(This post first appeared on Clearhead.me)
Is your culture ready for experimentation, test and learn, and data-driven decision making? Where are you and where do you want to be?
These are important questions to ask as you approach FY17. We’ve been asking executives like you these same questions with our benchmarking survey. And for the past four years we’ve been asking that question to our 60 clients in our consulting practice. As you would expect, we’ve started to see certain themes and models rise to the top.
- On average, retailers rate their satisfaction with their testing process as only 4.6 out of 10.
- Only 30% of our retailers believe they have enough people to execute testing.
- Only 1 in 5 retailers rate their company as having a world class data-driven culture.
We’ve taken these early trends, themes and models and created The Clearhead Digital Maturity Journey.
The Clearhead Digital Maturity Journey
Don’t dismiss this as your typical consulting maturity model. We’ve built this from the ground up as a way to map a detailed Digital Optimization Journey. We believe every company is on it’s own unique journey when it comes to digital optimization, but many of the capabilities and process, technology and process are shared.
We take the same approach to determine where you are on your journey across all of our clients. Through Problem Solution Mapping (PSM), optimization workshops, hundreds of proprietary data points and questions, stakeholder interviews, and surveys we measure your company’s:
- Insights + analytics
- Learning + development
All together, in the final analysis, we form a complete picture of where you are on your journey and the operational steps to take to accelerate your drive to a data-driven destination.
So reading through these summaries below, where would you guess you are on your journey? More importantly, what’s missing and what’s next for you?
The Traditional Company
An executive or director is thinking about buying a personalization tool or has just bought one. You know you don’t have people and process to execute. You have some part time people and resources to experiment. Desire is present.
The Emerging Company
Testing and personalization have a key owner. There are some processes and light governance in place. That desire is spread to more people. You’ve got some full time people now. A tool is there with dedicated people behind it. Experiments are defined by a small number of people.
The Operational Company
Process has to be defined to scale experiments. You are experimenting from a wider perspective of people. You have a testing roadmap. Still only in a digital channels. More about process than people. Marketing and UX are starting to be involved. You start to have a team dedicated to test and learn across the whole organization. Mediocre tagging of sites and campaigns.
The Impactful Company
Doing everything in the Operational phase but starting to focus on segments and personalization, not just testing everything that people want. You have a strong roadmap that is defined by researching the biggest capital P problems. The culture starts to change to test and learn. Using your digital data, you have the confidence to test any digital experience. Desire level is very high.
The Unicorn. Transformational Company
Everyone across departments and across channels is starting to believe that everything is an experiment tied to goals, problems and hypotheses. Using true omni-channel data you can test and personalize everything with confidence. Desire to be test and learn is baked into DNA of all teams.
That last one rarely exists in the wild. And if it does, it’s usually a company that was born in the digital age and has zero to few physical retail locations. Again this journey is different from a traditional model, in our journey model we want you to be focused on where you are and where you are heading, not where your competitors are.
What’s the norm?
Of the clients we work with at Clearhead we usually see them falling into the emerging or operational part of the the digital optimization journey. And we are currently helping several large retailers (with lots of retail stores) move from operational to impactful in their journey. Remember when I say “their journey”, it’s just that. We aren’t here to compare you to others, or shame you for not comparing to Amazon. Every company and digital optimization group has their own journey across our model.
We firmly believe that the best companies don’t just have one person running a/b tests, one coding experiences, and another helping with the analytics. They have fully formed teams of people, working together in tiger teams, or AOR’s (more on that in a future blog post and in my new book), with the right connective tissue around culture, technology, and process. With leaders like you who are pushing test and learn culture throughout the whole organization. And those teams need to have a clear sense of the journey they are on with the right objectives, SMART goals, and problems to solve.
So why should you care about our model? Simple. Because organizing and creating those types of higher performing teams achieves your business goals with less waste. Any good team needs to know where they are going.
If you’re interested in building that type of team the Clearhead Accelerator can help.
With that said, where are you on your journey? Leave us your thoughts in the comments. Or contact me to learn more.