as defined below) and opens ROI opportunities to drive product development
  • Guide optimisation and supports business cases to extend product development, taking the product through to end-of-life

Why Product Management?

We believe that great products can be developed when we understand customer’s wants and needs. While customer insight can be the fuel for product management it must be accompanied by the spark of innovation. By definition, innovation is what makes ‘the difference’.  Innovation will capture the attention and imagination of early adopters. Innovation is the pulling together of ideas to create something new.

We love innovating with really cool technology to create great products that simplify our lives and enrich customer experience.

Why Product Optimisation?

To go beyond early adoption and reach the tipping point of market share, we need to make our product outstanding and to do this, we must  continue to use customer insight to inform our ongoing development and product optimisation.

Product Optimisation is broadly defined as   ‘the practice of making changes or adjustments to a product to make it more efficient, cost effective, desirable or innovative to give it a competitive advantage within the market’ (thank you Wikipedia for the basis of this definition).

We believe that by using customer insight to focus continued product development and optimisation , we will see our early accomplishements and ROI  converting into long-lasting success that  can be measured  through customer satisfaction,  retention and long term prosperity for the business.

The business case for online optimisation  programmes will be fairly convincing for anyone who has been through the pain of  losing customers or a major account. Attempting to win customers back, after they have gone to an alternative online brand, can be costly or futile, so this alone can justify the investment in online optimisation for any company that provides digital products and services to it’s customers.

Why Us?

Our Principle Consultant has recently been retained on a 2 year contract in a senior digital product management role, innovating with web, mobile, bluetooth, navigation, customer data, augmented reality and lots more.  He has experience in leading online optimisation projects for three household name brands and managing digital marketing activities  for a global brand to drive up online performance and deliver impressive returns on

Our Principle Consultant has a unique set of qualities and attributes for Product Management:  His breadth of exposure to technology and it’s applications across business paradigms is unusual. This experience positions him well for innovation roles.  His senior management, commercial and business start-up experience also provide the perfect grounding for Product Management.  If you’re interested in exploring options to retain his services then we’d love to hear from you.

How we operate – our methods

We will operate in a way that suits the culture of your company. In the past we have typically taken responsibility to:

  • Produce the long-term product vision and strategy and short and medium term objectives.
  • Lead product innovation, development, launch,  day-to-day performance management and continued evolution.
  • Deliver the operating plan: achievement of growth objectives including market share, revenue, profit and return on investment for all the channels/categories of business and/or key customers.
  • Managing marketing activities through research, strategic planning and implementation,
  • Be transparent and communicate the strategy and progress to all relevant stakeholders and participants,
  • Use evidence-based decision-making in communications,
  • Say ‘no’ and explain why,
  • Ruthlessly prioritise:  Balancing customer needs with business targets.
  • Manage the entire Product Life-cycle: From concept, to design, sample production, testing, forecast, cost, mass production, promotion, support, and finally product end of life.

Product Development and Innovation

This is where we have the most fun.  Innovation part is the pulling together of  ideas to create something new.

Ongoing Product Discovery to guide our innovation: We make it our mission to capture customer insight through observation, analysis of  customer data and by speaking directly to customers. With real people at the epicentre of our customer data we can converge our research, quantitative data, analysis of customer data to formulate a sense of direction. We then converge all this with qualitative customer data. Then the sparks start to fly, ideas take shape and we generate testable hypothesis.  True customer insights (that are ‘actionable’) will be proven right if  (when acted upon by customers)  they have the potential to change customer behaviours.  Any change in customer behavious must be sustainable, which means there must be mutual benefit to the customer and your business.

We favour the concept of on-going product discovery, fueled by customer insight.  We standardise, where ever possible, and for this type of work we apply User Experience Design methods (UXD).

Product Optimisation

The good news about investing in online optimisation is that we can

  • Quickly see a return on investment.
  • Mitigate the risks around developing code for new designs.
  • Test our optimisation ideas with real customers, in advance of embarking on development.
  • Ramp it up any time.
  • Ramp it back down just as quickly.
  • Try something else, in parallel if the results not quite quite as expected, or we suspect an alternative approach might work better.

What we do:

Digital Product Development

  • Product Strategy:  Informed by customers (behavious, studies, analytics and feedback) and business/stakeholder  prioritisation.
  • Ideation and Innovation: Ideation / scamps / mock-ups etc.
  • Rapid UXD:   User Experience Design methods (UXD) based on persona needs and user testing of  prototype.
  • Early launch of MVP (Minimum viable product):  With data capture / analytics / customer feedback in place.
  • Online Optimisation (customer experience / journey optimisation): Using  analytics, heat-mapping, session-replay, customer observation to create hypothesis, then AB / multivariate testing to determine best optimisation.

Online Optimisation

Types of Online Optimiastion we do:

  • Web products and services: Making web and mobile products and services work properly though usability testing and journey optimisation, using MVT, AB testing tools and methods, optimising Calls to Action,  use of media and content relevance, metadata, sitemap and SEO.
  • Mobile app: Optimising native mobile apps,  again through usability and customer journey optimisation. More emphasis on customer observation, persona/user testing.  Ergonics of the user flow/navigation and  optimisation of content is hughely significant, as are  calls to action, ,media and content relevance.
  • Digital Marketing: Activities include PPC / CPC, display advertising, 3rd party relationships with aggregators and affiliates, links, bid automation.
  • Technical performance (speed, reliability, security): Hosting and IT performance optimisation and capacity planning, informed by monitoring and reporting, regular peak load and response time testing and scheduled maintenance windows for DR testing.
  • Self-service and Back-office optimsation: Back office and operations integration optimisation IVR, webchat, direct (customer) messaging and alerts, AI call-reduction programmes,  customer login/portals.

Back-office and operations integration optimisation

We have operational and business transformation experience, integrating solutions into business and operations from marketing departments to call centres, through FMCG supply chain operations to production output:

Business integration:

  • Call centre,
    •  inboud/outbound telephony,
    •  IRV integration to web-channels,
    • webchat
  • Multi-channel journey optimisation to omni-channel  journey optimisation
  • Next-Best Action solutions.

Operational integration:

Operational integration of legacy systems to websites can be complex but can make a huge difference to customer experience. Our Principle Consultant led a technical  for  a complete web-service layer to be developed, using existing APIs for a global courier.  This development provided a set of services to a web and mobile customer experience, enabling the designers to offer the following functionality to customers:

  • Sales order processing.
  • Stock-item status (quantity in stock, replenishment information).
  • Order status (pick, dispatch, in-transit).
  • Track and trace.
  • Delivery status.
  • Re-delivery request.
  • Customer service request.
  • Service status.

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